Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Top 10 Scariest Stephen King Scenes

kathy_bates - misery.jpg
615x330_Jack-Nicholson-hero.jpg
JOHN_CUSACK_ssn54214.jpg
cujo.jpg
salems lot.jpg
the_mist.jpg

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...

Related

kinghero.jpg

All you need to know about forthcoming Stephen King movies

skingp.jpg

30 pieces of wisdom from Stephen King novels

Jack-Nicholson-hero.jpg

Stephen King's 10 Most Memorable Movie & TV Characters

Comments

More

Daniel Radcliffe on God, flatuent corpses and not being a dick

“I’ll always be the first Harry Potter”

29 Sep 2016

Marvel's Doctor Strange has a mind-bending new trailer

Benedict Cumberbatch in a cape. What more do you want? by David Cornish

29 Sep 2016

Disney is remaking The Lion King and nothing is sacred anymore

The Jungle Book's Jon Favreau will be overseeing the daunting project

28 Sep 2016

Exclusive: Sam Neill confirms he's in Thor 3

23 Sep 2016

Chris Pratt is a big deal - and we couldn't be happier for him

Chris Pratt talks to Jimi Famurewa about stripping off, the pay gap and why he’s happy to be a piece of meat

22 Sep 2016

See the hilarious War On Everyone for FREE

ShortList Film Club gives you the chance to catch it first and for free

21 Sep 2016

Morgan Spurlock's 'Rats' documentary is the biggest horror of 2016

If you weren't already terrified of rats then you will be after this by Paddy Maddison

19 Sep 2016

Why does Bill Murray have no friends?

Is there are more sinister side to why Billy 'No Mates' Murray needs to be worshipped? by Tristan Cross

15 Sep 2016

Six reasons new thriller The Clan is unmissable

by Joe Ellison

15 Sep 2016

Daniel Radcliffe has issues in exclusive clip for new Neo-Nazi drama

He's come a long way since Harry Potter by Paddy Maddison

13 Sep 2016