5. It (1990)
To start off our list is the 1990 classic TV mini-series starring Tim Curry as the titular character. I chose the original adaptation of it because it was my first entry into the world of Stephen King. At the ripe young age of 7, I saw the rerun on TV, having only clicked on it because I recognized Tim Curry from my favorite film at the time Annie (1982). Needless to say once he appeared on screen I realized my mistake and quickly turned it off. Years later I revisited it and now enjoy this adaptation and the novel in its own right. Maybe it's my young exposure to this version of the story that has put me off from watching the 2017 version. Or maybe I'm just waiting for Chapter 2, coming out in 2019!
4. Stand By Me (1986)
This film is the first Stephen King adaptation I watched all the way through, after all this film is about growing up and childhood curiosity and not killer shapeshifting clowns. This film still holds a special place in my heart as I have always loved the 'kids on a journey for treasure (or in this case a body) with self-discovery really being at the core of their character growth, The Goonies anyone? This film has also changed for me a lot as a viewer over the years as even though I am older every time I watch it, I relate to the main characters more and more.
3. The Shining (1980)
This was the first Stephen King story that I read before I watched the movie, and in this case that might not have been a good choice. Although in both mediums it is a truly horrifying tale, King and Kubrick's versions differ so much that whatever one you consume second is made lesser because of the first. I used to hate this movie in high school because I felt that Kubrick had butchered the real plot and horrors of the haunted hotel, but as I have gotten older I can differentiate between the two and can now finally enjoy them.
2. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
This is the only King story on this list that I have still not read the novel or in this case novella of but in my defense he has written a lot over his career! Because of that I love this story strictly from its film adaptation as it influences me in all my writing when creating characters. This film serves as a brilliant character study for academics, writers, or just the viewer. But what really makes it for me is the tunnel reveal scene. No other scene has given me such satisfaction as seeing the warden's face when he realizes he has been bested by his own prisoner!
1. Salem's Lot (1979)
This story takes the first spot not only because it's my favorite Stephen King story of all time (I reread it every year during October!) but because I feel that the original tv mini-series does a great job of showing the viewer what makes the story work, the crippling and foreboding fear of an entire town slowly being taken over by vampires. Like Shawshank, King's characters are strong and well defined, making you worried whenever someone else gets turned. And with James Mason perfectly portraying one of my favorite villains of all time Mr. Straker, this classic mini-series is the cornerstone of a good fall horror flick.