As fall overtakes summer to chill the air and stretch our nights, maybe like me, you are: a) blessed or burdened with time to binge while urged to stay indoors by the CDC, and b) ready for an eerie miniseries.

I don’t mean slashers with pretty youngsters picked off with escalating gore. I mean stories about engaging, ordinary folks facing paranormal odds, as delivered by the peerless Stephen King.

As the writer once said, “I’m after your heart. I recognize terror as the finest emotion…But if I cannot terrorize, I will try to horrify, and if I find I cannot horrify, I’ll go for the gross-out. I’m not proud.”

So here I present a list of King’s own favorite small-screen works on DVD available at Akron-Summit County Libraries or from our Search Ohio partners:

 

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Kingdom Hospital

(13 forty-minute episodes):
1860s era ghosts (helpful little Mary, a sinister older boy, and a cruel German doctor) haunt a hospital built on another’s charred ruins. To banish the evil, Mary seeks aid from compassionate doctors and patients like elderly psychic Eleanor and paralyzed artist Peter, and from “Antubis,” a monster resembling a razor-toothed anteater. Be patient, this slow burn is worth it!

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Storm Of The Century

(3 two-hour episodes):
During an intense blizzard a vile stranger called Andre Linoge harries a Maine island town full of volatile secrets. Jailing him fails to stop a string of murders, and he threatens they will all perish unless they agree to his shocking proposal. This has the most haunting ending I have ever seen.

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The Shining

(3 ninety-minute episodes):
Overseeing the haunted Overlook Hotel may prove fatal for newly sober writer Jack Torrance, his strong wife Wendy, and their cherished psychic son Danny. Set aside that Kubrick film King lamented as “cold,” “cynical,” “bleak” and “misogynistic” to its women---this miniseries captures the masterpiece he wrote about a family struggling to stay together and save each other.

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Rose Red

(3 ninety-minute episodes):
Psych professor Dr. Joyce Reardon brings a team of psychics to delve into the phenomena and long-buried secrets of an antique Seattle mansion where twenty-three people have died or vanished. Hostile spirits and rooms whose dimensions suddenly shift soon have the team fighting for their lives. I confess the body count here is higher than I would like, but it’s also atmospheric and well-acted.

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show of your choosing!


Michelle Steiner
PSA II, Norton Branch Library