BY Ashley Engle
Stephen King, notorious horror and science fiction novelist, released his latest book on the day before Halloween: “Elevation.”
Set in the fictional town of Castle Rock (a frequent locale in King’s novels), “Elevation” is about a man named Scott Carey who must deal with a mysterious illness. Carey’s battle with the disease brings the small town together, despite the differences between the characters.
Washington Post book critic Ron Charles was looking forward to King’s Halloween book release because, like many other readers, he is a fan of the dark, ominous, and frightening themes King usually imbues into his books. However, with “Elevation” Charles feels that King has a different goal in mind, giving readers a light at the end of the tunnel for once. Charles refers to this unusual book’s release as the start of a new era, of the “New King.”
Unlike Charles, students at Sacred Heart University skeptical about the new King novel.
“I don’t know a whole lot about his classics, but I love that horrific edge that King has always maintained,” said freshman Amy Hall. “I think ‘Elevation’ will bring some success. However, I have some doubt as to whether this new book might fully remove him from the legacy of his original vision of writing.”
Other students are not fans of King or the horror genre at all.
“I don’t really have much interest in horror films or books related to that genre,” said senior Deanna Vivirito. “I usually tend to stray away from genres like horror altogether. I’ve never really enjoyed that kind of reading.”
Since the 1976 film adaptation of King’s 1974 debut, “Carrie,” most of King’s books have been brought to life through film and TV –– impressive, with “Elevation” being King’s 59th novel. A number of the movies based on King’s books have enjoyed commercial and critical acclaim.
Film critic Jordan Mintzer from The Hollywood Reporter ranked the “10 Best Stephen King Screen Adaptations” from over the decades. “The Shining,” “The Shawshank Redemption,” and “Misery” are some of the films that topped the list. Despite widespread acclaim, though, “Misery” remains the only film adaptation of King’s work to have won an Oscar.
“Carrie” scored a spot in second place on Mintzer’s list – the original film adaptation, though, not the 2013 remake. The 2013 version, starring Chloe Grace Mortez, received mixed reviews and did not gross very much money during its Halloween season release.
The 1976 film about the horrific slaughtering of high school students by Carrie White (portrayed by Sissy Spacek) has been the only version that has upheld King’s horrific flair. The film also featured actor John Travolta in his first ever role.
Despite the ceaseless stream of King adaptations, both new ones and remakes, some say that they still prefer the older films.
“Though I may not be a big Stephen King fan, I remember watching the original ‘Carrie’ movie and how I loved it much more than the remake. If I had the time, I would love to re-read the book,” said Hall.
Besides “Carrie,” King’s book “The Shining” was another novel that turned into a significant movie for audiences across the globe. It was also the first movie to represent some aspect of King’s life, as the character Jack Torrance and King himself both experienced alcoholism.
“The horror genre, through King’s vision, I feel will always be unique in a lot of ways. In relation to me being a psychology major, I feel horror brings out the human experience readers must envision while reading about the unusual and terrifying,” said senior Marisa Best.