First... Let me state that only film/TV adaptations of King’s horror stories are considered for this list (this is Horror Central after all). Obviously if all of his work was under consideration then The Shawshank Redemption, Stand By Me, The Running Man, Hearts in Atlantis among many others, would almost undoubtedly be on the list. As a MASSIVE Stephen King fan, it was tough enough just pruning his horror work alone down to ten, never mind everything else.
John Carpenter hit the nail on the proverbial head in 1978 with his fantastic film, Halloween. Now, without getting into every detail that makes this film and subsequent franchise stand out amongst the genre all of these years later, I am instead going to be taking a different approach with the series. Halloween, widely considered to be the absolute best that the horror genre has to offer, has a history of greatness that transcends horror fans. Yet is also has a very different legacy; a legacy of thoroughly pissing off its rabid fan base. From the atrocious ways that it treated its most beloved characters to the (god help us) Busta Rhymes starring finale, the criticisms of Halloween are ripe for the picking. Keep in mind, there are tons of great things to say about the series as well, but for now I would like to finally pick that bone I have had with the series all of these years (and hope I don’t ostracize myself from the horror community in the process!)
What is it about the horror genre that keeps the masses crawling back for more? Surely it’s not the storytelling, setting, plot, or character buildup (unless of course, you’re referring to the killer). It can’t be the hopes for a cinematic experience that leaves us feeling hopeful, or reinvigorated. And the genre does not refocus our minds to the good of the world to stop our thoughts from remembering the latest tragedies in reality. So what do we gain from them? Why does something that appears so ghastly, so abhorrent, so existential and gruesomely tormented keep us titillated, curious, and our eyes glued to the screen to see what limb gets hacked off next? Could it be that recognizing death and dealing with the atrocities we see played out in our favorite movies is actually a coping mechanism in the human animal to deal with its finite state? Nah—They are movies! Surely there isn’t that much thought involved. All we know is that we like to see sex, drugs, and scenes bloodier than a World War II film. And yet, on a subconscious level at least, this is exactly what I am proposing.
The Human Race (2013) follows 80 confused people from all walks of life after they are plucked from their everyday lives to participate in a race to stay alive. Each participant in this competition of life or death hears their own voice in their heads telling them the rules of a game being played in an unknown location, 'If you are lapped twice, you die. If you step off the path, you die. If you touch the grass, you will die. Race... or die.' The struggle to survive and determine what brought these doomed people together for this contest of futility will prove exhausting and lethal.
REVIEW IN 200 WORDS OR LESS