[Micah's Mausoleum] Stephen King’s 10 Favorite Horror Movies

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A column where horror and nostalgia meet. Topics range from VHS, Vinyl, repertory screenings and a hodge-podge of anything else horror related that that harkens back to the days of yesteryear.

I came across a list Stephen King made of his favorite horror movies back in October of 1992 for an introduction to Graven Images, a book focusing on best of film art from the macabre. Thought it would be a cool share. It certainly caught my interest. For some perspective, when Graven Images was published King had freshly penned Four Past Midnight and Needful Things. Theaters saw the release of Candyman, Reservoir Dogs and Mighty Ducks. Nirvana’s “Teen Spirit” and Wreckz-N-Effect’s “Rump Shaker” were dominating radio play.

Anyway, the book itself is pretty cool and you can pick it up on Amazon cheap. It also features personal reminiscences from Ray Bradbury and Clive Barker amongst others. I highly recommend, especially if you are into the art from the early days of horror and sci-fi (’20s-’60s).

The list itself is in alphabetical order. King gave no preference for a top film stating it would be “too hard” to truly rank. And he didn’t elaborate on why he chose or how he chose. He simply provided the list. My favorite, The Changeling is on there so that makes me quite happy. Though I do question King including Pet Sematary. If he was going to pick one of his own adaptations you’d think he would have gone with The Shining, but then again it’s no secret he didn’t like Kubrick’s vision.

Do you agree with Stephen King’s list? Sound off.

1. Alien

2. Burnt Offerings

3. The Changeling

4. Curse of the Demon

5. Dawn of the Dead

6. Dementia 13

7. The Evil Dead

8. Pet Sematary

9. Psycho

10. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

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  • HMH

    I approve of this list!

  • EvilGuy

    Wow, he has great taste in horror!! Who would have thought lol ;)

  • divisionbell

    Pet Cemetery doesn’t surprise me. King has never had good taste when it comes to movies based on his books. As is evident by the fact that he prefers to make terrible tv films of them. Otherwise it’s an interesting list. Not entirely what I would have expected. Decent

  • Micah

    Overall, I thought his list was excellent. Loved to see Changeling and Burnt Offerings, not enough love for those films. I’d be curious to see if he’s updated it since then considering it was 20+ years ago.

  • DarrelDreadful

    I love his list! Wonder if he would ever say whats his 10 favorite (if that many) from this generation.

  • RickGrimesRightHand

    I think this list is pretty good. Sort of surprised that he chose a film that was an adaptation of his own work, but a good choice nonetheless. it is apparent that he’s not to into the slasher films.

  • Droolbear

    I agree with the whole list except “Pet Sematary”. I would replace it with John Carpenters original “Halloween”. Don’t get me wrong, the book was fantastic, but the movie adaptation was awful. If he felt obliged to include one of his own movie’s, “Carrie” would be the one.

    • RickGrimesRightHand

      I would have said Christine. Halloween probably would have been his slasher pick if he liked those that type of horror.

  • coldblood

    I don’t know, they’re all great films but it makes you wonder if he has seen any foreign horror flicks.

    There’s no REC, Martyrs, or The Descent.

    And why pick Pet Sematary? I know he hated Kubrick’s The Shining, but Misery, Carrie, and Creepshow are all better examples of his writing’s adaptions.

    • Micah

      The reason there aren’t newer films is because he created this list in 1992 (see article).

      But I whole-heartedly agree about Pet Sematary. So odd considering how many better adaptations of his work were out there at the time.

      • coldblood

        Crap, I missed the 1992 part of the article. Actually I just looked at the list WITHOUT reading the article. My bad.

        But the guy clearly isn’t a fan of John Carpenter – as Halloween and The Thing should definitely be in this list.

        And I’d throw in Black Christmas as it was the inspiration for Halloween and When A Stranger Calls – as well as being the first movie to have the ‘killer’s point of view’ camera.

        • Micah

          Ha. We all do that from time to time.

          Like you said, he’s clearly not a fan of Slashers.

          • Jeff

            He didn’t seem to be into religious themed horror films either, like The Exorcist or The Omen.

  • evilfairydust

    3 of these are on my top 10 list! Including Pet Semetary, I might add. Maybe it’s because I saw it when I was so young, but man it’s a scary movie! The atmosphere in the that movie is SPOT ON. If they remake it, there will be alot of ways to improve it…but they will NEVER be able to improve on the feeling of that film.

  • lakawak

    So, you acknowledge that King didn’t like the (extremely overrated like most Kubrick movies) The Shining but then express your surprise that he didn’t include that on his list? So you expect people to include movies they HATE on their top 10 lists?