The Stephen King Book vs. Movie Quiz

By: Staff

4 Min Quiz

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About This Quiz

Dozens of horror legend Stephen King's novels and short stories have been made into movies and TV series, some of them to great acclaim, others not so much. Can you spot the differences between King's original vision and the movie directors' interpretations?

In the novel version of "The Shining," Torrance injures the hotel chef Hallorann with a hammer. What does he do to Hallorann in the movie?

Director Stanley Kubrick portrays the murderous Torrance as a much less sympathetic character than the novel's Torrance, and the scene where he axe-murders Hallorann is a perfect example.

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In the Richard Bachmann novel "The Running Man," the protagonist enters the Running Man competition as a way out of poverty. Why does he enter in the 1987 movie?

In the movie, Arnold Schwarenegger's character is framed for a massacre during a food riot. He escapes prison but is recaptured by the television network that produces Running Man.

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In which version of "Cujo" does the child, Tad, die?

Tad's death in the novel is one of King's most upsetting scenes in a career full of upsetting scenes. Tad survives in the film.

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In John Carpenter's movie "Christine," Arnie is killed when he is propelled through Christine's windshield. How does he die in the novel?

Dennis suspects the evil spirit possessing Christine left the car to murder Arnie, causing the highway wreck which also killed Arnie's mother.

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What's the name of the short story that the movie "Maximum Overdrive" is based on?

"Maximum Overdrive" is based on the short story, "Trucks." It's the only Stephen King adaptation directed by King himself.

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Which version of "Dreamcatcher" pays homage to "Heart of Darkness" and "Apocalypse Now" by naming the military commander Kurtz?

The book's Colonel Kurtz is Colonel Curtis in the movie.

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The Irish character named Red in "The Shawshank Redemption" is played by what actor in the movie?

Freeman's character jokes about being Irish in the movie.

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In one version of "It," adult Bev is terrorized by the corpse of her father. In another version she's caught by a witch in a parody of the Hansel and Gretel fable. Which version had the witch?

The novel has a house made of candy and other aspects of the Hansel and Gretel fable.

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Frank Darabont's film version of "The Mist" ends on a much bleaker note than King's novella, in which the protagonist and his son set off for Hartford with at least some hope of rescue. What happens in the movie?

The irony of killing his own son when everything would have been fine if he'd just waited a few moments longer made for a stunning, memorable climax.

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What is the most notable thing about the movie "The Lawnmower Man" compared to other adaptations of King's stories?

Other than a scene involving a death by lawnmower, "The Lawnmower Man" movie is completely unrelated to King's short story, and King doesn’t consider it an actual adaptation of his work.

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Which version of "The Mangler" ends with the possessed machine off in the distance, smashing its way through the city to reach the detectives?

The short story's ominous ending is probably its best feature. The movie ends with the machine repaired by a new owner.

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In the 1989 movie version of "Pet Sematary," what role did Stephen King play for his cameo?

The credits list King simply as "Minister."

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In the novel and two out of the three film versions of "Carrie," Carrie is killed (not counting sequels). In which film version does she unambiguously survive?

Sue helps Carrie escape in the 2002 movie. In all the other versions, Carrie is killed, although the final scenes seem to suggest she might be able to come back to life.

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A key element of "Misery" was toned down for the movie. What does the movie version of Annie do instead of chopping Paul's foot off?

The movie version of "Misery" is less gory than the novel. Paul keeps his feet, though he's still seriously injured when his ankles are shattered.

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Some of the chilling events of "The Shining" take place in room 217 in the novel, but the room number is different in Stanley Kubrick's film. What is the movie version's room number?

The hotel that was used for exterior shots of the hotel requested that the non-existent room 237 be used so guests wouldn’t be afraid to sleep in the actual room 217.

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In what movie does King's short story "The Crate" appear?

"The Crate" was one of several stories that made up Creepshow's anthology format.

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Who played the role of protagonist Johnny Smith in the 1983 movie "The Dead Zone?"

Walken and the rest of the cast and crew endured bitter cold, as the film was shot in Ontario, Canada during an especially cold winter.

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Which Stephen King short story is the movie "Hearts in Atlantis" based on?

"Hearts in Atlantis" draws primarily from "Low Men in Yellow Coats" and also the short story "Heavenly Shades of Night Are Falling," both of which appeared in an anthology titled "Hearts in Atlantis."

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The 1979 TV mini-series "Salem's Lot" featured Barlow as a Nosferatu-like mute monster. What was Barlow in the novel?

The mini-series' Barlow never speaks a word, a sharp contrast from the novel's well-mannered shopkeeper.

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Not all King adaptations were made in Hollywood. "No Smoking," based on King's "Quitters, Inc." was made in what country?

The dark themes of "No Smoking" are not typical of a Bollywood film, but it was made in India by director Anurag Kashyap.

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"Creepshow 2" was an anthology made up of three short films. Two were written by King for the movie, one was based on a short story. Which segment was based on the short story?

"The Raft" first appeared in Gallery magazine and then the Skeleton Crew short story collection.

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King's novella "The Body," about four young boys who hike to find the body of a man killed by a train, was made into a movie with a different title. What was the movie's title?

"Stand By Me" starred Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman and Jerry O'Connell.

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The novel "The Dark Half" ends ambiguously, with the reader uncertain if George Stark is real or an aspect of Thad's personality. How does the movie version end?

The evil spirit of Stark in the movie differs from the novel's premise about an author's inherent dark side, brought on by the unmasking of King's pen name, Richard Bachman.

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The mini-series "The Langoliers" is based on the story of the same name. What was the title of the collection that story was originally published in?

"Four Past Midnight" was a collection of four novellas, including "The Langoliers."

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How many movies have been made based on "The Children of the Corn," including the sequels?

The 1984 movie version has seven sequels, and there is also a short film and SyFy TV movie, all based on a short story from 1977.

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What crime is Dolan about to be prosecuted for at the end of the movie "Dolan's Cadillac?"

Dolan's anticipated arrest for child sex trafficking is absent from the short story, which is purely about Robinson's revenge.

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Which actor portrayed the monster from "It" in the 1990 TV miniseries?

Curry's version of Pennywise the Clown has become a horror icon.

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In both versions of "Needful Things," villain Leland Gaunt leaves town after his plots are uncovered. In the movie, he leaves in a black car. What vehicle doe he use in the novel?

After leaving in his carriage, Gaunt eventually restarts the cycle of greed and violence in an Iowa town.

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The evil car Christine kills an automotive factory worker in which version?

In the novel, Christine is possessed by Roland LeBay, but the movie indicates Christine was evil from the moment she was made.

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In both the novel and the 1970s film version of "Carrie," Carrie kills her mother. She memorably uses every knife in the house to do it in the movie, but how does she kill her in the book?

Part of the horror of "Carrie" is the combination of her rage and her ability to kill with little more than a thought, such as the way she stops her mother's heart.

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