Credit: WikiCommons

Picking out the best Stephen King movies and shows isn’t easy. From pure horror to a dive into the human psyche, King has dominated the book and film horror industry for decades. With that in mind, we’ve taken a mix of movies and shows that are fantastic and should be re-watched by fans of The King of Horror.

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20. Pet Sematary, MAX and Hulu (1989)

Pet Sematary; Best Stephen King Movies And Tv Shows
Credit: IMDb

Our first Stephen King movie is the 1989 Pet Sematary, written by Stephen King himself. This is a zombie film that provides an interesting take on the walking dead and how someone could take advantage of it. Gory, unsettling, and still creepy to this day, it doesn’t matter that this movie is rated 20th because you should still check it out.

  • IMDb score: 6.5

19. Gerald’s Game, Netflix (2017)

You might want to think twice about certain bedroom activities after watching Gerald’s Game. A couple trying to reignite their failing relationship drives to a remote lake house for a short vacation. When the woman accidentally kills her husband during foreplay though, she is trapped — handcuffed to the bed with no way to get off. The woman must figure out how to get out of her predicament, all while battling her deliriousness.

  • IMDb score: 6.5

18. Salem’s Lot, Prime Video (1979)

Salem'S Lot; Best Stephen King Movies And Tv Shows
Credit: IMDb

When a novelist realizes a vampire has taken up residence in his New England town and starts to turn his neighbors into vampires as well, it is up to him and a young horror fan to try and save the small town in Salem’s Lot. I read this book a couple of years ago and I enjoyed it, especially with the constant feeling of a vampire being just around the corner and the growing sense of doom in the novelist’s mind.

  • IMDb score: 6.7

17. Christine, Pluto TV and Prime Video (1983)

Christine takes the idea of a killer car to new lengths when unpopular nerd Arnie buys a 1958 Plymouth Fury, naming it Christine. When Arnie becomes increasingly obsessed with the car, his jock friend Dennis worries, and rightfully so. When bully Buddy defaces Christine, the auto restores itself and then goes on a killing rampage. It’s up to Dennie and Arnie’s girlfriend Leigh to stop Christine before anyone else gets hurt.

  • IMDb score: 6.8

16. 1408, STARZ and Hulu (2007)

1408; Best Stephen King Movies And Tv Shows
Credit: IMDb

Made in 2007 and starring John Cusack, who plays a paranormal debunker taunted into staying in the haunted hotel room, 1408. What follows is a psychological horror that isn’t the best Stephen King adaptation, but one much better than the 61 percent given on Rotten Tomatoes.

  • IMDb score: 6.8

15. Hearts in Atlantis, Tubi and MAX (2001)

The fifteenth choice of our best Stephen King movies and TV shows is Hearts in Atlantis. In the film, a mysterious man enlists the help of a brilliant young boy to save his life. Their resulting friendship will forever change the way the boy sees the world, and makes for a pretty impressive drama.

  • IMDb score: 6.9

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14. The Mist, STARZ and Sling TV (2007)

The Mist; Best Stephen King Movies And Tv Shows
Credit: IMDb

The Mist (movie) has an ending most won’t see coming. It breaks from the norm and leaves a lasting impression. Like with most Stephen King adaptations, the characters are interesting beyond plot devices, and The Mist delivers more than most, and all within the confines of a store.

  • IMDb score: 7.1

13. The Stand, Vudu and Apple TV (1994)

The largely popular Stephen King novel The Stand was turned into a television miniseries in 1994, presented in four distinct parts. In part one, “The Plague” a super-virus leaked from a lab kills most of the population, while in part two the survivors share “The Dreams.” Divisions start to split the population apart into good and evil in “The Betrayal” — part three — and “The Stand” between good and evil is the final part of the series.

  • IMDb score: 7.1

12. The Dead Zone, Tubi and Pluto TV (2002-2007)

The Dead Zone; Best Stephen King Movies And Tv Shows
Credit: IMDb

The Dead Zone pilot is based on the book by Stephen King. Despite further episodes veering off on their own, the show remains true to its origin about a man who wakes from a coma with psychic powers. The show ran for six seasons and despite being a mixed bag, it remains one of the better Stephen King shows made.

  • IMDb score: 7.3

11. IT Chapter One, Apple TV and Prime Video (2017)

The original IT movie was good but the kids in the 2017 remake (Chapter One) are better. They have an on-screen friendship and togetherness that the original couldn’t match. Plus, modern effects allow Pennywise the Dancing Clown to be bigger and scarier. If you want jump scares and some great one-liners, IT Chapter One is a must-watch adaptation.

  • IMDb score: 7.3

10. Doctor Sleep, Tubi and Apple TV (2019)

Doctor Sleep; Best Stephen King Movies And Tv Shows
Credit: IMDb

One of the more recent Stephen King adaptations is Doctor Sleep, a continuation of Dan’s story in The Shining. Now an adult, Dan struggles with alcoholism and is still traumatized by the sinister events that happened in the Overlook Hotel. Trying to live a peaceful life, Dan gets thrust right back into chaos when he meets Abra, a teen who shares his gift of the “shine.” They must come together to battle the True Knot, a cult whose members try to feed off the shine to become immortal.

  • IMDb score: 7.3

9. Dolores Claiborne, Apple TV and Prime Video (1995)

Some murder cases aren’t just open-and-shut, which is very true in the film Dolores Claiborne. Dolores, a housekeeper, works for rich and heartless Vera Donovan until she turns up dead, painting Dolores as the main suspect. To help save her mother, estranged daughter Selena visits and tries to investigate the murder herself. What she discovers though will change her thoughts about the murder and her childhood.

  • IMDb score: 7.4

READ MORE: Get Your Spook on with These 15 Best Supernatural Horror Movies

8. Carrie, MAX and Hulu (1976)

Carrie; Best Stephen King Movies And Tv Shows
Credit: IMDb

Directed by Brian De Palma, this King adaptation is memorable and deserves much more than the 77 percent given on Rotten Tomatoes. The mother-daughter face-off in Carrie is gripping, and the movie is full of iconic scenes, including Sissy Spacek covered in pig’s blood. If you’ve never seen it, stream it now.

  • IMDb score: 7.4

7. Castle Rock, Hulu and Apple TV (2018-2019)

Castle Rock is not an adaptation of a book but a homage to King’s worlds. It’s a reimagining that explores King’s canon with new stories that are both big-budget and fantastically made. What makes this a must-watch show is that everything comes together in a way that unifies Stephen King’s work, and it’s unmissable television because of it.

  • IMDb score: 7.5

6. The Outsider, MAX and Prime Video (2020)

The Outsider; Best Stephen King Movies And Tv Shows
Credit: IMDb

The Outsider was one of the best shows of 2020. The only negative is that it forces you to watch multiple episodes back-to-back — it’s that good. This single-season show is gripping, with fantastic performances and a supernatural tale that’s not to be missed. If you have HBO Max, make sure you add it to your watchlist now.

  • IMDb score: 7.6

5. Misery, MAX and Prime Video (1990)

Misery is easily one of the best Stephen King thrillers ever. Its brilliance can be summed up in two words: Kathy Bates. The actress’s performance is the reason to watch this Stephen King adaptation. It’s so good she won the Best Actress Oscar for it. To this day, Misery is the only Stephen King adaptation to ever win an Oscar.

  • IMDb score: 7.8

4. Stand by Me, Netflix and Philo (1986)

Stand By Me; Best Stephen King Movies And Tv Shows
Credit: IMDb

Without a doubt, with the exclusion of The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile, Stand by Me is the best Stephen King movie or show. It has chemistry, a simple premise, and is the best growing-up kids’ movie ever made. If you only watch one King movie on this list, Stand by Me should be it — unless you want something scary, of course.

  • IMDb score: 8.1

3. The Shining, Sling TV and Paramount Plus (1980)

One of the most recognizable Stephen King films, The Shining is both an incredible book and movie, focusing on the Torrance family as they become caretakers at the isolated Overlook Hotel in Colorado. Jack, a burnt-out writer, hopes he can rekindle his creative flame while his wife Wendy and son Danny are just along for the ride. But, when Danny starts getting increasingly disturbing visions and Jack’s writing goes nowhere, a dark presence takes over Jack and turns him into a homicidal maniac.

  • IMDb score: 8.4

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2. The Green Mile, Fubo and Hulu (1999)

The Green Mile; Best Stephen King Movies And Tv Shows
Credit: IMDb

A heartbreaking and eye-opening film, The Green Mile is most certainly one of the best Stephen King films and one of the best films of all time. Prison guard Paul has seen a variety of cons but has never encountered someone like John Coffey, a massive black man convicted of killing a pair of young sisters. Though his body could easily kill the sisters, Coffey’s demeanor is the farthest thing from a killer. When Paul realizes Coffey may possess a supernatural gift, he begins to question whether he killed anyone.

  • IMDb score: 8.6

1. The Shawshank Redemption, Sling TV and Paramount Plus (1994) / Best Stephen King Movies and TV Shows

Our final best Stephen King movie rightfully earns its top spot and is also coincidentally about men in prison. The Shawshank Redemption focuses on Andy Dufresne, who is sentenced to two consecutive life terms in prison for the murders of his wife and lover which he didn’t do. While in prison Andy becomes friends with Red, experiences the brutality of prison life, helps the warden, and adapts in nineteen years.

  • IMDb score: 9.3

Though I love reading Stephen King, there is something innately terrifying about watching them transformed into films or television series. If you’re a lover of King or just love horror movies make sure to add some of these best Stephen King movies and tv shows to your watchlist.