The updated adaptation of It is already tracking to win its second box office weekend in a row, and it could conceivably be the highest grossing horror film of all-time before the end of the month. That’s fitting because King has been a lifelong movie fan, and many of his preferred films fall in the horror genre. Recently, the British Film Institute asked King to share his thoughts about his personal favorite movies, and the master of horror didn’t disappoint.
As part of that request, King wrote a column for BFI’s official site that unequivocally named Sorcerer as his absolute favorite movie. It’s a 40-year old film that was directed by William Friedkin, and it was about four drivers in South America who found themselves doing dangerous work for an oil company. It’s more of a thriller than a horror film, but King insisted that it is even better than Henri-Georges Clouzot’s The Wages of Fear; which was the first movie to adapt the same story that Sorcerer was based upon. That said, King named Clouzot’s Les Diaboliques as his next favorite, and followed by Peter Medak’s understated horror movie, The Changeling, and Jacques Tourneur’s Night of the Demon.
Did you know that even Stephen King finds the creepy and malevolent kids from Village of the Damned to be unsettling? He specifically called Wolf Rilla’s film “beautiful” and praised George Sanders’ performance as the schoolmaster forced to teach the kids from Hell. King also had strong praise for Duel, Steven Spielberg‘s very first film, as well as Robert Harmon’s The Hitcher, which was released in 1986.
For his final favorite, King’s named Joseph Ruben’s The Stepfather. That was one of Terry O’Quinn‘s breakout performances nearly twenty years before Lost. As King succinctly put it, O’Quinn’s Henry Morrison was a “murderous (but charming) psycho looking for a family to love him.” He just returned that love with horrifying violence.
You can read the full text of King’s BFI essay here.
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