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Maine Man: Seven Underrated Adaptations From The Mind Of Stephen King

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This week sees Kimberly Peirce’s contemporary re-imagining of Stephen King’s classic supernatural novel CARRIE hit theatres. The story of the tortured teenage outcast Carrie White, whose newly discovered telekinetic abilities come in handy when a bloody high-school prank goes too far, was actually the first of the legendary author’s works to be adapted for the big-screen. Brain DePalma’s 1976 Oscar-winning masterpiece is still remembered fondly and is going to be a hard one to top (or even match) for the acclaimed BOYS DON’T CRY filmmaker.

So, to celebrate the UK release of the film led by Chloe Grace Moretz and Julianne Moore as her devoutly religious mother Margaret, we’ve picked out our favourite underrated film adaptations from the mind of the Master of Horror. While a “best of” list would surely of consisted of the same great titles most would expect (e.g. THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION, STAND BY ME, THE SHINING), we’ve mixed things up a little by looking at those that may not immediately spring to mind and are perhaps deserving of more praise…

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CUJO (1983) dir. Lewis Teague

Lewis Teague’s adaptation of CUJO is a brave one when you you come to think of it. It’s certainly a personal story of survival and an emotional one at that. The execution may not have been on the same epic scale as Kubrick’s THE SHINING (the King masterpiece CUJO had unfortunately had to follow) yet Dee Wallace Stone’s powerful performance, with the majority of the action and plot taking place in one stationed vehicle, is punishingly rock solid. Trapped and fighting for the life of her son from the marauding presence of the family’s cuddly pet St Bernard, now a crazed, hungry hulking animal infected with rabies following an insect bite.

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Craig is leading the charge as our north east correspondent, proving that it’s so ‘grim up north’ that losing yourself in a world of film is a foregone prerequisite. He has been studying the best (and often worst) of both classic and modern cinema at the University of Life for as long as he can remember. Craig’s favorite films include THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION, JFK, GOODFELLAS, SCARFACE, and most of John Carpenter’s early work, particularly THE THING and HALLOWEEN.
  • DougK

    “Cat’s Eye” from the mid-80s, starring Drew Barrymore fresh from E.T. It’s the only movie I’ve seen that adapts several of SK’s stories, all from Night Shift, with an original wraparound yarn involving a cat and the old legend about sucking out kids’ breath.

    Speaking of Drew B., she was also in “Firestarter” along with Heather Lockyear, David Keith & George C. Scott. That film is memorable just for Scott’s uber-creepy hospital orderly and the inferno the girl unleashes at the end.

  • Courtney Davis

    Cujo was bitten by a bat

  • GWAAN Dubvader

    the mist sucked