Stephen King is one of the most adapted authors of modern times, and it's hard to complain when this produces classic movies like The Shawshank Redemption, The Mist, Misery or The Shining.
His epic tomes can be really tricky to wrestle down to feature length size, however, which also leads to total garbage like Graveyard Shift, Sleepwalkers, The Mangler, Children Of The Corn Part 57 and Maximum Overdrive. Quite remarkably - unthinkably even - King himself was responsible for that last one himself.
Falling in-between those two extremes are a lot of decent movies, which for one reason or another don’t get much recognition, even from hardcore Stephen King fans. Maybe the films in question were badly received upon release, or the filmmakers did a sloppy job cutting the book down to film size, but hindsight reveals them to be genuinely worthy of bearing The King’s name.
Here are just a few of his most underrated film adaptations, and the reasons why they deserve a second look.
9. The Dead Zone
Despite being helmed by horror maestro David Cronenberg, and featuring stellar performances by Christopher Walken and Martin Sheen, The Dead Zone sadly tends to get overlooked on the list of great Stephen King movies.
It tells the story of a normal man who's “blessed” with psychic powers following an accident, and while he tries to use his powers for the greater good they also mean he can never lead a normal life. When he gets an apocalyptic glimpse of what a presidential candidate will do if he’s elected, he decides to do something about it himself.
The movie can be a little episodic at times (so was the book), but the performances are so riveting this little sin can be forgiven. While there is some creepy stuff like the hunt for a serial killer, The Dead Zone is really a drama about a man struggling to find his place in the world. This makes the ending both a downer and - weirdly - uplifting at the same time.