Stephen King

Future King

10 Stephen King Stories That Deserve Their Own Movie

Spend Father's Day with IFC's Stephen King Father of Horror Marathon.

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Photo Credit: Paramount/courtesy Everett Collection

With 57 movies, TV shows and mini-series (and counting), Stephen King has never been shy about allowing his works to be adapted. Still, because the guy is such a prolific writer, there are dozens of untapped stories that could stand the big screen treatment. Before you catch IFC’s Father of Horror marathon, check out a few Stephen King tales that have the legs to go from the page to the silver screen — that is if Kathy Bates doesn’t beat them with a hammer first.

10. The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon

Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon
Scribner

The best thing about this 1999 King book is its simplicity: A girl is separated from her family while hiking in the woods, and must survive with few provisions and little know how, all while fending off increasing hallucinations of an evil creature determined to kill her. With its relatable “girl vs. nature” story, and a few dark Stephen King flourishes, this could be a gripping tale about one woman’s fight to live at all costs.


9. The Monkey

Monkey Shines
Orion Pictures

“The Monkey” tells the story of a wind-up monkey toy that causes someone to die every time it claps it symbols together. A surprisingly understated story, considering it centers on a murderous stuffed marsupial, in the right hands it wouldn’t have to become the campfest its logline suggests. (Monkey Shines, anyone?) King himself adapted a version of this story for The X-Files episode “Chinga,” but we still feel like there’s plenty to mine here. One of the few stories left unadapted from Skeleton Crew, the Stephen King book of short stories that gave us The Mist, “The Monkey” is a tail, er, tale whose time has come.


8. Insomnia

Insomnia
Viking

Insomnia tells the story of a widower unable to sleep after his wife dies in a horrible accident. The longer he goes, the more strange visions he starts to see. From ribbons billowing out of people’s heads to little bald men in lab coats, his lack of sleep reveals another world to him. With the right director at the helm, this hallucinatory look at a man coping with grief could make for both a gripping meditation on loss, and a visual masterwork. Rob Schmidt, the director of Wrong Turn, tried and failed to get an adaptation going in 2007, so this one might have a steep hill to climb to make it to the big screen.


7. Gerald’s Game

Geralds Game
Viking

The story of a wife who’s left handcuffed to a bed after her husband dies during a sex game, this story would be a difficult adaptation. For one, the lead is naked for the entire movie. Then there’s the fact that she’s the only character for the majority of the book. Still, with its florid hallucinations, and tense escape scenes, this movie could be to S&M what 127 Hours was to rock climbing. Not one of King’s best novels, but with the right vision, it could be reworked into a taut thriller with a feminist twist. (An adaptation from the director of Oculus was announced in 2014, but things have been quiet of late.)


6. The Talisman

Talisman
Viking

Perfect for the blockbuster franchise treatment, this collaboration between King and horror icon Peter Straub was a stab at mixing the authors’ dark sensibilities with a more fantastical genre. The book tells the story of Jack Sawyer, a young boy who must travel across the country, and through parallel worlds, on a quest to save his mother from cancer. With wonderful fantasy iconography, all grounded by a boy’s personal journey to save his dying mother, this could be an epic story with real heart. Think Labyrinth, but with bloody murder instead of singing puppets. And thanks to the book’s sequel, Black House, which tells the story of a grown up Jack, there’s material here for multiple sequels.


5. N.

N
Marvel

A psychological horror story in the vein of H.P. Lovecraft, N. follows a group of disparate people who become obsessed with, and are driven insane by, a circle of stones in a random field which they believe are a portal to a monster in another world. A tense thriller mixed with some Lovecraftian cosmic horror of the unknown, this could be a fun, particularly dark movie about trying to maintain one’s sanity in the face of absolute terror.


4. The Regulators

Regulators
Dutton

The Regulators follows a young, autistic boy named Seth, who’s given the power to control his town by a demon. Thanks to his TV obsessions, this idyll suburban setting quickly transforms into a mishmash of cowboys and sci-fi silliness. With its dark, fantastical visuals, a big screen version of The Regulators has the chance to be a wonderland of pop culture references and unexpected scares.


3. Joyland

Joyland
Hard Case Crime

A more recent novel in the author’s canon, Joyland tells the story of a young man working at a carnival for the summer, where he must help a ghost solve her own murder. More a coming-of-age tale than an outright scare-fest, this novel has some weighty themes, mixed with enough horror pulp to make it a truly special film.


2. Doctor Sleep

Doctor Sleep
Scribner

Now this one is a no-brainer. A sequel to The Shining, this 2013 novel picks up in present day, following a grown-up Danny as he tries to protect a psychic girl from nefarious forces. While it would be intimidating to try to follow in the footsteps of auteur Stanley Kubrick, with the proliferation of remakes and sequels out there these days, it seems hard to imagine this won’t make it to the big screen at some point. Let’s just hope whoever helms it has their own vision, and doesn’t try to do Kubrick-lite. (Click here to see all airings of The Shining on IFC.)


1. The Long Walk

Long Walk
Signet Books

An early work written in 1979 under the pseudonym Richard Bachman, The Long Walk is without a doubt one of the author’s most original, dark and haunting stories. Set in the near future, the story follows a group of boys who’ve entered a walking competition, with a twist. If they stop for any reason, they’re shot. The last boy standing gets whatever he wants for the rest of his life. An early example of the dystopian game show genre that would go on to influence everything from King’s own The Running Man to The Hunger Games, The Long Walk mixes a fascinating collection of characters with a stripped-down story about the will to live at any cost. Stephen King adaptation all-star Frank Darabont has owned the rights for years, but has yet to move on them. Let’s hope that changes.

Honor scary dads this Father’s Day with the Stephen King Father of Horror marathon.

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Grow TFU

Adulting Like You Mean It

Commuters makes its debut on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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Jared Warner, Nick Ciavarella, and Tim Dean were once a part of Murderfist, a group of comedy writers, actors, producers, parents, and reluctant adults. Together with InstaMiniSeries’s Nikki Borges, they’re making their IFC Comedy Crib debut with the refreshingly-honest and joyfully-hilarious Commuters. The webseries follows thirtysomethings Harris and Olivia as they brave the waters of true adulthood, and it’s right on point.

Jared, Nick, Nikki and Tim were kind enough to answer a few questions about Commuters for us. Here’s a snippet of that conversation…

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IFC: How would you describe Commuters to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Nick: Two 30-somethings leave the Brooklyn life behind, and move to the New Jersey suburbs in a forced attempt to “grow up.” But they soon find out they’ve got a long way to go to get to where they want to be.

IFC: How would you describe Commuters to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Jared: It’s a show about how f*cking stupid people who think they are smart can be.

IFC: What’s your origin story? When did you all meet and how long have you been working together?

Jared: Nick, Tim, and I were all in the sketch group Murderfist since, what, like 2004? God. Anyway, Tim and Nick left the group to pursue other frivolous things, like children and careers, but we all enjoyed writing together and kept at it. We were always more interested in storytelling than sketch comedy lends itself to, which led to our webseries Jared Posts A Personal. That was a show about being in your 20s and embracing the chaos of being young in the city. Commuters is the counterpoint, i guess. Our director Adam worked at Borders (~THE PAST!!~) with Tim, came out to a Murderfist show once, and we’ve kept him imprisoned ever since.

IFC: What was the genesis of Commuters?

Tim: Jared had an idea for a series about the more realistic, less romantic aspects of being in a serious relationship.  I moved out of the city to the suburbs and Nick got engaged out in LA.   We sort of combined all of those facets and Commuters was the end result.

IFC: How would Harris describe Olivia?

Jared: Olivia is the smartest, coolest, hottest person in the world, and Harris can’t believe he gets to be with her, even though she does overreact to everything and has no chill. Like seriously, ease up. It doesn’t always have to be ‘a thing.’

IFC: How would Olivia describe Harris?

Nikki:  Harris is smart, confident with a dry sense of humor but he’s also kind of a major chicken shit…. Kind of like if Han Solo and Barney Rubble had a baby.

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Nikki:  I think this is the most accurate portrayal of what a modern relationship looks like. Expectations for what your life is ‘supposed to look like’ are confusing and often a let down but when you’re married to your best friend, it’s going to be ok because you will always find a way to make each other laugh.

IFC: Is the exciting life of NYC twentysomethings a sweet dream from which we all must awake, or is it a nightmare that we don’t realize is happening until it’s over?

Tim: Now that i’ve spent time living in the suburbs, helping to raise a two year old, y’all city folk have no fucking clue how great you’ve got it.

Nikki: I think of it similar to how I think about college. There’s a time and age for it to be glorious but no one wants to hang out with that 7th year senior. Luckily, NYC is so multifaceted that you can still have an exciting life here but it doesn’t have to be just what the twentysomethings are doing (thank god).

Jared: New York City is a garbage fire.

See the whole season of Commuters right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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C'mon Fellas

A Man Mansplains To Men

Why Baroness von Sketch Show is a must-see.

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Mansplaining is when a man takes it upon himself to explain something to a woman that she already knows. It happens a lot, but it’s not going to happen here. Ladies, go ahead and skip to the end of this post to watch a free episode of IFC’s latest addition, Baroness von Sketch Show.

However, if you’re a man, you might actually benefit from a good mansplanation. So take a knee, lean in, and absorb the following wisdom.

No Dicks

Baroness von Sketch Show is made entirely by women, therefore this show isn’t focused on men. Can you believe it? I know what you’re thinking: how will we know when to laugh if the jokes aren’t viewed through the dusty lens of the patriarchy? Where are the thinly veiled penis jokes? Am I a bad person? In order: you will, nowhere, and yes.

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Huge Balls

Did you know that there’s more to life than poop jokes, sex jokes, body part jokes? I mean, those things are all really good things, natch, and totally edgy. But Baroness von Sketch Show does something even edgier. It holds up a brutal funhouse mirror to our everyday life. This is a bulls**t world we made, fellas.

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Oh Canada

After you watch the Canadian powerhouses of Baroness von Sketch Show and think to yourself “Dear god, this is so real” and “I’ve gotta talk about this,” do yourself a favor and think a-boot your options: Refrain from sharing your sage wisdom with any woman anywhere (believe us, she gets it). Instead, tell a fellow bro and get the mansplaining out of your system while also spreading the word about a great show.

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Dudes, that’s the deal.
Women, start reading again here:


Check out the preview episode of Baroness von Sketch Show and watch the series premiere August 2 on IFC.

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Happy Tears

Binge Don’t Cringe

Catch up on episodes of Documentary Now! and Portlandia.

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Photo Credit: GIFs via GIPHY

A brain can only take so much.

Every five minutes, all day, every day, ludicrously stressful headlines push our mental limits as we struggle to adapt to a reality that seems increasingly less real. What’s a mind to do when simple denial just isn’t good enough anymore?

Radical suggestion: repeal and replace. And by that we mean take all the bad news that keeps you up at night, press pause, and substitute it with some genuine (not nervous, for a change) laughter. Here are some of the issues on our mind.

Gender Inequality

Feminist bookstore owners by day, still feminist bookstore owners by night, Toni and Candace show the male gaze who’s boss. Learn about their origin story (SPOILER: there’s an epic dance battle) and see what happens when their own brand of empowerment gets out of hand.

Healthcare

From Candace’s heart attack to the rise of the rawvolution, this Portlandia episode proves that healthcare is vital.

Peaceful Protests

Too many online petitions, too little time? Get WOKE with Fred and Carrie when they learn how to protest.

What Could Have Been

Can’t say the name “Clinton” without bursting into tears? Documentary Now!’s masterfully political “The Bunker” sheds a cozy new light on the house that Bill and Hill built. Just pretend you don’t know how the story really ends.

Fake News

A healthy way to break the high-drama news cycle is to switch over to “Dronez”, which has all the thrills of ubiquitous adventure journalism without any of the customary depression.

The more you watch, the better you feel. So get started on past episodes of Documentary Now! and Portlandia right now at IFC.com and the IFC app.

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