Top 10 Greatest Moments From Stephen King Movies

Written by Nick Spake For many years Stephen King has been a master of horror on the page, but his stories have provided some of the most memorable movie moments of all time! WatchMojo presents the Top 10 Moments from Stephen King Movie Adaptations But what will take the top spot on our list? Will It be be the Hobbling scene from 'Misery', Jack Nicholson's "Here's Johnny!" moment from 'The Shining', or Carrie's Revenge from 'Carrie'? Watch to find out! Watch on WatchMojo: Big thanks to Alyssa Kraft for suggesting this idea, and to see how WatchMojo users voted, check out the suggest page here: WatchMojo.comsuggest/Top%2010%20Scary%20Moments%20from%20Stephen%20King%20Movies

You must login to access this feature

The state of Maine should really do something about all of those killer clowns, undead dogs, and other evil entities. Welcome to and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Moments from Stephen King Movies.

For this list, we’re taking a look at the most thrilling, dramatic, and iconic scenes from movies based on the works of author Stephen King. Though television shows like “Under the Dome” will not be considered, miniseries and TV films will be. Fair warning: you can expect plenty of spoilers!

#10: Gage’s Resurrection
“Pet Sematary” (1989)

Losing a pet is one thing, but losing a child is something else entirely. All things considered, we can’t exactly blame Louis for wanting to resurrect his son after his tragic accident. Of course, playing God never ends well in the movies. In this unnerving sequence, a devastated Louis digs up Gage’s body and re-buries him at the ritual site. Gage soon rises from the grave, but he’s gone through a few notable changes. Since the first resurrection doesn’t work out so well, you’d think that Louis would learn his lesson, but alas, he then proceeds to bring his wife back from the dead, leaving us with a killer conclusion.

#9: The Death of Moochie Welch
“Christine” (1983)

Only the combined efforts of Stephen King and director John Carpenter could make a sentient car scary onscreen. As preposterous as the setup might be, this film actually develops a Plymouth Fury into a legitimately threatening foe. Don’t believe us? Well, just watch Christine’s first murder, which mixes dark humor with heart-racing thrills. After a run-in with some bullies, Christine sets out to unleash her road rage. Hooking Moochie Wells’ attention with a little music, the villainous vehicle slowly prepares for the kill. Flashing her lights, she chases Moochie down an alley where he hits a literal dead end. Somebody should’ve told Moochie to never bring a knife to a car fight.

#8: Danny Visits Mark
“Salem’s Lot” (1979)

Though originally billed as a miniseries in two parts, since its initial 1979 airing, Salem’s Lot has been re-edited and treated as a film. That’s a good thing, because it would’ve been criminal to leave this moment off our list. When staring out a window in the dark, one can’t help but feel as if someone is out there looking back. This scene superbly taps into that fear with its heart-pounding music and gothic atmosphere. Gazing at the mist outside, Mark Petrie does see someone - his friend Danny, who has been turned into a vampire. Scratching the glass, Danny asks Mark for an invitation inside. Fortunately, Mark has seen enough horror movies to know better.

#7: Train!
“Stand by Me” (1986)

Not every Stephen King adaptation has a supernatural element. “Stand by Me,” for example, is a coming-of-age story about four friends that go looking for a dead body. With that said, the film still has a genuine sense of dread, most notably when our protagonists wind up on the wrong side of the tracks. The scene quietly builds tension as Gordie realizes a train is coming. While Chris and Teddy outrace the locomotive, Gordie and an especially frightened Vern are forced to jump for it. Although they narrowly cheat death, it’s a big step forward on a journey that will mark the end of their childhood innocence.

#6: Andy’s Escape
“The Shawshank Redemption” (1994)

After spending 19 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit, Andy Dufresne mysteriously vanishes from his cell. The warden and guards are completely clueless until they discover a giant hole behind Andy’s poster of Raquel Welch. Flashing back to the previous night, Andy is shown escaping through the tunnel. The final stretch proves to be the most grueling, as Andy crawls through five hundred yards of filth. At the end of the sewer pipe, however, is the fresh smell of freedom. Since this film’s release, the rain pouring down on Andy has become a beacon of inspiration. It’s an image that reminds us that even during the darkest of times, there’s always hope.

#5: John Coffey’s Execution
“The Green Mile” (1999)

Stephen King sure knows how to write prison stories; “The Green Mile” also revolves around a wrongfully incarcerated man. Unlike Andy, though, there’s no justice for John Coffey. With extraordinary powers and a heart of gold, this gentle giant is too pure for such a cruel world. Thus, Coffey accepts his fate and walks the green mile to the electric chair where he politely asks not to be left in the dark during his last moments on earth. Knowing that an innocent man is about to meet his maker, Paul Edgecomb bids Coffey a tear-jerking final farewell before reluctantly giving the order. As sparks fly, the audience can collectively feel their hearts breaking.

#4: Georgie’s Abduction
“It” (1990)

Another miniseries later repackaged as a film, “It” is the stuff of nightmares. Losing his paper boat, Little Georgie comes face to face with Pennywise the clown, who lures the young man below (to his doom) with the promise of fun and games. This chilling moment likely inspired a generation of children to fear clowns, but whether you suffer from coulrophobia or not, Georgie’s abduction will resonate with any parent or older sibling, acting as the ultimate endorsement of “stranger danger”. Menacing, creepy, and relatable, this scene is no laughing matter… well, until you consider the fact that Pennywise bears a resemblance to the concierge from “Home Alone 2.”

#3: Carrie’s Revenge
“Carrie” (1976)

Based on Stephen King’s first published novel, “Carrie” follows a bullied teenager who finally snaps when it starts raining pigs’ blood on prom night. Sealing the doors shut, the telekinetic Carrie unleashes a lifetime’s worth of pent-up anger. As the gym breaks out in panic, we’re not sure whether to feel satisfied that Carrie is finally getting retribution or sorry for the innocent souls caught up in her unfocused wrath. All we know for sure is that this scene is a masterwork of cinematography, editing, and horror. Interestingly enough, this imagery was largely emphasized in the trailer, spoiling the climax. However, this one moment proved so mind-blowing that audiences had to see the entire movie.

#2: The Hobbling
“Misery” (1990)

Following a car crash, novelist Paul Sheldon finds himself at the mercy of his greatest admirer. But as Annie Wilkes’ mood swings shift from unsettlingly calm to flat-out psychotic, Paul plots his escape. Figuring out that her captive is intent on escaping, Annie goes to extreme lengths to keep him incapacitated. Drugging and strapping Paul to his bed, Annie lays down the law with a sledgehammer. The very idea of hobbling is shocking enough, but what makes this scene especially disturbing is how nonchalantly Annie breaks Paul’s ankles, as if she’s a caregiver who knows best. It solidified her place as one of cinema’s most haunting villains, earning actress Kathy Bates a Best Actress Academy Award.

Before we get to our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- Donna Is Bitten
“Cujo” (1983)

- Waving at Yourself
“1408” (2007)


#1: Here’s Johnny
“The Shining” (1980)

Ironically, Stephen King himself wasn’t a fan of Stanley Kubrick’s take on “The Shining.” However, nobody can deny the impact this film has made, what with its surreal atmosphere, chilling imagery, and unhinged lead performance from Jack Nicholson. A dull boy with a severe case of writer’s block, an overworked Jack Torrance reaches his breaking point. His wife locks herself in the bathroom, but that’s nothing an axe can’t fix. What ensues is a moment for the ages, turning a light-hearted “Tonight Show” quote into something seriously terrifying. From the delivery to the insane expression on Jack’s face, it never fails to send a shiver up our spines and remains a pop culture staple.

You must register to a corporate account to download. Please login

Related Videos

+ see more

More Top 10