As has been well-documented, Stephen King adaptations vary in quality from the superb to the so-so and right down through the shitty; I was about to start listing titles into each category for a second, until I realised that, like his output on the page, there’s just so damn many King movies already out there I’d be here all day. Everybody has their favourites, everybody’s sat through one to kill some time or over a few beers, and some will even have shouted profanities at their televisions at some of the garbage that’s graced the screen over the years.
In terms of recent attempts, I’d say 2007’s ‘1408‘ was semi-successful, with a strong and game lead performance from John Cusack and a great, small role for Samuel L. Jackson. And the pair must’ve had fun, because now they’re back in King territory with the forthcoming adap of ‘Cell‘. For those unfamiliar with the 2006 novel, here’s a brief synopsis from Wiki:
‘The story follows a New England artist struggling to reunite with his young son after a mysterious signal broadcast over the global cell phone network turns the majority of his fellow humans into mindless vicious animals.‘
It’s described as an ‘apocalyptic horror novel’… which is basically a fancy way of saying ‘it’s a zombie novel’ (“we’re not using the Z-word”), and although it’s been some time now since I read it, I do remember liking it quite a bit. King wastes no time in kicking off the carnage and when he does, he manages to create page after page of chaotic and often horrific scenarios (it is, in places, an extremely gory book), however the story goes to some surprisingly poignant places and has a genuinely satisfying and touching conclusion (by King standards, at any rate.)
‘Paranormal Activity 2‘ helmer Tod Williams is handling the scares here, with Cusack and Jackson in the two lead roles. It’s doubtful that this is going to end up among the best page-to-screen translations of King’s work, but sounds fairly promising so far. Below are a couple of posters, as well as the first still from the movie, courtesy of German website (not one of those…) blairwitch.de