Oh if this was an article about the book-bound or TV villains that have come along thanks to Stephen King the list would continue to expand since the master of horror has unveiled a great many villains in his time and a plethora of nightmares that would send even the strongest-willed individual running to their nearest shrink for a sleeping aid. But when talking about movie monsters King still has quite a few tricks up his sleeve, though I will be refraining from movies such as Pet Semetary, the Dark Tower, and even The Mist and 1408 since not despite the fact that there are monsters and ghouls aplenty in each story, those are more collective and not exactly narrowed down to a single individual that commands the kind of presence and attention that those on this list have earned. It’s possible you might have thought of a couple of others so please feel free to share, there’s always more room to pack in another nightmare.
Here are some of Stephen King’s greatest movie villains.
5. Leland Gaunt
Admittedly, Gaunt is the least troublesome in terms of damage he causes by his own hand in the movies, and Needful Things was perhaps one of the worst representations of a Stephen King monster, but Leland is anything but human according to the book. He trades in souls and his true form is kind of hard to describe since like many that exist within King’s many connected worlds he can appear differently as he needs to. But when it comes to setting other people on each other and causing outright mayhem he does rise above quite a few individuals when it comes to being more than a little troublesome.
On a biological level there’s nothing supernatural about Cujo, he’s a St. Bernard that was infected with rabies and went nuts on those within range of his home. But the carnage he unleashed because of his simple, maddened state of being was enough to give a lot of people nightmares since a dog this big coming at anyone full speed ahead and without restraint is something that’s terrifying enough in the real world, but is even worse when you consider that in a movie, there are few if any ways that this is going to end well. As it goes there were actually a couple of accidents on the set as well.
3. Kurt Barlow
Vampires are scary enough when they’re allowed to simply roam, but when one actually humbles a priest and makes them drink their blood it gets even worse since the depravity of their very being is laid bare. Barlow was the type that sought to take over in a quiet manner at first but wasn’t to be questioned when it was time to appear. His role in Salem’s Lot was nothing less than sheer terror as the townsfolk were suspicious at first but obviously learned to fear him at one point. As stories go some people would argue that this is one King’s best, but others might say that it had potential to be great but fell just short.
Some people might balk and wonder why Christine even gets mentioned, but hopefully most people would understand it well enough since Christine was a car that had a definite murderous streak about her and didn’t seem inclined to explain why. Arnie didn’t even bother trying to rationalize it after a while since Christine was his car and that was that. When he continues to sink deeper and deeper into Christine’s lure it becomes obvious that the car has a serious hold on him, and a very serious agenda against anyone that would seek to tear them apart. Christine is by far one of the most horrifying stories that King has written, but also one of the greatest.
It would be insanely hard to top Pennywise as King’s top creation, though there are a couple creatures in his books that could possibly take the title. In the movies however this being is one of the worst if not THE absolute worst since not only does he feed on children, but the creature is ancient in a way that makes almost no sense to the passage of time as humans know it, it can control an entire town worth of people at once, and it knows how to feed off of the fear of those it selects as its victims. Pennywise is the sum of all fears that a person has ever had, a creature so vast and unknown in its scope that even trying to figure it out would only allow a person to scratch the surface of what IT is. That’s just one reason why this monster is one of the most horrific that King has ever created.
In the books, there are still worse to be had if you can imagine it.