16 Movies Stephen King Doesn’t Like, Hates, or Gave a Bad Review

The (under)world’s most celebrated horror author is an outspoken movie critic, particularly when it comes to the many adaptations of his novels.

Movies Stephen King Doesn't Like, from The Shining and Children of the Corn to Twilight and Kill Bill Vol 1

(Clockwise from bottom left): “Transformers,” “The Dark Tower,” Stephen King, “Kill Bill Vol. 1,” “The Lawnmower Man”

Courtesy Everett Collection/Scott Eisen/Getty Images for Warner Bros.

Stephen King is among history’s most frequently adapted writers, up there with Charles Dickens, the Brothers Grimm, and William Shakespeare for inspiring the most successful page-to-picture creations. From Rob Reiner and David Cronenberg to Mike Flanagan and Andy Muschietti, genre filmmakers have clamored to take on King’s words for decades.

There’s no shortage of material to go around, of course. Horror’s reigning titan of literary terror has written more than 60 books and 200 short stories: many of them rooted in King’s signature strangeness and the believable humanity that turned 2017’s “It” into a global sensation. King has teamed up with his son Joe Hill to produce even more cinematic fodder in recent years. The pair’s “In the Tall Grass” novella became a Netflix movie in 2019, and Hill enjoyed his own success with Scott Derrickson’s 2022 “The Black Phone” adaptation.

Almost all of King’s titles boast the imaginative nightmares for which the author is renowned: a perverse pull for audiences that for good or bad is now tried and true. King has found reasonable success in adapting his own work; see the screenplays for George A. Romero’s “Creepshow” (1982) and Mary Lambert’s “Pet Sematary” (1989). But these days, he mainly contributes to Hollywood through carefully crafted books and snide little tweets.

Outspoken as ever, King regularly takes to social media to share his thoughts on politics and the state of pop culture. The Maine-born writer slips in his film opinions from time to time, typically reacting to onscreen interpretations of his work but occasionally taking aim at whatever he’s seen latest. King has brutally picked apart the merits of Quentin Tarantino’s “Kill Bill” and Michael Bay’s “Transformers,” even calling Tim Burton’s “Mars Attacks!” a “benchmark of awfulness.” They’re harsh words, sure. But does the “if you can’t say something nice” adage really apply to the guy who dreamed up “Misery”?

Listed in no particular order, here are 16 films that Stephen King has disliked or given a bad review. These include the author’s criticisms of King adaptations, from Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining” to Mark L. Lester’s “Firestarter” and Brett Leonard’s “The Lawnmower Man.”

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