After years of false starts and empty promises, Stephen King fans finally have a movie version of The Dark Tower! Just one problem: It is not good.
If you're feeling the keen sting of yet another crummy King adaptation, know this: Not only am I right there with you (hi!), but I'm here to help! Here's a far-from-comprehensive list of other King movies—ones you can watch from the comfort of your own home, and all of which are better than The Dark Tower.
11.22.63 (Hulu)—Wow, I already screwed up this list, because this isn't even a movie. Great job, Erik. Anyways, is this miniseries as good as the book? Not even close, but get used to that being the case with... well, most King adaptations. It's still better than The Dark Tower.
Carrie (iTunes)—The De Palma one, not all the other ones! But even the newest one has Julianne Moore, automatically making it better than The Dark Tower.
Misery—WHAM. WHAM. Is that the noise a sledgehammer makes? Close enough. WHAM. Kathy Bates is scary! WHAM. Misery is better than The Dark Tower.
The Shining (Netflix, and screening drive-in style at the Expo Center next week)—Despite King famously shit-talking the film, he's the only person on the planet who doesn't think it's better than The Dark Tower.
Stranger Things (Netflix)—Technically neither a movie nor an actual King story, Stranger Things still has so much King in its DNA that the guy should be getting royalties. Or pay child support? I dunno, this metaphor got away from me. Look, Stranger Things is great, and definitely better than The Dark Tower.
Children of the Corn (Hulu)—Children of the Corn can't say it's better than very many movies, but it can say it's better than The Dark Tower.
Dreamcatcher (Netflix)—A movie so aggressively terrible that it put director Lawrence Kasdan in Hollywood jail (he'd be broken out, years later, when J.J. Abrams needed help with The Force Awakens), the lowlights of Dreamcatcher have to be seen to be believed, from its victimized aliens to its rectum-bursting shitweasels to Donnie Wahlberg's... ah... performance. This movie is still better than The Dark Tower.
It (iTunes)—This 1990 miniseries has not... it has not aged great? (The book, thankfully, is still as remarkable as ever—whenever I think about It, I convince myself it's probably King's best.) Alternately, you could just spend a few hours rewatching the trailer for the new movie, which almost certainly will be better than The Dark Tower.
Creepshow (iTunes)—Or you could read the comic! Whichever you choose, Creepshow is better than The Dark Tower.
Needful Things (Hulu)—I just watched this for the first time a few weeks ago! It is fine? Max von Sydow is a good creepy old man, which is something I think we knew already. Bonnie Bedelia is wonderful, as always. Ed Harris is bored. Still better than The Dark Tower.
Maximum Overdrive (iTunes)—It might be a stretch to call Maximum Overdrive "good," but you know what's not a stretch? Me pointing out that this film, directed by King himself, starring Emilio Estevez and Green Goblin: The Truck, and soundtracked by AC/DC, is the only film that is directed by King, stars Emilio Estevez and Green Goblin: The Truck, is soundtracked by AC/DC, and is better than The Dark Tower.
Stand by Me (iTunes)—Jesus, this list is long. And I'm leaving a ton out! But yeah, better than The Dark Tower.
The Shawshank Redemption (iTunes)—Fun fact: This film was shot at the prison where the people who made The Dark Tower will go! It is better than The Dark Tower.
The Green Mile (iTunes)—see above, also better than The Dark Tower
The Mist (iTunes)—The fact more people
haven't been horrifically traumatized by enjoyed Frank Darabont's excellent adaptation is a cinematic tragedy. This thing has all the pulpy, outlandish standbys of old-school horror (find the DVD version if you can, which boasts Darabont's preferred black-and-white cut), plus fun performances from Thomas Jane, Toby Jones, and Marcia Gay Harden, who nails the role of that trusty old King standby, "Crazy Religious Lady." I won't say anything else, aside from urging you to watch it, and also telling you to not make any plans for an hour or two afterward. Oh, and that it's better than The Dark Tower.