With “Midsommar” earning raves and performing well at the box office, horror has never been hotter. And if, as Justin Chang argued in the Los Angeles Times back in 2017, horror has become the defining genre of the Trump presidency, then Stephen King is its patron saint. The master of horror’s many works have seen renewed interest thanks to a slew of successful adaptations, from the box office record-breaker “It,” to its much-hyped follow-up “It: Chapter Two,” and many more projects currently in the works. And while the master of horror certainly is the king of scary set-ups, he says there’s one scenario so terrifying even he couldn’t improve upon it: Donald Trump’s presidency.
During an interview with NowThisNews, King laughed after being asked whether he thought the Trump presidency was scarier than one of his novels. “Short answer to that is, yes, I do. I do think it’s scarier,” he said.
However, King did concede that he predicted a similar authoritarian figure with similarities to the president might come to power in his 1979 book “The Dead Zone,” later adapted into a film by David Cronenberg in 1983.
“I was sort of convinced that it was possible that a politician would arise who was so outside the mainstream and so willing to say anything that he would capture the imaginations of the American people,” he said.
“The Dead Zone” features a power-hungry businessman-turned-politician named Greg Stillson, played by Martin Sheen. King described the character as someone who said “crazy stuff that nobody would possibly believe or so we thought, until Donald Trump came along.”
“My worry at the time that I wrote ‘The Dead Zone’ was that somebody like Greg Stillson might actually get elected and rise through the ranks, become president of the United States and start World War III,” King added. “But we do seem to have a Greg Stillson as president of the United States.”
Watch the full interview with King below.
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