HOW STUFF WORKS
QUIZZES

FOLLOW US
The Stephen King Book vs. Movie Quiz
by Staff
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?

  • locks him in the walk-in freezer
  • runs him over with the Sno-Cat
  • kills him with an axe to the chest

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?

  • He's coerced into participating when he's recaptured after escaping from prison.
  • He has a personal vendetta against Running Man host Damon Killian.
  • He's sentenced to participate in Running Man by a corrupt judge.

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

  • The 1981 novel
  • The 1983 film

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

  • He refuses to leave Christine when Dennis and Leigh run her over with a bulldozer.
  • He's shot by police while trying to run them down with Christine.
  • He and his mother are killed in a car accident miles away from Christine.

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

  • "Trucks"
  • "Who Made Who?"
  • "Maximum Overdrive"

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

  • The movie.
  • The novel.

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

  • Tim Robbins
  • Morgan Freeman
  • David Caruso

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 book
  • The TV movie

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 survivors realize they are infected with a sickness caused by the monsters. With no antibiotics they die one by one.
  • The survivors drive for hundreds of miles, but find nothing but mist and monsters. They drive on, endlessly.
  • The protagonist kills all the survivors, including his son, so they won’t have to face the horrors in the mist. Moments later, military troops arrive and clear out the monsters.

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

  • It has so little in common with his short story "The Lawnmower Man" that King successfully sued to have his name removed from the title.
  • It features actor Vincent Price's final on-screen performance.
  • It was the first King movie that featured a cameo by King himself.

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 movie
  • The short story

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

  • homeless man
  • farmer
  • minister

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?

  • 1970 movie
  • 2002 TV movie
  • 2013 movie

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?

  • She breaks his ankles.
  • She slices his Achilles tendons.
  • She locks Paul into a pair of iron boots.

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?

  • 237
  • 666
  • 2001

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

  • "Tales from the Darkside"
  • "Creepshow"
  • "Creepshow II"

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

  • Robert DeNiro
  • Charles Bronson
  • Christopher Walken

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

  • "Low Men in Yellow Coats"
  • "The Raft"
  • "The Reploids"

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

  • a formless glowing cloud
  • a refined and wealthy gentleman
  • a corrupt and sleazy used car salesman

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

  • South Africa
  • Canada
  • India

"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?

  • "Old Chief Wooden Head"
  • "The Raft"
  • "The Hitchhiker"

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?

  • "The Shawshank Redemption"
  • "Stand By Me"
  • "Sometimes They Come Back"

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?

  • Stark is revealed to be an evil spirit, destroyed and carried back to hell by a flock of sparrows.
  • Stark turns out to be Thad's actual twin brother, separated from him at birth.
  • Stark is Thad's shadow, and he merges with Thad to form a single being.

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"
  • "Night Shift"
  • "Skeleton Crew"

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

  • 2
  • 5
  • 10

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

  • murdering a cop
  • child sex trafficking
  • failure to pay back taxes

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

  • Pierce Brosnan
  • Tim Curry
  • Max von Sydow

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?

  • a black helicopter
  • a horse-drawn carriage
  • the goblin-faced truck from "Maximum Overdrive"

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

  • The 1983 novel
  • The film (also released in 1983)

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?

  • telekinetically stops her heart
  • hurls her down a flight of stairs using her mental powers
  • uses her powers to tie her mother to a chair, then burns the house down with her in it