A family heads to an isolated hotel for the winter where an evil and spiritual presence influences the father into violence, while his psychic son sees horrific forebodings from the past and of the future.

The film is based on the novel of the same name, by Stephen King. Unlike most films by Stanley Kubrick, which saw a slow gradual release building on word-of-mouth, The Shining was released in a manner more like a mass-market film, opening at first in just two cities on Memorial Day, and then a month later seeing a nationwide release (including drive-ins) after extensive television advertising. Kubrick considered both Robert De Niro and Robin Williams for the role of Jack Torrance but decided against both of them. Kubrick didn't think De Niro would suit the part after watching his performance in Taxi Driver (1976), as he deemed De Niro not psychotic enough for the role. There is a great deal of confusion regarding this film and the number of retakes of certain scenes. According to the Guinness Book of Records, the scene where Wendy is backing up the stairs swinging the baseball bat was shot 127 times, which is a record for the most takes of a single scene. Outtakes of the shots of the Volkswagen traveling towards the Overlook Hotel at the start of the film were plundered by Ridley Scott (with Stanley Kubrick's permission) when he was forced to add the 'happy ending' to the original release of Blade Runner (1982).
Despite receiving generally unfavorable reviews upon its initial release, the film is today regarded as one of the best horror movies ever made.

Director: Stanley Kubrick
Screenplay: Stanley Kubrick, Diane Johnson, Novel: Stephen King
Starring: Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd, Scatman Crothers
Running Time: 142min
Country: United States

Rating: 10/10


Christopher Walken wakes from a coma due to a car accident, only to find he has lost five years of his life, and yet gained psychic powers. Foreseeing the future appears to be a 'gift' at first, but ends up causing problems...

The Dead Zone was the first of several Stephen King novels and short stories that took place in the small town of Castle Rock. Others include Stand by Me (1986), Cujo (1983), The Dark Half (1993), and Needful Things (1993).According to a David Cronenberg interview on the DVD, the film was filmed during a relentless deep freeze which lasted for weeks, creating an authentic atmosphere of subzero temperatures and icy snow-packed terrain. There are several deleted scenes that were filmed and completed but have never been seen publicly and are thought to have been discarded prior to the film's release. This film (and Stephen King's novel) are both loosely based upon the life of famous psychic Peter Hurkos. Hurkos claimed to have acquired his alleged powers after falling off a ladder and hitting his head. The music soundtrack, composed by Michael Kamen, was recorded by The National Philharmonic Orchestra, London at the famous EMI Abbey Road Studios.

Director: David Cronenberg
Screenplay: Jeffrey Boam, Novel: Stephen King
Starring: Christopher Walken, Brooke Adams, Tom Skerritt, Martin Sheen
Running Time: 103min
Country: United States

Rating: 9/10

MISERY (1990)

Best-selling novelist Paul Sheldon is on his way home from his Colorado hideaway after completing his latest book, when he crashes his car in a freak blizzard. Paul is critically injured, but is rescued by former nurse Annie Wilkes, Paul's "number one fan", who takes Paul back to her remote house in the mountains...

The film received critical acclaim for Kathy Bates' performance as the psychopathic Annie Wilkes.
Kathy Bates won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her role and became the first woman to win an Oscar for Best Actress in a horror/thriller. Jack Nicholson was offered the role of Paul Sheldon but passed because he wasn't sure he wanted to do another movie based on one of Stephen King's novels after what he had experienced with Stanley Kubrick on The Shining. Stephen King was quite impressed with Kathy Bates's performance in this film, so much so that he later wrote to more roles for her. The title role in his novel Dolores Claiborne (1995) was written with Bates in mind.
As of 2010 this is the only Stephen King adaptation to receive an Academy Award.

Director: Rob Reiner
Screenplay: William Goldman, Novel: Stephen King
Starring: James Caan, Kathy Bates, Richard Farnsworth, Frances Sternhagen, Lauren Bacall
Running Time: 107min
Country: United States

Rating: 9/10