Top 10 Best Stephen King Horror Movies, As Ranked By Fans

Some of the best horror movies of all time have been inspired by the master of horror, Stephen King. Some of the best Stephen King movies aren't horror films, like The Green Mile and The Shawshank Redemption, but this list only focuses on the scarier films inspired by his work. Using the audience score (listed next to the titles below) from Rotten Tomatoes, the horror movies listed are ranked according to their popularity among fans.

Pet Sematary: 60

Coming in at number ten on the list of best Stephen King horror movies is Pet Sematary. Though most of the critics panned this film, most audiences loved it. Viewers of horror movies know you should never live next to a cemetery, even if it's one made for your furry friends.

1408: 61

Starring John Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson, 1408 was a hit by audiences and critics alike. ReelViews describes why this is one of the best horror movies of 2007.

"To say that movie adaptations of Stephen King stories have a checkered history is to understate the matter. The rule of thumb is that King's non-horror efforts have gotten much better treatment than his bread-and-butter fare. The rule doesn't apply here, though…It's easily among the best King-inspired motion pictures to-date. It is by turns bold, scary, and downright creepy."
best horror movies
[Image by Dimension Films]

Christine: 63

King's horror movies boomed during the '80s, and this was one of his most popular films of that era. If you didn't think a film about a possessed car could be good — think again. This film was directed by horror icon John Carpenter (Halloween). Many fans were hoping that he would direct more of the master of horror's work; unfortunately, he didn't.


As fans anxiously await the remake of this creepy tale featuring the evil clown Pennywise, they can get their fix by revisiting the original. This is the only made-for-TV film (originally a two-part miniseries) to make the list, and it remains one of King's most popular movies.

The Mist: 65

Coming in at number five on the list is The Mist. Though this was widely appreciated by most fans, there were some who were outraged that the ending of the film was very different than that of the novella. But one person who loved the ending was the master of horror himself. Cinemablend reported on what Stephen King had to say about the controversial ending.

"Frank [Darabont] wrote a new ending that I loved. It is the most shocking ending ever and there should be a law passed stating that anybody who reveals the last five minutes of this film should be hung from their neck until dead."
Secret Window: 65

Johnny Depp and John Turturro have never been so creepy than in the Secret Window. Just like The Shining and Hush, horror movies keep teaching us that nothing good happens when writers live in seclusion.

Creepshow: 68

King teamed up with zombie-director icon George A. Romero (Night of the Living Dead) in this horror anthology. This is one of the few Stephen King horror movies that features as much humor as it does terror.

Carrie: 76

This horror masterpiece was both the first novel by King and the first film adapted from his work. With titles like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Last House on the Left, and Halloween, the '70s was the decade where horror movies began feeling very real; Carrie belongs on that list of realistic macabre, and that makes the horror all that more disturbing.

Misery: 89

This is the film that showed the only thing more dangerous than a writer living in seclusion, is a writer's number one fan living in isolation. Misery is one of the all-time most popular horror movies based on the work from Stephen King, and it launched Kathy Bates into superstardom.

best horror movies
[Image by Columbia Pictures]

The Shining: 93

Though there is a loud minority of fans who complain that this differs too much from the book, it remains the most popular Stephen King movie by both fans and critics alike. It's not only the highest rated film based on King's work, it is considered by many to be one of the best horror movies of all time. People describes why this is the most popular Stephen King horror movie.

"Stanley Kubrick, a director who has done just about everything else, has tried for the ultimate horror film—and almost achieved it…The Shining is like a near-miss auto accident: You don't know how scared you really were until you start shaking a few hours later."
horror movies
[Image by Warner Bros.]


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Though some may argue with the rankings, one thing is undeniable: some of the best horror movies of all time have been based on the writings of Stephen King.

[Featured Image by Warner Bros. Television]