(Photo by Lions Gate/courtesy Everett Collection)

The 80 Best 2000s Horror Movies

Welcome to the new millennium. The decade horror came home to America. The decade horror went global. Welcome to the 80 Best Horror Movies of the 2000s.

If horror movies reflect the fears and concerns of a people, it’s notable that America claimed torture-porn as their de rigueur subgenre. Something in Saw and its ilk’s slow-roasted dismantling of human flesh appealed to a nation consumed by post-9/11 paranoia and a bombardment of wartime images and atrocity. But while torture-porn movies made a killing at the box office, none were ever particularly well-reviewed; only Hostel arrives here. Recovering from the ’90s doldrums, the best horror movies came from overseas, as digital cameras lowered the cost to film and the rise of the internet made knowledge and dissemination of these movies as simple as a mouse click. In fact, of the top 10 movies here (which includes the likes of Pan’s Labyrinth and The Host), only two were shot in America. Other trends seen during this decade: Asian originals and occasional remakes (The Ring, Thirst), found footage (Paranormal Activity, Cloverfield), the return of the living dead (Shaun of the Dead, 28 Days Later), and nostalgic throwbacks (Slither, Death Proof). The only stipulation for a movie to be considered for this list was a Fresh rating from at least 20 reviews.

Time to add some scary MIDIs to your MySpace and set AIM status to away (FOREVER), because here comes the best scary 2000s movies!

90 Best ’70s Horror Movies | 80 Best ’80s Horror Movies
40 Best ’90s Horror Movies| 140 Best 2010s Horror Movies
200 Best Horror Movies of All Time | Best Horror Movies of 2021

#80
#80
Adjusted Score: 64953%
Critics Consensus: This gory, senses-assaulting slasher film is an unpretentious, effective mix of old-school horror stylings and modern 3D technology.
Synopsis: Ten years ago, an inexperienced coal miner named Tom Hanniger (Jensen Ackles) caused an accident that killed five men and... [More]
Directed By: Patrick Lussier

#79

Them (2006)
62%

#79
Adjusted Score: 62490%
Critics Consensus: Suspenseful and tense from start to finish, the French horror film Them proves that a lack of gore doesn't mean a dearth of scares.
Synopsis: Lucas (Michaël Cohen) and Clementine (Olivia Bonamy) live in an isolated house near Bucharest. On one rainy night in their... [More]
Directed By: David Moreau, Xavier Palud

#78

Day Watch (2006)
62%

#78
Adjusted Score: 64653%
Critics Consensus: Day Watch is frequently cheesy but it offers enough twists, surprises, and inventive action sequences to maintain viewer interest.
Synopsis: Anton (Konstantin Khabensky), a member of a group of supernatural guardians who monitor the forces of the Dark, discovers that... [More]
Directed By: Timur Bekmambetov

#77
#77
Adjusted Score: 65827%
Critics Consensus: As Diary of the Dead proves, time hasn't subdued George A. Romero's affection for mixing politics with gore, nor has it given him cinematic grace or subtlety.
Synopsis: The dead are returning to life to feast on the flesh of the living. As civilization dissolves in this nightmare... [More]
Directed By: George A. Romero

#76

Cabin Fever (2002)
62%

#76
Adjusted Score: 66498%
Critics Consensus: More gory than scary, Cabin Fever is satisfied with paying homage to genre conventions rather than reinventing them.
Synopsis: Bert (James DeBello), a college student vacationing with friends in the mountains, mistakenly shoots a local man (Arie Verveen) with... [More]
Directed By: Eli Roth

#75

Identity (2003)
62%

#75
Adjusted Score: 66794%
Critics Consensus: Identity is a film that will divide audiences -- the twists of its plot will either impress or exasperate you.
Synopsis: When a vicious storm breaks out in the Nevada desert, 10 people seek refuge in an isolated motel. At the... [More]
Directed By: James Mangold

#74
Adjusted Score: 64120%
Critics Consensus: Poultrygeist may be relentlessly tasteless and juvenile, but it's also a lively slice of schlocky fun.
Synopsis: Some fast-food workers discover the restaurant they work in is built on an ancient burial ground, and the chickens they... [More]
Directed By: Lloyd Kaufman

#73

Martyrs (2008)
64%

#73
Adjusted Score: 64772%
Critics Consensus: A real polarising movie, this Gallic torture-porn is graphic, brutal, nasty and gruesome and not to everyone's taste.
Synopsis: A young woman's quest for revenge leads her down a path of depravity.... [More]
Directed By: Pascal Laugier

#72

In My Skin (2002)
64%

#72
Adjusted Score: 64649%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A Parisian marketing professional, Esther (Marina de Van) has a gruesome secret. She's been obsessed with the damage she can... [More]
Directed By: Marina de Van

#71

Session 9 (2001)
66%

#71
Adjusted Score: 67275%
Critics Consensus: Relying more on atmosphere than gore, Session 9 is effectively creepy.
Synopsis: A tale of terror when a group of asbestos removal workers start work in an abandoned insane asylum. The complex... [More]
Directed By: Brad Anderson

#70

The Eye (2002)
64%

#70
Adjusted Score: 66943%
Critics Consensus: Conventional ghost tale with a few genuine scares.
Synopsis: After 18 years of blindness, 20-year-old violinist Wong Kar Mun (Lee Sin-Je) regains her vision when she undergoes a corneal... [More]

#69

Willard (2003)
64%

#69
Adjusted Score: 67108%
Critics Consensus: In this creepy story of a man and his rodents, Glover seems born to play the oddball title character.
Synopsis: Desperate for companionship, the repressed Willard (Crispin Glover) befriends a group of rats that inhabit his late father's deteriorating mansion.... [More]
Directed By: Glen Morgan

#68

Lunacy (2005)
65%

#68
Adjusted Score: 64620%
Critics Consensus: A Svankmajer movie is not for everyone, but he displays his usual creative flair for surreal imagery.
Synopsis: In 19th-century France a young man (Pavel Liska) meets a nobleman (Jan Tríska) who invites him to spend the night... [More]
Directed By: Jan Svankmajer

#67

Ichi the Killer (2001)
65%

#67
Adjusted Score: 65806%
Critics Consensus: Ichi The Killer is a thoroughly shocking gorefest that will surely entertain those with strong stomachs and a penchant for brutal violence.
Synopsis: A bloodthirsty hoodlum (Tadanobu Asano) sparks a series of violent reprisals after his boss is apparently taken by a mysterious... [More]
Directed By: Takashi Miike

#66
Adjusted Score: 66064%
Critics Consensus: Death Proof may feel somewhat minor in the context of Tarantino's larger filmography, but on its own merits, it packs just enough of a wallop to deliver sufficiently high-octane grindhouse goods.
Synopsis: Stuntman Mike (Kurt Russell) is a professional body double who likes to take unsuspecting women for deadly drives in his... [More]
Directed By: Quentin Tarantino

#65

Carriers (2009)
66%

#65
Adjusted Score: 65727%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: When a virus threatens to wipe out humanity, Danny (Lou Taylor Pucci), his brother Brian (Chris Pine), and their friends... [More]
Directed By: Àlex Pastor, David Pastor

#64

Severance (2006)
66%

#64
Adjusted Score: 68365%
Critics Consensus: A twisted and bloody spoof on office life, Severance nicely balances comedy and nasty horror.
Synopsis: Members (Danny Dyer, Laura Harris, Tim McInnerny) of the Palisades Defense Corp. sales group arrive in Europe for a team-building... [More]
Directed By: Christopher Smith

#63

My Little Eye (2002)
67%

#63
Adjusted Score: 52363%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: As part of an Internet reality show, five people sign up to spend six months in a mansion while cameras... [More]
Directed By: Marc Evans

#62
Adjusted Score: 67391%
Critics Consensus: If nothing else, Happiness of the Katakuris scores points for its delirious, over-the-top originality.
Synopsis: Fearing bad publicity, an innkeeper and his family bury the bodies of their ill-fated guests themselves.... [More]
Directed By: Takashi Miike

#61

Red Dragon (2002)
68%

#61
Adjusted Score: 73209%
Critics Consensus: Competently made, but everything is a bit too familiar.
Synopsis: Ex-FBI agent Will Graham (Edward Norton) is an expert investigator who quit the Bureau after almost losing his life in... [More]
Directed By: Brett Ratner

#60
#60
Adjusted Score: 68430%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Members of Charles Manson's cult tell their story.... [More]
Directed By: Jim Van Bebber

#59

Tormented (2009)
69%

#59
Adjusted Score: 69530%
Critics Consensus: It relies too heavily on American slasher cliches, but Tormented is a timely, funny, and even somewhat touching entry in the high school horror genre.
Synopsis: Darren Mullet (Calvin Dean) doesn't have it easy. He's overweight, uses an inhaler and is constantly bullied by his spoiled... [More]
Directed By: Jon Wright

#58

May (2002)
70%

#58
Adjusted Score: 70710%
Critics Consensus: Above average slasher flick.
Synopsis: Young misfit May (Angela Bettis) endured a difficult childhood because of her lazy eye. And though contact lenses have helped... [More]
Directed By: Lucky McKee

#57

Dead Snow (2009)
69%

#57
Adjusted Score: 70499%
Critics Consensus: Though it doesn't cover new ground, Dead Snow is an entertaining mix of camp, scares, and blood and guts.
Synopsis: A party of eight Norwegian medical students travel to a remote Arctic mountain for an Easter weekend filled with skiing... [More]
Directed By: Tommy Wirkola

#56

American Psycho (2000)
69%

#56
Adjusted Score: 74646%
Critics Consensus: If it falls short of the deadly satire of Bret Easton Ellis's novel, American Psycho still finds its own blend of horror and humor, thanks in part to a fittingly creepy performance by Christian Bale.
Synopsis: In New York City in 1987, a handsome, young urban professional, Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale), lives a second life as... [More]
Directed By: Mary Harron

#55
#55
Adjusted Score: 75479%
Critics Consensus: Snakes on a Plane lives up to its title, featuring snakes on a plane. It isn't perfect, but then again, it doesn't need to be.
Synopsis: FBI agent Nelville Flynn (Samuel L. Jackson) boards a flight from Hawaii to Los Angeles, escorting a witness to trial.... [More]
Directed By: David R. Ellis

#54

The Mist (2007)
72%

#54
Adjusted Score: 77086%
Critics Consensus: Frank Darabont's impressive camerawork and politically incisive script make The Mist a truly frightening experience.
Synopsis: After a powerful storm damages their Maine home, David Drayton (Thomas Jane) and his young son head into town to... [More]
Directed By: Frank Darabont

#53

Open Water (2003)
71%

#53
Adjusted Score: 77700%
Critics Consensus: A low budget thriller with some intense moments.
Synopsis: Daniel (Daniel Travis) and Susan (Blanchard Ryan) embark on a tropical vacation with their scuba-diving certifications in tow. During a... [More]
Directed By: Chris Kentis

#52

28 Weeks Later (2007)
71%

#52
Adjusted Score: 79384%
Critics Consensus: While 28 Weeks Later lacks the humanism that made 28 Days Later a classic, it's made up with fantastic atmosphere and punchy direction.
Synopsis: Six months after the original epidemic, the rage virus has all but annihilated the population of the British Isles. Nevertheless... [More]

#51

The Ring (2002)
71%

#51
Adjusted Score: 76860%
Critics Consensus: With little gore and a lot of creepy visuals, The Ring gets under your skin, thanks to director Gore Verbinski's haunting sense of atmosphere and an impassioned performance from Naomi Watts.
Synopsis: It sounds like just another urban legend -- a videotape filled with nightmarish images leads to a phone call foretelling... [More]
Directed By: Gore Verbinski

#50

Grace (2009)
72%

#50
Adjusted Score: 71454%
Critics Consensus: Though not entirely effective as a conventional horror flick, Grace is still a graphic, disturbing, and artful exploration of twisted maternal instinct.
Synopsis: In the wake of a horrific car accident that kills her husband, Michael (Stephen Park), expectant mother Madeline Matheson (Jordan... [More]
Directed By: Paul Solet

#49

Vampire Hunter D (2000)
72%

#49
Adjusted Score: 71433%
Critics Consensus: Vampire Hunter D's gothic charms may be lost on those unfamiliar with the anime series that spawned it, but the crisp action and nightmarish style will satiate horror aficionados' bloodlust.
Synopsis: In a dark and distant future, when the undead have arisen from apocalyptic ashes, an original story unfolds. Ten thousand... [More]
Directed By: Yoshiaki Kawajiri

#48

Dahmer (2002)
72%

#48
Adjusted Score: 71477%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In this fictionalized, fragmented biopic of one of America's most notorious serial killers, Jeffrey Dahmer (Jeremy Renner) contemplates his latest... [More]
Directed By: David Jacobson

#47

I Sell the Dead (2008)
72%

#47
Adjusted Score: 72090%
Critics Consensus: A horror comedy that's almost as chilling as it is funny, I Sell the Dead relies on its dark humor and offbeat charm to overcome its low budget shortcomings.
Synopsis: Arthur Blake (Dominic Monaghan) is about to be executed by guillotine for the crime of grave robbing. But before he... [More]
Directed By: Glenn McQuaid

#46

Gozu (2003)
72%

#46
Adjusted Score: 72238%
Critics Consensus: Miike continues his run of compellingly bizarre flicks.
Synopsis: Chaos ensues when a yakuza boss orders a young gangster (Hideki Sone) to kill an insane colleague (Shô Aikawa).... [More]
Directed By: Takashi Miike

#45

Fido (2007)
72%

#45
Adjusted Score: 74639%
Critics Consensus: Making the most of its thin premise, Fido is an occasionally touching satire that provides big laughs and enough blood and guts to please gorehounds.
Synopsis: When a cloud of space dust causes the dead to rise as ravenous zombies, the ZomCon Corp. emerges to conquer... [More]
Directed By: Andrew Currie

#44

Black Sheep (2006)
72%

#44
Adjusted Score: 74596%
Critics Consensus: With an outrageous premise played completely straight, Black Sheep is a violent, grotesque, and very funny movie that takes B-movie lunacy to a delirious extreme.
Synopsis: Sheep-fearing Henry (Nathan Meister) returns to his brother's (Peter Feeney) New Zealand farm, hoping his sibling will buy out his... [More]
Directed By: Jonathan King

#43
#43
Adjusted Score: 72501%
Critics Consensus: A creative and energetic adaptation of a Clive Barker short story, with enough scares and thrills to be a potential cult classic.
Synopsis: When struggling photographer Leon Kaufman (Bradley Cooper) meets the owner of a prominent art gallery, he sees a chance for... [More]
Directed By: Ryûhei Kitamura

#42
#42
Adjusted Score: 74181%
Critics Consensus: This French animated horror portmanteau is monochrome and minimalist, visually stunning, but light on scares.
Synopsis: Animated sequences explore people's fear of darkness.... [More]

#41
#41
Adjusted Score: 76664%
Critics Consensus: Brotherhood of the Wolf mixes its genres with little logic, but the end result is wildly entertaining.
Synopsis: In a rural province of France, a mysterious creature is laying waste to the countryside, savagely killing scores of women... [More]
Directed By: Christophe Gans

#40

Splinter (2008)
74%

#40
Adjusted Score: 73727%
Critics Consensus: Never taking itself too seriously, Splinter scores as a fast-paced, fun thriller with more than enough scares.
Synopsis: When their plans for a nature trip go awry, Polly Watt (Jill Wagner) and boyfriend Seth Belzer (Paulo Costanzo) decide... [More]
Directed By: Toby Wilkins

#39

Frailty (2002)
75%

#39
Adjusted Score: 78833%
Critics Consensus: Creepy and disturbing, Frailty is well-crafted, low-key horror.
Synopsis: Set in present day Texas, "Frailty" centers on the FBI's search for a serial killer who calls himself "God's Hands."... [More]
Directed By: Bill Paxton

#38

Land of the Dead (2005)
74%

#38
Adjusted Score: 80997%
Critics Consensus: George A. Romero's latest entry in his much-vaunted Dead series is not as fresh as his genre-inventing original, Night of the Living Dead. But Land of the Dead does deliver on the gore and zombies-feasting-on-flesh action.
Synopsis: In a world where zombies form the majority of the population, the remaining humans build a feudal society away from... [More]
Directed By: George Romero

#37

Hair High (2004)
75%

#37
Adjusted Score: 63757%
Critics Consensus: Hair High isn't first-tier Plympton, but like the rest of the animator's work, this is an assuredly odd tale that should resonate with fans of strange cinema.
Synopsis: As the prom approaches, the head cheerleader (Sarah Silverman) of Echo Lake High dumps her quarterback boyfriend (Dermot Mulroney) in... [More]
Directed By: Bill Plympton

#36

Planet Terror (2007)
76%

#36
Adjusted Score: 75388%
Critics Consensus: A cool and hip grindhouse throwback, Planet Terror is an unpredictable zombie thrillride.
Synopsis: An ordinary evening in a small Texas town becomes a grisly nightmare when a horde of flesh-eating zombies goes on... [More]
Directed By: Robert Rodriguez

#35
Adjusted Score: 77015%
Critics Consensus: A smart mockumentary that presents a gory, funny, and obviously affectionate skewering of the slasher genre.
Synopsis: Nice, normal-looking Leslie Vernon (Nathan Baesel) has an obsession with movie-style slashers like Michael Myers, Jason Voorhees and Freddy Krueger.... [More]
Directed By: Scott Glosserman

#34

The Last Winter (2006)
76%

#34
Adjusted Score: 77442%
Critics Consensus: The Last Winter creatively and effectively uses horror tactics -- fear, tension, anticipation, and just enough gore -- to shock, but never repulse, its audience.
Synopsis: Sent to evaluate the environmental impact of oil drilling in the Arctic, James Hoffman (James Le Gros) clashes with the... [More]
Directed By: Larry Fessenden

#33

Dawn of the Dead (2004)
76%

#33
Adjusted Score: 82020%
Critics Consensus: A kinetic, violent and surprisingly worthy remake of George Romero's horror classic that pays homage to the original while working on its own terms.
Synopsis: When her husband is attacked by a zombified neighbor, Ana (Sarah Polley) manages to escape, only to realize her entire... [More]
Directed By: Zack Snyder

#32

Cloverfield (2008)
78%

#32
Adjusted Score: 85516%
Critics Consensus: A sort of Blair Witch Project crossed with Godzilla, Cloverfield is economically paced, stylistically clever, and filled with scares.
Synopsis: As a group of New Yorkers (Michael Stahl-David, Mike Vogel, Odette Yustman) enjoy a going-away party, little do they know... [More]
Directed By: Matt Reeves

#31

Eden Lake (2008)
80%

#31
Adjusted Score: 80363%
Critics Consensus: A brutal and effective British hoodie-horror that, despite the clichés, stays on the right side of scary.
Synopsis: During a romantic weekend getaway, a young couple confronts a gang of youths, and suffers brutal consequences.... [More]
Directed By: James Watkins

#30

Dog Soldiers (2002)
79%

#30
Adjusted Score: 78819%
Critics Consensus: Frightening, funny, and packed with action, Dog Soldiers is well worth checking out for genre fans -- and marks writer-director Neil Marshall as a talent to keep an eye on.
Synopsis: During a routine nighttime training mission in the Scottish Highlands, a small squad of British soldiers expected to rendezvous with... [More]
Directed By: Neil Marshall

#29

Bubba Ho-Tep (2002)
79%

#29
Adjusted Score: 81984%
Critics Consensus: The best movie to star both the King and JFK.
Synopsis: After falling into a lengthy coma following a freak accident involving hip gyration, a now aged Elvis Presley (Bruce Campbell)... [More]
Directed By: Don Coscarelli

#28

1408 (2007)
79%

#28
Adjusted Score: 86378%
Critics Consensus: Relying on psychological tension rather than overt violence and gore, 1408 is a genuinely creepy thriller with a strong lead performance by John Cusack.
Synopsis: Mike Enslin (John Cusack) is a successful author who enjoys worldwide acclaim debunking supernatural phenomena -- before he checks into... [More]
Directed By: Mikael Hafstrom

#27

Wake Wood (2011)
80%

#27
Adjusted Score: 80077%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: The parents of a deceased girl are given three days with their dead daughter.... [More]
Directed By: David Keating

#26

Teeth (2007)
80%

#26
Adjusted Score: 82181%
Critics Consensus: Smart, original, and horrifically funny, Teeth puts a fresh feminist spin on horror movie tropes.
Synopsis: Dawn (Jess Weixler) is an active member of her high-school chastity club but, when she meets Tobey (Hale Appleman), nature... [More]
Directed By: Mitchell Lichtenstein

#25

Thirst (2009)
80%

#25
Adjusted Score: 84278%
Critics Consensus: The stylish Thirst packs plenty of bloody thrills to satisfy fans of both vampire films and director Chan Wook Park.
Synopsis: Sang-hyun (Song Kang-ho), a respected priest, volunteers for an experimental procedure that may lead to a cure for a deadly... [More]
Directed By: Park Chan-wook

#24

Taxidermia (2006)
81%

#24
Adjusted Score: 80994%
Critics Consensus: Surreal and visually striking, Taxidermia is, at times, graphic and difficult to watch, but creatively touches on disturbing subjects with imagination and wit.
Synopsis: Set over three generations and beginning with Morosgoványi Vendel, a sexually frustrated orderly during the war who relieves his tensions... [More]
Directed By: Gyorgy Palfi

#23
#23
Adjusted Score: 86070%
Critics Consensus: Shadow of the Vampire is frightening, compelling, and funny, and features an excellent performance by Willem Dafoe.
Synopsis: F. W. Murnau (John Malkovich) is struggling to create his silent classic "Nosferatu" on location in Eastern Europe. The director... [More]
Directed By: E. Elias Merhige

#22

Trick 'r Treat (2007)
84%

#22
Adjusted Score: 84456%
Critics Consensus: A deftly crafted tribute to Halloween legends, Trick 'r' Treat hits all the genre marks with gusto and old fashioned suspense.
Synopsis: Interwoven stories demonstrate that some traditions are best not forgotten as the residents (Anna Paquin, Brian Cox, Dylan Baker) of... [More]
Directed By: Michael Dougherty

#21

The Others (2001)
83%

#21
Adjusted Score: 89447%
Critics Consensus: The Others is a spooky thriller that reminds us that a movie doesn't need expensive special effects to be creepy.
Synopsis: Grace (Nicole Kidman), the devoutly religious mother of Anne (Alakina Mann) and Nicholas (James Bentley), moves her family to the... [More]
Directed By: Alejandro Amenábar

#20
#20
Adjusted Score: 91418%
Critics Consensus: Using its low-budget effects and mockumentary method to great result, Paranormal Activity turns a simple haunted house story into 90 minutes of relentless suspense.
Synopsis: Soon after moving into a suburban tract home, Katie (Katie Featherston) and Micah (Micah Sloat) become increasingly disturbed by what... [More]
Directed By: Oren Peli

#19
Adjusted Score: 84725%
Critics Consensus: This anthology contains brutal, powerful horror stories by three of Asia's top directors.
Synopsis: ... [More]
Directed By: Takashi Miike

#18

Pontypool (2008)
84%

#18
Adjusted Score: 86999%
Critics Consensus: Witty and restrained but still taut and funny, this Pontypool is a different breed of low-budget zombie film.
Synopsis: When disc jockey Grant Mazzy (Stephen McHattie) reports to his basement radio station in the Canadian town of Pontypool, he... [More]
Directed By: Bruce McDonald

#17
#17
Adjusted Score: 86397%
Critics Consensus: Restrained but disturbing, A Tale of Two Sisters is a creepily effective, if at times confusing, horror movie.
Synopsis: After being institutionalized in a mental hospital, Korean teen Su-mi (Yum Jung-ah) reunites with her beloved sister, Su-yeon (Im Soo-jung),... [More]
Directed By: Kim Jee-woon

#16
#16
Adjusted Score: 88335%
Critics Consensus: Though its underlying themes are familiar, House of the Devil effectively sheds the loud and gory cliches of contemporary horror to deliver a tense, slowly building throwback to the fright flicks of decades past.
Synopsis: Desperate to make some money so she can move into a new apartment, college student Samantha Hughes (Jocelin Donahue) takes... [More]
Directed By: Ti West

#15

Requiem (2006)
86%

#15
Adjusted Score: 86714%
Critics Consensus: This harrowing, naturalistic drama holds you in its grip through Huller's intense performance.
Synopsis: Michaela, an epileptic, enrolls in college to study education. She goes off her medication and soon begins hearing voices and... [More]
Directed By: Hans-Christian Schmid

#14

The Descent (2005)
86%

#14
Adjusted Score: 93861%
Critics Consensus: Deft direction and strong performances from its all-female cast guide The Descent, a riveting, claustrophobic horror film.
Synopsis: A year after a severe emotional trauma, Sarah (Shauna Macdonald) goes to North Carolina to spend some time exploring caves... [More]
Directed By: Neil Marshall

#13
Adjusted Score: 88435%
Critics Consensus: Guy Maddin's film is a richly sensuous and dreamy interpretation of Dracula that reinvigorates the genre.
Synopsis: In this ballet version of Bram Stoker's classic vampire tale, Dracula (Zhang Wei-Qiang) arrives in London and performs a dance... [More]
Directed By: Guy Maddin

#12

Slither (2006)
87%

#12
Adjusted Score: 91717%
Critics Consensus: A slimy, B-movie homage oozing with affection for low-budget horror films, Slither is creepy and funny -- if you've got the stomach for it.
Synopsis: Wheelsy is a small town where not much happens and everyone minds his own business. No one notices when evil... [More]
Directed By: James Gunn

#11

The Orphanage (2007)
87%

#11
Adjusted Score: 93997%
Critics Consensus: Deeply unnerving and surprisingly poignant, The Orphanage is an atmospheric, beautifully crafted haunted house horror film that earns scares with a minimum of blood.
Synopsis: Laura (Belén Rueda) has happy memories of her childhood in an orphanage. She convinces her husband to buy the place... [More]
Directed By: J.A. Bayona

#10

28 Days Later (2002)
87%

#10
Adjusted Score: 94189%
Critics Consensus: Kinetically directed by Danny Boyle, 28 Days Later is both a terrifying zombie movie and a sharp political allegory.
Synopsis: A group of misguided animal rights activists free a caged chimp infected with the "Rage" virus from a medical research... [More]
Directed By: Danny Boyle

#9

Rec (2007)
89%

#9
Adjusted Score: 89819%
Critics Consensus: Plunging viewers into the nightmarish hellscape of an apartment complex under siege, [Rec] proves that found footage can still be used as an effective delivery mechanism for sparse, economic horror.
Synopsis: A reporter (Manuela Velasco) and her cameraman record the horrifying outbreak of a disease that turns humans into vicious cannibals.... [More]

#8

Zombieland (2009)
89%

#8
Adjusted Score: 99769%
Critics Consensus: Wickedly funny and featuring plenty of gore, Zombieland is proof that the zombie subgenre is far from dead.
Synopsis: After a virus turns most people into zombies, the world's surviving humans remain locked in an ongoing battle against the... [More]
Directed By: Ruben Fleischer

#7

Ginger Snaps (2000)
90%

#7
Adjusted Score: 90571%
Critics Consensus: The strong female cast and biting satire of teenage life makes Ginger Snaps far more memorable than your average werewolf movie -- or teen flick.
Synopsis: The story of two outcast sisters, Ginger (Katharine Isabelle) and Brigitte (Emily Perkins), in the mindless suburban town of Bailey... [More]
Directed By: John Fawcett

#6
#6
Adjusted Score: 96338%
Critics Consensus: Creepily atmospheric and haunting, The Devil's Backbone is both a potent ghost story and an intelligent political allegory.
Synopsis: After losing his father, 10-year-old Carlos (Fernando Tielve) arrives at the Santa Lucia School, which shelters orphans of the Republican... [More]
Directed By: Guillermo del Toro

#5
#5
Adjusted Score: 98888%
Critics Consensus: Shaun of the Dead cleverly balances scares and witty satire, making for a bloody good zombie movie with loads of wit.
Synopsis: Shaun (Simon Pegg) is a 30-something loser with a dull, easy existence. When he's not working at the electronics store,... [More]
Directed By: Edgar Wright

#4

Drag Me to Hell (2009)
92%

#4
Adjusted Score: 103269%
Critics Consensus: Sam Raimi returns to top form with Drag Me to Hell, a frightening, hilarious, delightfully campy thrill ride.
Synopsis: Christine Brown (Alison Lohman) has a loving boyfriend (Justin Long) and a great job at a Los Angeles bank. But... [More]
Directed By: Sam Raimi

#3

The Host (2006)
93%

#3
Adjusted Score: 98421%
Critics Consensus: As populace pleasing as it is intellectually satisfying, The Host combines scares, laughs, and satire into a riveting, monster movie.
Synopsis: Careless American military personnel dump chemicals into South Korea's Han River. Several years later, a creature emerges from the tainted... [More]
Directed By: Bong Joon-ho

#2

Pan's Labyrinth (2006)
95%

#2
Adjusted Score: 104443%
Critics Consensus: Pan's Labyrinth is Alice in Wonderland for grown-ups, with the horrors of both reality and fantasy blended together into an extraordinary, spellbinding fable.
Synopsis: In 1944 Spain young Ofelia (Ivana Baquero) and her ailing mother (Ariadna Gil) arrive at the post of her mother's... [More]
Directed By: Guillermo del Toro

#1
#1
Adjusted Score: 104736%
Critics Consensus: Let the Right One In reinvigorates the seemingly tired vampire genre by effectively mixing scares with intelligent storytelling.
Synopsis: When Oskar (Kåre Hedebrant), a sensitive, bullied 12-year-old boy living with his mother in suburban Sweden, meets his new neighbor,... [More]
Directed By: Tomas Alfredson

All Stephen King Movies Ranked

For as long as King’s been been publishing, Hollywood’s been knock-knock-knockin’ on Stephen’s door for more. First came 1976’s Carrie, two years after he published that first novel, which made household names of the author, Brian De Palma, Sissy Spacek, and the humiliating viscosity of pig’s blood. The 1980s saw a slew of adaptations, the highlights being The Shining, Stand by Me, and The Running Man (the book for which was published under pulp fall-guy name Richard Bachman). As for the ’90s, well…it’d be the best decade ever for just The Shawshank Redemption. But nope, there was also Misery and The Green Mile!

In recent years, it’s been about cats (Pet Sematary), clowns (It Chapter Two), and kids (Doctor Sleep). So let’s get this fire started with all rated Stephen King movie adaptations by Tomatometer!

(This is a guide to theatrically released King adaptations. If you’re interested in King on different platforms, look to our guide of Stephen King TV Series, Miniseries, TV Movies Ranked.)

#48

Graveyard Shift (1990)
0%

#48
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: John Hall (David Andrews) is a drifter who wanders into a small town in Maine. He needs a job and... [More]
Directed By: Ralph S. Singleton

#47
Adjusted Score: 7091%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Jobe (Matt Frewer) exists as a malevolent consciousness in virtual reality and seeks to discover the technology to hack into... [More]
Directed By: Farhad Mann

#46

Cell (2016)
11%

#46
Adjusted Score: 12658%
Critics Consensus: Shoddily crafted and devoid of suspense, Cell squanders a capable cast and Stephen King's once-prescient source material on a bland rehash of zombie cliches.
Synopsis: A graphic novelist (John Cusack) begins a desperate search for his estranged wife (Clark Sarullo) and son (Ethan Andrew Casto)... [More]
Directed By: Tod Williams

#45
#45
Adjusted Score: 15410%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: After a comet causes a radiation storm on Earth, machines come to life and turn against their makers. Holed up... [More]
Directed By: Stephen King

#44
#44
Adjusted Score: 15432%
Critics Consensus: A bland, weightless horror film that seems to want to mock itself as the proceedings drag on.
Synopsis: Billy Halleck (Robert John Burke) is an obese lawyer who accidentally hits a Gypsy with his car after his wife... [More]
Directed By: Tom Holland

#43

The Dark Tower (2017)
16%

#43
Adjusted Score: 35749%
Critics Consensus: Go then, there are other Stephen King adaptations than these.
Synopsis: Roland Deschain (Idris Elba), the last Gunslinger, is locked in an eternal battle with Walter O'Dim (Matthew McConaughey), also known... [More]
Directed By: Nikolaj Arcel

#42

The Mangler (1995)
20%

#42
Adjusted Score: 15840%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A laundry owner's (Robert Englund) employee falls victim to an ironing machine with a mind of its own.... [More]
Directed By: Tobe Hooper

#41
Adjusted Score: 19206%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A newsman (Terence Knox) and his son (Paul Scherrer) snoop around a Nebraska town where children kill many adults.... [More]
Directed By: David F. Price

#40

Pet Sematary Two (1992)
22%

#40
Adjusted Score: 21030%
Critics Consensus: Not realizing that it had no unfinished business, Pet Sematary rises from the grave once more to beat an undead corpse.
Synopsis: When his mother, Renee (Darlanne Fluegel), dies, young Jeff Matthews (Edward Furlong) moves back to his hometown with his father,... [More]
Directed By: Mary Lambert

#39
#39
Adjusted Score: 21956%
Critics Consensus: As disposable as its predecessor is indispensable, The Rage: Carrie 2 mimics the arc of Stephen King's classic story without adding anything of value.
Synopsis: When her closest friend commits suicide after being manipulated by the popular crowd, quiet and bookish Rachel Lang (Emily Bergl)... [More]
Directed By: Katt Shea

#38
#38
Adjusted Score: 24712%
Critics Consensus: Stephen King adaptation veteran director Mick Garris has lofty storytelling goals which ultimately flail and undercut the story's terror.
Synopsis: Ever since his father passed away, art student Alan Parker (Jonathan Jackson) has been hypnotized by thoughts of death. After... [More]
Directed By: Mick Garris

#37

Needful Things (1993)
28%

#37
Adjusted Score: 29425%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: When a creepy older man named Leland Gaunt (Max von Sydow) moves to a small town in Maine and sets... [More]
Directed By: Fraser C. Heston

#36

Dreamcatcher (2003)
28%

#36
Adjusted Score: 34189%
Critics Consensus: An incoherent and overly long creature feature.
Synopsis: "Dreamcatcher" tells of four young friends who perform a heroic act -- and are changed forever by the uncanny powers... [More]
Directed By: Lawrence Kasdan

#35

Creepshow 2 (1987)
29%

#35
Adjusted Score: 30305%
Critics Consensus: Not even the melding of Stephen King and George A. Romero's writing sensibilities can elevate this spineless anthology, which is too simple in its storytelling and too skimpy on the genuine scares.
Synopsis: This second horror anthology presents more eerie tales based on Stephen King stories. One episode finds a cigar-store Native American... [More]
Directed By: Michael Gornick

#34

A Good Marriage (2014)
32%

#34
Adjusted Score: 30533%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: While her husband (Anthony LaPaglia) of more than 20 years is away on a business trip, a woman (Joan Allen)... [More]
Directed By: Peter Askin

#33
Adjusted Score: 12806%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Rival reporters (Miguel Ferrer, Julie Entwisle) tail a vampire who travels by airplane, claiming victims at small isolated airports.... [More]
Directed By: Mark Pavia

#32

Sleepwalkers (1992)
33%

#32
Adjusted Score: 33745%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: When newcomers Charles (Brian Krause) and his mother, Mary (Alice Krige), settle into town, the local residents do not suspect... [More]
Directed By: Mick Garris

#31
#31
Adjusted Score: 36663%
Critics Consensus: Children of the Corn's strong premise and beginning gets shucked away for a kiddie thriller that runs in circles.
Synopsis: As physician Burt Stanton (Peter Horton) and his girlfriend, Vicky (Linda Hamilton), drive across the Midwest to his new job,... [More]
Directed By: Fritz Kiersch

#30
#30
Adjusted Score: 36975%
Critics Consensus: The Lawnmower Man suffers from a predictable, melodramatic script, and its once-groundbreaking visual effects look dated today.
Synopsis: The eccentric Dr. Lawrence Angelo (Pierce Brosnan) puts mentally disabled landscaper Jobe Smith (Jeff Fahey) on a regimen of experimental... [More]
Directed By: Brett Leonard

#29

Firestarter (1984)
37%

#29
Adjusted Score: 38569%
Critics Consensus: Firestarter's concept hews too closely to other known Stephen King adaptations, though it's got nice special effects (including scenery-chewing George C. Scott).
Synopsis: As youths, Andy McGee (David Keith) and his future wife, Vicky (Heather Locklear), participated in secret experiments, allowing themselves to... [More]
Directed By: Mark L. Lester

#28
Adjusted Score: 42828%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: The first of three dark tales involves resentful student Bellingham (Steve Buscemi) looking to an Egyptian mummy for help in... [More]
Directed By: John Harrison

#27

Silver Bullet (1985)
45%

#27
Adjusted Score: 45950%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: When a series of unexplained murders occurs in the normally quiet town of Tarker's Mill, the residents decide to hunt... [More]
Directed By: Daniel Attias

#26

Secret Window (2004)
46%

#26
Adjusted Score: 51739%
Critics Consensus: Depp is quirkily entertaining, but the movie runs out of steam by the end.
Synopsis: While in the process of an ugly divorce from his wife (Maria Bello), writer Mort Rainey (Johnny Depp) relocates to... [More]
Directed By: David Koepp

#25
#25
Adjusted Score: 53146%
Critics Consensus: Hearts in Atlantis is well-acted and beautiful to look at, but the movie is nothing more than a mood piece.
Synopsis: "Hearts In Atlantis" is a drama based on Stephen King's best seller of the same name. It is the story... [More]
Directed By: Scott Hicks

#24

Big Driver (2014)
50%

#24
Adjusted Score: 22385%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Her mind shattered, a novelist (Maria Bello) seeks revenge on the man who brutally assaulted her on a desolate New... [More]
Directed By: Mikael Salomon

#23

Carrie (2013)
50%

#23
Adjusted Score: 56373%
Critics Consensus: It boasts a talented cast, but Kimberly Peirce's "reimagining" of Brian De Palma's horror classic finds little new in the Stephen King novel -- and feels woefully unnecessary.
Synopsis: High school can be tough for many teenagers, but for Carrie White (Chloë Grace Moretz), it's especially hellish. A shy... [More]
Directed By: Kimberly Peirce

#22

Pet Sematary (1989)
51%

#22
Adjusted Score: 53396%
Critics Consensus: Pet Sematary is a bruising horror flick that wears its quirks on its sleeves, to the detriment of its scare factor.
Synopsis: Doctor Louis Creed (Dale Midkiff) moves his family to Maine, where he meets a friendly local named Jud Crandall (Fred... [More]
Directed By: Mary Lambert

#21

Apt Pupil (1998)
53%

#21
Adjusted Score: 54558%
Critics Consensus: A somewhat disturbing movie that works as a suspenseful thriller, yet isn't completely satisfying.
Synopsis: A high-school student (Brad Renfro) forms an unhealthy relationship with a former Nazi death-camp officer (Ian McKellen).... [More]
Directed By: Bryan Singer

#20

Pet Sematary (2019)
57%

#20
Adjusted Score: 73320%
Critics Consensus: Pet Sematary takes its source material in a few different directions, but this remake feels like an exhuming almost as often as it does a revival.
Synopsis: Dr. Louis Creed and his wife, Rachel, relocate from Boston to rural Maine with their two young children. The couple... [More]

#19

The Dark Half (1993)
58%

#19
Adjusted Score: 57481%
Critics Consensus: The Dark Half is a highly serious psychological study that can be faulted for being more curious than actually scary.
Synopsis: Thad Beaumont (Timothy Hutton) has had success writing novels under both his real name and his pseudonym, George Stark, which... [More]
Directed By: George A. Romero

#18

Cujo (1983)
62%

#18
Adjusted Score: 64448%
Critics Consensus: Cujo is artless work punctuated with moments of high canine gore and one wild Dee Wallace performance.
Synopsis: In this tale of a killer canine, man's best friend turns into his worst enemy. When sweet St. Bernard Cujo... [More]
Directed By: Lewis Teague

#17

It: Chapter Two (2019)
62%

#17
Adjusted Score: 85791%
Critics Consensus: It: Chapter Two proves bigger doesn't always mean scarier for horror sequels, but a fine cast and faithful approach to the source material keep this follow-up afloat.
Synopsis: Defeated by members of the Losers' Club, the evil clown Pennywise returns 27 years later to terrorize the town of... [More]
Directed By: Andy Muschietti

#16

The Running Man (1987)
66%

#16
Adjusted Score: 68226%
Critics Consensus: The Running Man is winking sci-fi satire with ridiculous clothes and workmanlike direction.
Synopsis: In the year 2019, America is a totalitarian state where the favorite television program is "The Running Man" -- a... [More]
Directed By: Paul Michael Glaser

#15

Cat's Eye (1985)
67%

#15
Adjusted Score: 66024%
Critics Consensus: An effective if knowingly silly Stephen King anthology that combines comedy and terror.
Synopsis: Stephen King tales follow a cat into a smokers clinic, onto a penthouse ledge and into a girl's (Drew Barrymore)... [More]
Directed By: Lewis Teague

#14

Christine (1983)
69%

#14
Adjusted Score: 68198%
Critics Consensus: The cracks are starting to show in John Carpenter's directorial instincts, but Christine is nonetheless silly, zippy fun.
Synopsis: Unpopular nerd Arnie Cunningham (Keith Gordon) buys a 1958 Plymouth Fury, which he names Christine. Arnie develops an unhealthy obsession... [More]
Directed By: John Carpenter

#13

The Mist (2007)
72%

#13
Adjusted Score: 77086%
Critics Consensus: Frank Darabont's impressive camerawork and politically incisive script make The Mist a truly frightening experience.
Synopsis: After a powerful storm damages their Maine home, David Drayton (Thomas Jane) and his young son head into town to... [More]
Directed By: Frank Darabont

#12

Creepshow (1982)
74%

#12
Adjusted Score: 75857%
Critics Consensus: It's uneven, as anthologies often are, but Creepshow is colorful, frequently funny, and treats its inspirations with infectious reverence.
Synopsis: A compendium of five short but terrifying tales contained within a single full-length feature, this film conjures scares from traditional... [More]
Directed By: George A. Romero

#11

The Green Mile (1999)
78%

#11
Adjusted Score: 83892%
Critics Consensus: Though The Green Mile is long, critics say it's an absorbing, emotionally powerful experience.
Synopsis: Paul Edgecomb (Tom Hanks) walked the mile with a variety of cons. He had never encountered someone like John Coffey... [More]
Directed By: Frank Darabont

#10

Doctor Sleep (2019)
78%

#10
Adjusted Score: 98800%
Critics Consensus: Doctor Sleep forsakes the elemental terror of its predecessor for a more contemplative sequel that balances poignant themes against spine-tingling chills.
Synopsis: Struggling with alcoholism, Dan Torrance remains traumatized by the sinister events that occurred at the Overlook Hotel when he was... [More]
Directed By: Mike Flanagan

#9

1408 (2007)
79%

#9
Adjusted Score: 86378%
Critics Consensus: Relying on psychological tension rather than overt violence and gore, 1408 is a genuinely creepy thriller with a strong lead performance by John Cusack.
Synopsis: Mike Enslin (John Cusack) is a successful author who enjoys worldwide acclaim debunking supernatural phenomena -- before he checks into... [More]
Directed By: Mikael Hafstrom

#8
#8
Adjusted Score: 85154%
Critics Consensus: Post-Misery Kathy Bates proves to be another wonderful conduit for Stephen King's novels in this patient, gradually terrifying thriller.
Synopsis: In a small New England town, Dolores Claiborne (Kathy Bates) works as a housekeeper for the rich but heartless Vera... [More]
Directed By: Taylor Hackford

#7

The Shining (1980)
85%

#7
Adjusted Score: 93380%
Critics Consensus: Though it deviates from Stephen King's novel, Stanley Kubrick's The Shining is a chilling, often baroque journey into madness -- exemplified by an unforgettable turn from Jack Nicholson.
Synopsis: Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) becomes winter caretaker at the isolated Overlook Hotel in Colorado, hoping to cure his writer's block.... [More]
Directed By: Stanley Kubrick

#6

It (2017)
86%

#6
Adjusted Score: 115386%
Critics Consensus: Well-acted and fiendishly frightening with an emotionally affecting story at its core, It amplifies the horror in Stephen King's classic story without losing touch with its heart.
Synopsis: Seven young outcasts in Derry, Maine, are about to face their worst nightmare -- an ancient, shape-shifting evil that emerges... [More]
Directed By: Andy Muschietti

#5

The Dead Zone (1983)
90%

#5
Adjusted Score: 93084%
Critics Consensus: The Dead Zone combines taut direction from David Cronenberg and and a rich performance from Christopher Walken to create one of the strongest Stephen King adaptations.
Synopsis: When Johnny Smith (Christopher Walken) awakens from a coma caused by a car accident, he finds that years have passed,... [More]
Directed By: David Cronenberg

#4

Misery (1990)
90%

#4
Adjusted Score: 95176%
Critics Consensus: Elevated by standout performances from James Caan and Kathy Bates, this taut and frightening film is one of the best Stephen King adaptations to date.
Synopsis: After a serious car crash, novelist Paul Sheldon (James Caan) is rescued by former nurse Annie Wilkes (Kathy Bates), who... [More]
Directed By: Rob Reiner

#3

Stand by Me (1986)
91%

#3
Adjusted Score: 96289%
Critics Consensus: Stand By Me is a wise, nostalgic movie with a weird streak that captures both Stephen King's voice and the trials of growing up.
Synopsis: After learning that a stranger has been accidentally killed near their rural homes, four Oregon boys decide to go see... [More]
Directed By: Rob Reiner

#2
#2
Adjusted Score: 96496%
Critics Consensus: The Shawshank Redemption is an uplifting, deeply satisfying prison drama with sensitive direction and fine performances.
Synopsis: Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) is sentenced to two consecutive life terms in prison for the murders of his wife and... [More]
Directed By: Frank Darabont

#1

Carrie (1976)
93%

#1
Adjusted Score: 98515%
Critics Consensus: Carrie is a horrifying look at supernatural powers, high school cruelty, and teen angst -- and it brings us one of the most memorable and disturbing prom scenes in history.
Synopsis: In this chilling adaptation of Stephen King's horror novel, withdrawn and sensitive teen Carrie White (Sissy Spacek) faces taunting from... [More]
Directed By: Brian De Palma

IT, (aka STEPHEN KING'S IT), Tim Curry, 1990, © Warner Bros. / Courtesy: Everett Collection

(Photo by © Warner Bros. / Courtesy: Everett Collection)

All Stephen King TV Series, Miniseries, TV Movies Ranked

TV has been a favorite home to adaptations of Stephen King books and short stories into series, mini-series, and TV movies since 1979 TV series Salem’s Lot. Whether developed for television or straight-to-video — remember video tapes? — TV and movie translations of, or based on, the horror master’s work have long been fan favorites, even if they didn’t receive much critical acclaim.

But which is the best? Rotten Tomatoes dug up 30 Stephen King made-for-TV movies, TV shows, and streaming series and ranked them by their Tomatometer scores. The top 10 is made up of six of the most recent King adaptations — yay, progress! — including The Outsider, which hit HBO in 2020.

Some titles, like The Dead Zone with Anthony Michael Hall, that happened before Peak TV don’t have enough reviews of their seasons to get series-level scores and are listed alphabetically at the end of the list below (that is, you will see them first as you read down the page). Season 1 of The Dead Zone, for instance, has a 77% score on 13 reviews, but has no scores on its other five seasons and therefore doesn’t meet the criteria for a series-level score (at least half of a show’s seasons must have scores).

You may also note that while films that are Certified Fresh are clearly labeled here, TV shows are Certified Fresh by season, and season badges won’t show up in a mixed list of film and series-level scores — click through to the shows’ overview pages to find out how many seasons are Certified Fresh.

Have a look at all Stephen King TV and streaming series and movies ranked by Tomatometer. Have we forgotten your favorite? Remind us in the comments.

The Dead Zone (2002)

#30
Synopsis: Following a car crash that leaves him in a coma for six years, Johnny Smith awakens to find that he... [More]
Directed By: Lloyd Segan

#29
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: After her grandmother vanishes, young Jamie (Claudette Mink) decides to stay in the elderly woman's apartment in Nebraska in order... [More]
Directed By: Guy Magar

#28
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Grace Rhodes (Naomi Watts), who is studying to be a doctor, returns to her hometown as a strange illness is... [More]
Directed By: Greg Spence

#27
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: For years, Jon Porter (Michael Gross) has been repressing memories of how his older sister was murdered -- and how... [More]
Directed By: Adam Grossman

#26
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: After learning of a disaster at a remote military base in Antarctica, the CIA sends Capt. Sam Cage (Clayton Rohner)... [More]
Directed By: Daniel Zelik Berk

#25
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Hannah (Natalie Ramsey) is the daughter of one of the original members of a murderous cult composed of children who... [More]
Directed By: Kari Skogland

#24
Adjusted Score: 6210%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Determined to save her estranged brother from a suicide cult, a young woman faces murderous children and worse.... [More]
Directed By: Ethan Wiley

#23
#23
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: While traveling through rural Nebraska, a couple (David Anders, Kandyse McClure) encounters a religious cult of murderous children who worship... [More]
Directed By: Donald P. Borchers

#22
Adjusted Score: 3776%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Dark forces invade a Seattle mansion where an industrialist (Steven Brand) lives with his submissive wife (Lisa Brenner).... [More]
Directed By: Craig R. Baxley

#21

Carrie (2002)
20%

#21
Adjusted Score: 7583%
Critics Consensus: This made-for-TV adaptation of Stephen King's classic fails to impress or bring anything new to the table, - or to the prom - paling even more in comparison to the 1970's memorable version.
Synopsis: Tormented by her fellow high-school students, a teenager (Angela Bettis) uses telekinesis as a tool for vengeance.... [More]
Directed By: David Carson

Synopsis: ... [More]
Starring:

#19
#19
Adjusted Score: 31229%
Critics Consensus: Unlikeable characters, a bloated narrative, and drab scripting make The Tommyknockers a hard watch for even the most die-hard of Stephen King fans.
Synopsis: ... [More]
Directed By: John Power

Synopsis: ... [More]
Starring:

The Shining ()
36%

#17
Synopsis: ... [More]
Starring:

Synopsis: ... [More]
Starring:

#15

Salem's Lot (2004)
50%

#15
Adjusted Score: 24804%
Critics Consensus: Boasting slick visuals and exceptional performances, Salem's Lot ultimately lacks the spine-tingling scares of the original adaptation.
Synopsis: A writer (Rob Lowe) encounters a pair of sinister new residents when he returns to his Maine hometown to research... [More]
Directed By: Mikael Salomon

#14
Adjusted Score: 50709%
Critics Consensus: While not without its fair share of thrills, The Langoliers suffers from a meandering pace and dubious characterizations.
Synopsis: Ten passengers on a red-eye flight from L.A. to Boston discover that they are not the only people on the... [More]
Directed By: Tom Holland

Haven (2010)
63%

#13
Synopsis: FBI Agent Audrey Parker arrives in Haven, Maine, on what she believes is a routine assignment. But the longer she... [More]

#12
#12
Adjusted Score: 66075%
Critics Consensus: Tim Matheson's gripping performance and a strong mood make Sometimes They Come Back an effective, if not wholly revelatory, Stephen King adaptation.
Synopsis: High school teacher Jim Norman (Tim Matheson) reluctantly returns to his hometown with his wife (Brooke Adams) to pursue a... [More]
Directed By: Tom McLoughlin

Under the Dome (2013)
68%

#11
Synopsis: Based on the best-selling Stephen King novel of the same name, "Under the Dome" follows the residents of Chester's Mill,... [More]

#10
Synopsis: A four-part miniseries tells the horror story of King's "The Stand." A supervirus that leaked from a lab kills most... [More]

#9

It (1990)
68%

#9
Adjusted Score: 69176%
Critics Consensus: Though hampered by an uneven second half, It supplies a wealth of funhouse thrills and an idelible turn from Tim Curry as Pennywise.
Synopsis: In 1960, seven preteen outcasts fight an evil demon that poses as a child-killing clown. Thirty years later, they reunite... [More]
Directed By: Tommy Lee Wallace

The Outsider (2020)
91%

#8
Synopsis: Based on Stephen King's best-selling novel of the same name, "The Outsider" begins by following an investigation which at first... [More]

Synopsis: Mike Anderson, the constable of the isolated Maine island hamlet Little Tall Island, is facing the toughest challenge of his... [More]

11.22.63 (2016)
83%

#6
Synopsis: James Franco plays the role of Jake Epping, an ordinary high school teacher, who is presented with a chance to... [More]

Synopsis: Adaptations of short stories written by author Stephen King.... [More]
Directed By: Bill Haber

Castle Rock (2018)
88%

#4
Synopsis: The psychological-horror series set in the Stephen King multiverse combines the mythological scale and intimate character storytelling of his works,... [More]

#3

Salem's Lot (1979)
88%

#3
Adjusted Score: 70389%
Critics Consensus: Director Tobe Hooper and a devilishly charismatic James Mason elevate this television adaptation of the Stephen King novel, injecting the vampiric tradition with fresh blood and lingering scares.
Synopsis: Based on the Stephen King novel, Ben Mears (David Soul) has returned to his hometown of Salem's Lot to write... [More]
Directed By: Tobe Hooper

#2

1922 (2017)
91%

#2
Adjusted Score: 92458%
Critics Consensus: Thanks to director Zak Hilditch's patient storytelling and strong work from lead Thomas Jane, 1922 ranks among the more satisfying Stephen King adaptations.
Synopsis: A rancher conspires to murder his wife for financial gain and convinces his teenage son to participate.... [More]
Directed By: Zak Hilditch

#1

Gerald's Game (2017)
91%

#1
Adjusted Score: 96287%
Critics Consensus: Carla Gugino carries Gerald's Game's small-scale suspense with a career-defining performance.
Synopsis: A woman accidentally kills her husband during a kinky game. Handcuffed to her bed with no hope of rescue, she... [More]
Directed By: Mike Flanagan


RELATED: All Stephen King Movies Ranked



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We all float down at the box office this weekend… which is another way of saying that more than 25 years after Stephen King’s It terrified TV audiences, his classic bestseller about a group of young outcasts who band together to defeat an ageless evil has finally made its way to the big screen. To celebrate, we decided to spin the Tomatometer and make a list of King’s best-reviewed film adaptations while inviting you to rank your own personal favorites, and you know what that means: it’s time for Total Recall!


Use the up and down arrows to rank the movies, or click here to see them ranked by Tomatometer!

Moviedom’s main ape makes his first theater appearance since Peter Jackson’s 2005 remake with Kong: Skull Island, a 1970s-set adventure starring Tom Hiddleston and Brie Larson who travel to the King’s home to confirm his mythic existence. The thrill of seeing mammoths trashing cities and vulnerable public transit dates back to the movie-going experience’s earliest decades, which we cover in this week’s gallery of 24 Fresh giant monster films!

Ample scares abound this week with
Frank Darabont‘s
latest adaptation of a
Stephen King
tome, The Mist. The big-screen version of bestselling novel
The Kite Runner


also comes to DVD, keeping good company with black romantic comedy

Wristcutters: A Love Story
,
Jonathan Demme‘s
celebrated documentary
Jimmy Carter Man From
Plains
, and more.


Stephen
King’s The Mist


Tomatometer:
69%

Frank Darabont
has twice before adapted Stephen King to critical acclaim (The
Shawshank Redemption
,
The Green Mile
)
but this time around he may have picked the wrong story. Set in a small town in
Maine, The Mist finds a group of townspeople trapped in a grocery store
enveloped by a thick, mysterious fog — vapors that conceal terribly hungry
monsters that may or may not be punishments from God. Critics were split on the
flick, which stars
Thomas Jane and Marcia
Gay Harden
; while perfectly fine as a creature feature, some thought
Darabont failed to seamlessly merge horror pic with message movie. A director
commentary, eight deleted scenes, and a Stephen King — Frank Darabont featurette
appear on the standard DVD release; five more featurettes and a black and white
version of the film comprise a 2-Disc Special Edition.


The Kite Runner


Tomatometer:
67%

Marc Forster‘s
The Kite Runner has nearly as compelling a production story as the
fictional lives of its protagonists, two childhood friends from Afghanistan.
Well-to-do Amir is best friends with Hassan, the son of his family’s servant,
but their friendship is shattered by one pivotal traumatic event. Years later,
Amir must come to terms with his childhood act of cowardice and return to Kabul
to set things right. Critics gave credit to Runner‘s strong performances,
though at two hours (and with the best of intentions) the film may feel
plodding. The filmmakers’ decision to film partially in the native Dari language
and to evacuate the child actors and their families from Afghanistan were bold
choices that make this film all the more intriguing.




Wristcutters: A Love Story


Tomatometer:
66%

Patrick Fugit,
Shannyn
Sossamon
, and
Tom Waits
(in a supporting role) star in this indie black comedy about
suicide victims still searching for answers after death. Lovelorn Zia (Fugit)
wakes up to find the afterlife is a vast alternate world of unhappiness (quite
like our own), setting off on a road trip when he hears his ex-girlfriend has
also arrived. Absurdist and artful — what
Roger Ebert slyly
terms “the birth of the Post-Slasher movie” — Wristcutters tackles a difficult
subject but does so bittersweetly. Music by
Gogol Bordello
perfectly compliments the feeling. A filmmaker commentary, storyboards,
making-of, deleted scenes and Fugit’s own on-set photo gallery round out the
release.


Jimmy Carter Man From
Plains



Tomatometer: 78%

What exactly do presidents do when their four years are up? Some of them, like
39th United States President
Jimmy Carter,
turn to public service with seemingly more gusto and more freedom then they did
while in the Oval Office. The peanut-farming, best-selling author and Nobel
Peace Prize winning Carter — who hails from Plains, Georgia — only served a
single term (1977-1981) as America’s leader, but has devoted his
post-Presidential life to humanitarian work. Director
Jonathan Demme,
who went from his directorial debut,
Caged Heat
, to
winning an Oscar for
Silence of the
Lambs
, followed Carter on a book tour for three months to make this
documentary, resulting in an intriguing and candid portrait of the former
president.


Bonnie and Clyde
Ultimate Collector’s Edition



Tomatometer: 93%

Arthur Penn‘s
seminal 1967 classic about real-life criminal couple Bonnie Parker and Clyde
Barrow enjoys a much deserved spot in the annals of film history; now the newly
re-mastered cut can enjoy a much deserved spot in your DVD library!
Faye Dunaway
and Warren
Beatty
star in the revisionist tale of Depression-era criminals Bonnie and
Clyde, who shot and robbed their way across America in the 1930s. Penn’s comic
touch and grisly violence broke new ground in American cinema and influenced
generations of filmmakers. Pick up the 2-Disc Special Edition with over two
hours of bonus material like a History Channel documentary about Bonnie and
Clyde, a making-of featurette, deleted scenes, Beatty’s wardrobe tests, and a
theatrical trailer; a hardcover collectible photo book and the 1967 original
press book come in a separate Collector’s Edition.


Sliders:
The Fourth Season



Tomatometer: N/A

Ah, Sliders. Watching Quinn Mallory (Jerry
O’Connell
) jump between parallel worlds with a homemade but undependable
“timer” made for some fun television back in 1995. Cancelled by Fox after its
first season, the show was revived thanks to fan intervention; eventually the
show would fire
Jonathan
Rhys-Davies
, lose original token girl Wade (Sabrina
Lloyd)
to an actress-on-actress spat, and inexplicably replace O’Connell
with his own brother, Charlie O’Connell (playing Quinn’s brother, Colin). But
before Sliders lost the original O’Connell — right when the storylines
turned to the awkward Kromagg war — there was Season Four, out this week on
DVD. Re-watch the last starring season of the apex of Jerry O’Connell’s career
once more!


Directing three Stephen King movies (four, if you count an early short film) wasn’t enough for Frank Darabont. Perhaps cinema’s biggest fan of the horror author, the Mist writer/director has plans for another Stephen King movie. This one, written under King’s pseudonym Richard Bachman, is the sci-fi tale The Long Walk.

The story tells of a futuristic foot race where competitors are shot when they stop walking. The last man walking wins. A movie constantly on the go is the next hurdle Darabont faces.

“Certainly you can’t get too handheld with it because then you’d have an image bouncing for the length of a feature film,” said Darabont. “I think there’s got to be some stabilizing gizmos that I can use to get some of that coverage but I’m already thinking about that.”

Darabont distinguished between his styles for The Mist and his previous films. Where he spent time carefully planning on The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile, he took a fast and furious approach to The Mist. That style would also be appropriate for The Long Walk.

“That would also be, I think, probably the more ragged and loose and documentary kind of feel. It would probably be an even lower budget than this one was.”

With Fahrenheit 451 set to be Darabont’s next project, The Long Walk could still be a long way off. “That right now is still in the future. That’s on one of the back burners for now. It probably won’t be too long but before I do that, I’m hoping to get Fahrenheit 451 rolling next year.”

The box office bounced back over the long Thanksgiving holiday weekend as
moviegoers spread their dollars across a wide variety of films which
collectively helped to bring the marketplace back to life after a mostly
uneventful fall season. Disney led the way with its new family pic Enchanted,
which ruled the multiplexes, but a surprisingly potent opening for the holiday
comedy This Christmas contributed to the weekend’s success too. Other new
releases were sprinkled across the top ten which virtually matched the
Thanksgiving numbers posted over each of the last two years. An unprecedented
eleven films each grossed $8M or more over the frame as every audience segment
found something to see over the long holiday weekend.

For the first time in eight years, Disney opened a new release at number one
over the turkey frame. The studio’s princess tale Enchanted
powered past all
competitors to bow on top with an estimated $35.3M over the Friday-to-Sunday
period and an incredible $50M across the five-day holiday span which began on
Wednesday. That led to a muscular $9,472 average from an ultrawide 3,730 sites
over three days. The PG-rated story of an animated princess who encounters the
live-action world posted the second biggest five-day opening ever over the
Thanksgiving session.



The only hit to debut better was 1999’s
Toy Story 2
from Disney and Pixar with
$80.1M which was also the studio’s last new pic to bow at number one over this
frame. From 1994 to 1999, the Mouse House consistently debuted a new family film
each year at number one over this lucrative holiday frame. Enchanted should have
no problem finding its way into the century club.



Beating expectations to open in the number two spot was the family reunion film
This Christmas which debuted to an estimated $18.6M over three days and a
stunning $27.1M over the five-day period. Sony’s inexpensive $13M production
averaged a potent $10,011 over three days from only 1,858 theaters for the best
average among wide releases. The feel-good holiday pic brought in two-thirds of
its business from African-American moviegoers proving once again how powerful
that audience is at the box office. Look for This Christmas to finish up as a
very profitable venture.



Last week’s top warrior Beowulf
dropped 41% to an estimated $16.2M and landed in
third place. With $56.4M in its treasure chest after ten days, the
$150M-budgeted Paramount release should conclude its domestic run with about
$80-90M.



Competing actioner Hitman
debuted in fourth place with an estimated $13M over
three days from 2,458 locations. Averaging a decent $5,303 per venue, the
R-rated film about a super-assassin was adapted from a popular video game. Over
five days, Hitman shot up $21M for Fox which was targeting many of the same
young males that were going to see Beowulf.



The animated hit Bee
Movie
followed in fifth with an estimated $12M, off just
14%, for a $112.1M sum to date for Paramount. Warner Bros. was close behind with
rival family offering
Fred Claus

which dipped 10% to an estimated $10.7M pushing
the total to $53.1M.


Studio stablemate August Rush opened in seventh place with an estimated $9.4M
over three days and $13.3M across five days. The family drama about a young
musical genius averaged a moderate $4,082 over the Friday-to-Sunday period.

American Gangster
remained strong in its fourth frame grossing an estimated
$9.2M, down 29%, upping its cume for Universal to $115.8M.



Two more new wide releases rounded out the top ten. The Mist, a terror tale
based on a Stephen King story, debuted in ninth place with an estimated $9.1M
with a five-day take of $13M. Attacking 2,423 theaters, the R-rated film
averaged a mild $3,740 over three days. Horror films typically do not see huge
numbers over Thanksgiving weekend as most moviegoers are in the mood for more
cheery and upbeat films. Miramax expanded its Coen brothers hit
No Country for
Old Men
into nationwide release and captured an estimated $8.1M over three days.
The crime thriller averaged a superb $9,433 and lifted its total to $16.6M.


Opening to solid results from the arthouses was the
Bob Dylan pic

I’m Not There
which grossed an estimated $757,000 from just 130 venues over the three-day
period. The Weinstein Co. release averaged a respectable $5,823 per site and
collected $1M over the long holiday session.



The top ten films grossed $141.8M over the weekend which was up less than 1%
from last year when Happy Feet remained at number one with $37M; but off 1% from
2005 when
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
stayed on top with $54.7M.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

This weekend For the first time this decade, a new release seems set to take over the number one spot during the busy Thanksgiving holiday weekend at the North American box office. Studios are cramming a six-pack of new titles into multiplexes nationwide hoping the recent famine in the marketplace will be replaced by a feast. The films lack major stars, but they do however have clearly-defined audiences which will hopefully allow them to survive and expand the overall pie.

Disney leads the way with the fantasy extravaganza Enchanted for young girls while Fox counters with the much more violent action offering Hitman aimed at young men. MGM goes for a scare with the horror film The Mist, Sony targets African American moviegoers with This Christmas, and August Rush from Warner Bros. will try to tap into family audiences. Meanwhile, Miramax goes after older adults and upscale crowds with its acclaimed thriller No Country For Old Men which widens into national release after two weeks of sold out shows in limited play.

Once upon a time, Disney regularly opened a new family film at number one over Thanksgiving weekend. After a long absence, the Mouse House is now poised to take its rightful place on the turkey throne with its fairy tale adventure pic Enchanted which finds an animated princess thrust upon the real world where people do not live happily ever after. The PG-rated film will appeal to the millions of young girls and mothers who have become devotees of Disney’s lucrative army of princesses. Getting in boys may be a bit tough, but the female following should be more than enough to propel this massive release into the top spot at the holiday box office.

Not since 1999’s Toy Story 2 has Disney, or any other studio for that matter, opened a new film at number one over this holiday frame. Holdovers have consistently ruled since 2000, mostly big guns that debuted on the weekend before the holiday to get an early jump on the cash. But from 1994 through 1999, Disney enjoyed an unprecedented streak ruling the Thanksgiving box office every year with an iron fist. Now that magic is back, thanks in part to a surprisingly weak line-up of November titles coming from Hollywood’s magic factories. With the widest release by far of any new film, no holdovers to stand in its way, and a holiday frame that welcomes family entertainment, Enchanted looks to become the queen bee. Opening in an ultrawide 3,632 theaters, the fantasy film may charm its way to about $30M over the Friday-to-Sunday period and $43M during the extended Wednesday-to-Sunday span.


Amy Adams in Enchanted

Fox hopes that young men from coast to coast will stamp their necks with barcodes and hit the megaplexes to see its new action thriller Hitman. Based on the popular video game, the R-rated film about a genetically-engineered superassassin has its eyes set squarely on male audiences done with cartoon Vikings and ready for some guns and ammo. The studio’s marketing has been superb with slickly-edited television spots featuring operatic tunes that really sell the picture to the target audience. Unfortunately there are no marquee names in the cast to help bring in business. Direct competition from Beowulf will also curtail grosses a bit. With a strong marketing push exciting the core crowd, look for a solid and respectable opening. Hitman invades 2,401 venues and might capture $13M over the weekend and $19M over five days.


Timothy Olyphant in Hitman

Some folks may be in search of a scare this weekend so MGM is rolling out the fright flick The Mist, a film adaptation of a Stephen King story. The R-rated pic comes from director Frank Darabont (The Green Mile, The Shawshank Redemption) and stars Thomas Jane, Marcia Gay Harden, and Andre Braugher. The actors add little starpower so Mist‘s commercial prospects will instead have to rely on King’s name and the popularity of the horror genre. With the pre-Halloween gorefests now eroding away, competition should not come from fellow thrillers. Instead movies like Hitman and Beowulf will be factors as both will play to older teens and twentysomethings. Historically, horror films have rarely found success over Thanksgiving weekend since audiences tend to flock to happy tales. Attacking 2,423 theaters, The Mist may scare up about $10M over the Friday-to-Sunday period and roughly $14M across the five-day span.


Thomas Jane and co. in The Mist

The true meaning of family is explored once again in the holiday drama This Christmas from Sony. The PG-13 story about different generations of the Whitfield clan reuniting for the holidays stars Delroy Lindo, Regina King, Mekhi Phifer, and pop singer Chris Brown. The studio is aiming primarily for African American adults. With American Gangster going into its fourth frame and most other films neglecting this particular audience, Christmas should have clear sailing as it heads into the multiplexes. But starpower is lacking. Gangster and Why Did I Get Married? both did stellar business thanks in part to A-list drawing power from Denzel Washington and Tyler Perry, respectively. This Christmas opens in 1,802 playdates, with a widening to 1,858 on Friday, and could be in for a three-day bow of $8M and a five-day tally of $11M.


This Christmas

Likely to have a tough time finding ticket buyers this weekend is the new PG-rated drama August Rush which brings together an oddly assembled cast including Keri Russell, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Terrence Howard, and Robin Williams. The Warner Bros. tale about a young music prodigy in search of his parents will no doubt have its work cut out for it trying to convince parents to not spend their time and money on Disney fairy tales, talking bees, Santa’s siblings, and wonder emporiums. Competition is too strong for this one and overall excitement is quite low. August Rush opens Wednesday in 2,280 theaters and expands to 2,310 on Friday. Look for a three-day debut of $5M and a five-day tally of $7M.


Freddie Highmore and Robin Williams in August Rush

With few options for older adults looking for serious fare over the long weekend, Miramax is rolling out its critical darling No Country For Old Men from the Coen brothers into nationwide release. Expanding from 148 to 860 locations, the R-rated thriller starring Josh Brolin, Javier Bardem, and Tommy Lee Jones will try to target those folks that have already watched Denzel and Russell go head-to-head and are looking for more shoot-em-up action from veteran filmmakers and actors. Hot buzz has been spreading over its two weeks in limited release so awareness is now high enough to take the pic wider. Last weekend’s scorching $20,782 average will probably get sliced in half and some people will opt for happier films over Thanksgiving. But direct competition is not too fierce and word-of-mouth is on its side. Look for No Country For Old Men to take in about $7M over three days and $10M over five.


Josh Brolin in No Country for Old men

Last weekend’s champ Beowulf would normally see a sizable sophomore drop especially with Hitman stealing away young men. But thanks to the holiday cushion, the decline should not be as bad. A 30% fall may result giving Paramount a Friday-to-Sunday take of around $19M which would push the cume to $60M after ten days. Studio stablemate Bee Movie will join the century club by Friday and should remain a solid option for families. Look for a 20% dip to roughly $11M and a boost in the total to $111M.

A 25% drop might be in the works for American Gangster which may tap into patient adults that have heard the buzz, but just haven’t made a trip to the theaters yet. Universal could take in about $9.5M over three days and raise its sum to $116M. Christmas films routinely see their three-day grosses climb over the turkey frame when compared to the previous weekend thanks to the cheery holiday mood of ticket buyers. That could come as good news to Warner Bros. which might see its Vince Vaughn offering Fred Claus edge up by 10% to around $13M. Cume would hit $54M.

LAST YEAR Despite five new films opening in wide release over the turkey frame, moviegoers continued to spend their money on the same films as the top two spots remained unchanged. Sophomores Happy Feet and Casino Royale led the session with $37M and $30.8M, respectively, over three days. The penguin toon dipped only 11% while the rejuvenated Bond flick dropped by just 25% giving the pair a towering combined gross of $193M after ten days. Denzel Washington won the bronze with his new sci-fi actioner Deja Vu which bowed to $20.6M while the Christmas comedy Deck the Halls followed in fourth with a debut of $12M. Final grosses reached $64M and $35.1M. Borat rounded out the top five with $10.3M in its fourth weekend. Other new releases stumbled. MGM’s political drama Bobby expanded nationally and took in only $4.9M on its way to a weak $11.2M. Warner Bros. debuted its sci-fi drama The Fountain to the tune of $3.8M and New Line saw just $3.2M for its Jack Black pet project Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny. The pics ended their runs quickly with a measly $10.1M and $8.3M, respectively.

author: Gitesh Pandya www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

Every year, movie studios get a jump start on turkey Thursday and black Friday by giving audiences a taste of the good stuff two days earlier than usual. This week, we’ve got real-life fairy tales (Enchanted,
starring Amy Adams and
Patrick Dempsey), a deadly fog (The Mist, starring
Thomas Jane and
Marcia Gay Harden), loads of gunplay (Hitman, starring
Timothy Olyphant), musical families
(August Rush,
starring
Freddie
Highmore
and
Keri Russell), yuletide conflict (This Christmas,
starring Delroy Lindo), and the latest from
the Coen Brothers
(No Country for Old Men, starring
Javier Bardem and
Josh Brolin).
What do the critics have to say?

Sort of a Wizard of Oz in reverse,
Enchanted is the story of
Giselle (Amy Adams), a princess in an animated magical kingdom who’s transported to the
streets of Manhattan by an evil queen (Susan Sarandon). There, she meets a
kindly lawyer (Patrick Dempsey) and attempts to negotiate the line between
fantasy and reality. The pundits say Enchanted lives up to its title,
featuring sharp gags, excellent animation, and a smart re-imagining of
fairy-tale tropes. But they hold out the highest praise for Adams, a sharp scene
stealer who makes the most of her top billing here. At 89 percent on the
Tomatometer, Enchanted is bewitching.



James Marsden challenges Dempsey for Sexiest Man Alive Runner-Up
title.

The Mist
springs forth from the collective minds of author
Stephen King and
director Frank Darabont, the winning
combination that’s previously brought us
The Shawshank Redemption
and
The Green Mile. But
in their latest collaboration the two take a decidedly horrific bent: A small
town is terrorized by a group of deadly creatures lurking in a particularly
thick fog. Could a top-secret experiment at a nearby military base have anything
to do with it? Critics are less ecstatic with The Mist than previous King/Darabont
joints: they say the chills and thrills are there, and Darabont valiantly
attempts for a psychological depth rarely seen in horror, but he frequently
comes off as didactic and heavy-handed. At 69 percent Tomatometer, the gold shines through in The Mist. (Read our interview with the Mist cast and crew here.)



"That’s no moon, that’s a giant bug monster with pseudo-Biblical
overtones."

Hitman stars
Timothy Olyphant as an accomplished assassin named 47 who
stumbles into the midst of some political intrigue and goes on the run.
Considering the well-publicized news of Hitman’s reshoots and its origin
as a video game, it’s no surprise that the movie isn’t sitting well
with the critics. They call it vulgar, gratuitously violent, too reliant on CG
to propel the action, and just an overall dizzying blur of explosions and
bullets — the usual barbs critics reserve for video game adaptations, and
exactly the
stuff that gets gamers off the couch and into the theaters. At 14 percent on the Tomatometer, looks like it’s game over,
Hitman.



"Don’t worry. I did the Konami Code before this mission."

In August Rush, an orphan (Freddie
Highmore
) runs away to New York,
where an overseer of young musicians (Robin Williams) recognizes
his guitar skills. As it turns out, the orphan was the product of a one-night
stand between a cellist (Keri Russell) and a singer-songwriter (Jonathan Rhys
Meyers
), whom he now hopes to reunite. It’s a fairly absurd premise but the
performers give it their all, and goes a long way to overcome
Kristen Sheridan‘s
sentimental and cloying direction. At 58 percent on the Tomatometer, August
Rush
hits a sickly sweet note. (Read our interview with Freddie Highmore here.)




"It’s agreed. No ‘Stairway.’"

It’s time for another Christmas movie in which each member of a dysfunctional family brings
plenty of baggage with them to the yuletide festivities. Bah, humbug, right? Not
so fast. Critics say
This Christmas
is a delightful surprise, a solid
dramedy that, in lesser hands, could have been chaotic and mawkish. In Christmas
the members of the Whitfield clan returns home, setting off a maelstrom of
unresolved tensions and revelations. The pundits say director
Preston A.
Whitmore II
takes a variety of contrived plotines and deftly weaves them together with wit and
finesse, and the cast, which features such excellent thespians as
Delroy Lindo,
Regina King,
Idris Elba, and
Mekhi Phifer, is never less than stellar. At 65
percent on the Tomatometer, This Christmas is a pleasant gift.




"I hope it’s the Little Golden Book adaptation of Bioshock."

With No Country for Old Men, the
Coen Brothers return to the moral
ambiguity, black humor, and horrifying violence that reverberated throughout
some of their best work, movies like
Blood Simple
and
Fargo
. And critics say
that’s a very, very good thing.
Javier Bardem
stars as a psychopathic killer on the trail of an average Joe (Josh Brolin) who stumbles
across a huge sum of money. The pundits say No Country is a triumph:
grim, suspenseful, frightening, and loaded with pitch-perfect performances. At
96 percent on the No Country for Old Men is not only Certified Fresh, it’s one
of the best-reviewed films of the year and trails only Blood Simple
within the brothers’ filmography. (Check out our Total Recall feature on the Coens’ filmography
here.)



“You don’t want to know what I’ll do if that Tomatometer drops below 90.”

Also opening this week in limited release:
The Red Balloon
,
Albert
Lamorisse
‘s French children’s classic, is at 100 percent on the Tomatometer;
Starting
Out in the Evening
, about a relationship between a solitary novelist and a
grad student starring
Frank Langella and
Lauren Ambrose, is at 93 percent;
Todd
Haynes

I’m Not There
, an unconventional biopic of Bob Dylan starring
Cate Blanchett,
Christian Bale,
Heath Ledger, and
Richard Gere, is at 76 percent; Everything’s Cool, a personal documentary about global warming, is at 60 percent;
and Nina’s Heavenly Delights, a culture-clash rom-com, is at zero
percent.




"I also think Robbe-Grillet is vastly overrated. Want to make out?”

Recent Timothy Olyphant Movies:
—————————————
22% —
Catch and Release
(2007)
80% —
Live Free or Die Hard
(2006)
74% —
Coastlines
(2006)
41% —
The Girl
Next Door
(2006)
23% —
Dreamcatcher
(2006)

Frank Darabont
Just in time for Thanksgiving, we’re getting a horror film to be thankful
for. Reuniting the dynamic duo of author
Stephen King and director
Frank Darabont (The Shawshank
Redemption
, The Green Mile),
The Mist
is a jump-out-of-your-seat horror flick that explores the monsters that humans become when engulfed by fear.
Thomas Jane,
Marcia Gay Harden, and Chris “The Sherminator” Owen are
among a band of survivors trapped in a grocery store, surrounded by a
supernatural fog and an assortment of vicious bugs and monsters.

RT caught up with Darabont and his three cast members during a
roundtable chat (memorably interrupted by Thomas Jane’s room service delivery) to discuss what humans are capable of under duress, Stephen King and
Frank Darabont’s working relationship, and how The Idiot’s Guide to Revelations
helped Marcia Gay Harden prepare for her role.

The Mist enters theaters everywhere this Wednesday.

Frank, what made you want to get behind the camera?

Frank Darabont: For 20 years of a career I’ve been primarily a writer for
hire. I’ve been a screenwriter first and a director on occasion. It’s only been
quite recently that I decided to reverse that equation and get behind the camera
as often as I could. I’m not getting any younger and I feel like I’ve got some
more movies to make.

Why another Stephen King adaptation?

FD: In all fairness, I think I have a particular
love for the man’s work. His voice as an author tends to attract me as a
director. I find the stories that he tells are extremely compelling, so it seems
to be a well that I keep going back to draw water from again and again. Luckily
he digs what I do. It seems like a pretty good companionship there in terms of
material and director.

Marcia, do you find it rare that scripts come along that
you get excited about?

Marcia Gay Harden: For me, it’s about character.
What’s the character arc? What can I do with the character? But not too many
come along that you get excited about. They are few and far between.



Thomas Jane and Marcia Gay Harden with other survivors.

What drew you to The Mist script?

MGH: Frank Darabont. I love his work and I love that
he tells a really human story. Often humans are far scarier than exterior
events. In this case, I thought that Frank told a beautiful story. I like
Stephen King, but I wasn’t one of the die-hard fans. So while I want to say it
was Stephen that drew me to it, it was the knowledge of the way [Darabont] tells
a story. It’s not the typical thing I curl up on the couch to read, so it was
Frank doing a Stephen King story that made it even bigger.

[Mist co-star]
Andre Braugher and I spoke at length about the
script. My thought at first was, “It’s a bug movie, what is that going to be
like?” I spoke to Frank about that too and he really spoke about the internal
machinations in the store that has a Lord of the Flies feel, which was
the most terrifying book I ever read as a kid; the capacity for human beings to
be cruel and their ignorance is as scary as supernatural forces.

Chris Owen: For me it was Frank, too. I’m such a
fanboy and when people ask me what my favorite film is, it’s always Shawshank.
For me, getting to work with Frank was something I could scratch off my list. It
was so much fun.

How did you prepare to play such an apocalyptic
character?

MGH: It was fantastic to play this lady. I bought
this book called The Idiot’s Guide to Revelations because a lot of her
speak is “Bible speak.” I wanted it to be as real as it could be, so that when I
talked about the Four Horsemen, I could be real with it.

And how did you approach carrying so much of the
Mist
‘s suspense and drama?

MGH: I embraced fear. I didn’t want to let on at the
beginning that she would be trouble, so Frank and I worked on creating a person
that was less visually obvious than what had been written. We tried to create
someone who might blend in with the “normal folk.” Nor did I want to blame her
for the fact that she thought it was the end of the world — because there’s
bugs the size of skyscrapers coming out to eat people. I think if I saw that, I
might think that it was the end of the world. It’s not that far fetched. I
didn’t want it to be her religion, I wanted it to be more the degree to which
she takes the religion and is capable of doing such human acts of cruelty that
defies any logic. She creates a mob mentality, and the mob is a very scary
thing, so then the mob takes on the responsibility of that fear. Then it’s in
the hands of Frank and how he comes in on a shot, and how he films my face, or
when he cuts to someone looking at me. Those are the things, regardless of what
I do, [that] up the ante, because he’s the one building the tension every step
of the way.

Frank, you have said that you wanted this to be a
shot-fast, gut movie.

FD: For me as a filmmaker, it was a completely new
style I wanted to embrace, an aesthetic I’d never done before. This material
lent itself very well to that. I wanted a very ragged, in the moment,
documentary-style film. It was a much more improvised approach in terms of the
camerawork. We were shooting two cameras all the time, three if we could fit
them, roving at all times. We had two brilliant camera operators who were like
other cast members. The actors never knew where the cameras would wind up.

Your parents are survivors of the Hungarian Revolution
and you were born in a Hungarian refugee camp. Did that experience with the fear
of the unknown play into this film?

FD: Coming from that kind of a background, I grew up
with the grasp of a very dicey European history during the 20th
century, where things could change on a dime. Where comfort and safety could get
taken away and things could get ugly in a hurry. I’ve always valued America
because there’s generally stability here. I think that permeates your
understanding of the world and it certainly can’t help but trickle into your work.

As far as keeping the focus on the characters in this
movie, that’s a cue that comes originally from Steve King. That’s what I loved
about this story. Ultimately, it ain’t about the monsters outside, it’s about
the monsters — your friends and neighbors — that you’re stuck with inside.
What does fear do to people, what does panic do to people? What happens when the
rules are stripped away, when the veneer of civilization is dropped, how do
people behave and react? That was always how I viewed the story and what I
wanted to bring to it. Luckily, I had a cast that was on board and that trusted
me as a director.



Thomas Jane
in the mist.

Relationships between novelists and screenwriters can
often be tense. Why do you think your work with Stephen King have all been so
successful?

FD: I think probably because I really love his voice
as an author. He tends to — no matter how fundamentally wacky the premise of
something like this is — [guide] us through the world that he writes with
character in mind and that gets me really excited. His voice as an author is
something I respond to not only as a reader, but as a storyteller myself. 
Something vibes with me in his work that makes me want to get behind a camera.
Luckily Steve seems to feel that we make a pretty good match. He’s never minded
the liberties I’ve taken with his material, but I think he’s also appreciated
that I’m trying to maintain his voice as a writer and try to be as true to his
intention as possible.

Stephen King’s last adaptation,
1408
, was
extremely successful. Thomas, what keeps bringing audiences back to pay money to
be scared?

Thomas Jane: That’s a philosophical-type question. I
don’t know anything about that.

Chris, since you mainly star in comedies, what attracted
you to be in a scary film?

CO: Well, it definitely started with the fact that
it was being done by Frank–

TJ: And that you got offered the role.

CO: …It’s always nice to be able to do something
different, and this was very different than anything that I’ve done before. At
least for me, I try to do as many genres of film as possible, so this was very
exciting. Especially since this script isn’t your average horror flick.



Thomas Jane
still in the mist..

What were the most valuable lessons and insights you
gained from making this film?

TJ: What the heck was your question, pal? Asking us
how making this movie changed our lives or something? Working on anything
there’s obviously going to be gains…

But there’s room service, so I gotta go get my hamburger.

FD: Speaking for myself, the insights I gained are
terrifically valuable in terms of my craft and the approach to what I do. I
learned to do things in more of an instinctive and ragged way. It amazed me how
immediate and in the moment the process can be, and the result on screen can be.
I imagine that it’s like any art form — you spend a part of your life learning
the rules — and then at a certain point you can get excited about throwing out
the rules that you know and just throwing paint at the canvas and seeing what
happens. That this came together as well as it did with a very loose approach
thrills me and excites me and I think it will inform my work in the future as
well. It’s a way to plug more into your instinctive flow.

Did the documentary-jazzy style of filmmaking influence
the actor’s process of performing for the camera? Do you do it differently that
for a film that is more traditionally shot?

TJ: Yeah, I think you do. It opens you up to know
that anything you say or do may be used on film …

FD: … and may be held against you in a court of law.

TJ: I guess it might shut some people down. But for
me, it really opened me up and made me feel like I could do anything I wanted
with my character and it wasn’t wrong. In acting, you’re always trying to find
the character and tell a story through the character. With this documentary kind
of style, you realize that we’re all humans and we’re capable of a whole hell of
a lot. So for me, it was quite liberating and I think that’s how you get sort of
a sense of truth on film.

FD: It takes a lot of courage to get into that and
my cast was tremendously courageous, whether it felt weird at first or not.

CO: It made it that much easier to immerse yourself
in it and really be in that moment, it was more free form. It wasn’t static.

What type of horror film is The Mist? Is it a
throwback or something new?

FD: I think it’s unique, whether it’s a throwback or
not. I do feel very satisfied in the notion that it’s not going to feel like
someone else’s movie, which is awesome. And it’s not going to feel like it’s in
that ghetto that horror often descends into. We saw the slasher film in the 80s
and so many movies were just following that formula. Now we’ve got the torture
films, which I personally have no use for at all. This is really a story [that]
is first and foremost about people. The fact that it’s a horror movie follows
that lead. I’m really happy with it from that standpoint. I didn’t want to make
something that felt like a cookie cutter, I wanted to make something that felt
like it counted for something, and I think we achieved that.

TJ: [Eating a hamburger.] Yeah.

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