Stephen King is, without doubt, the...er...King of horror writing. A phenomenal 38-year writing career has spawned over 50 novels, selling over 350 million copies. As if this wasn't enough, his books have used extensively by Hollywood, for the big and the small screen, with staggering levels of success.
And if there's one reason for this success, it's that King knows how to scare you. Via animal, demon, ghost or clown, you're guaranteed a fright or two when you sit down to watch a King adaptation.
We've chosen 10 of the scariest scenes from his movies; if you manage to sleep with the light off after watching these then we'll be seriously impressed.
(Images: All Star)
Here's Johnny - The Shining (1980)
The Shining has countless terrifying moments, but we've got to go for one of the most famous movie scenes in history, as Jack Nicholson's crazed Jack Torrence pursues Wendy. It's the point where we realise that any trace of the loving husband he once was has totally evaporated. Despite the many parodies we've endured since, the scene still possesses an impressive power.
The Hobbling - Misery (1990)
One of King's most fascinating villains, Annie Wilkes starts out as a sweet, if slightly intense, fan of author Paul Sheldon. As the film progresses, we start to worry that there are a few screws loose. But nothing prepares us for this. Even to this day, the notorious "hobbling" scene manages to shock and terrify, despite the actual violence being kept to a minimum. It also explains why Kathy Bates scored an Oscar nomination for her performance.
The Dream - Carrie (1976)
While Carrie's mistreatment throughout the film had us feeling largely sympathetic to her plight, this final scene had us feeling completely terrified instead. The infamous final scene showed Sue Snell heading to Carrie's grave and receiving a nasty surprise. Where's your popcorn gone? All over the floor, that's where. Fact fans, the scene was actually shot backwards to give it an added eerie quality.
Donna Gets Bitten - Cujo (1983)
On paper, a film about a rabies-infected dog should not be scary. But in the hands of King and director Lewis Teague, it really is, and this scene features trapped Donna finally trying to escape from its clutches. Next time you see a St. Bernard, you'll run a mile. Or you'll edge slowly away. Either/or.
Georgie And The Drain - It (1990)
Yeah so that sleeping problem you had as a kid, you can probably blame Stephen King for his nightmare-invoking story of an evil clown. You can also attribute your adult coulrophobia (that's a fear of clowns, don't you know) to your first viewing of the film and this scene in particular which also made us afraid of drains, water, streets and pretty much the entire outside world. Damn you King!
Meet Barlow - Salem's Lot (1979)
This 70s miniseries, which was also given a theatrical release, saw King tackle the vampire subgenre with chilling results. This scene gives us a look at Barlow, the key villain and his arrival is one of the most memorable King has ever created. Yes, we jump every time. No, we're not embarrassed. Okay maybe a little.
The Tentacle - The Mist (2007)
One of the most underrated King adaptations ever made, this frightening thriller saw a community under attack from a host of nightmarish monsters. In this scene, we get our first gruesome look at one of the beasts after a slow build-up of tension. Even though things go from bad to worse soon after, it's this initial shocking look which always sticks in our memory.
Creepy Crawlies - Desperation (2006)
Tapping into our communal fear of spiders and snakes and other creepy crawlies, this scene from TV movie Desperation is a real skin-crawler. As Mary wakes up to find herself in the midst of a nightmare, it's pretty impossible to stop feeling you're there with her. But trust us, there's nothing in your shoe. Probably.
Jud's Death - Pet Sematary (1989)
Just in case you've ever wondered whether you'd want your dead relative back from the grave, this scene in Pet Sematary confirms that it's actually a really bad idea. Poor old Jud learns this the hard way in this terrifying clip. Kids can be almost as scary as clowns. Proof right here.
Waving At Yourself - 1408 (2007)
John Cusack plays a classic King character as a troubled author in this hotel-based horror. In this effective scene, he appears to be trying to get help from himself. Weird enough alone but then something rather scary happens at the end...