Arts & Culture News

DISH Network Wants to Pay One Lucky Horror Fan $1,300 to Watch 13 Stephen King Movies

REDRUM and Coke? One lucky winner will be able to get paid to be scared.
REDRUM and Coke? One lucky winner will be able to get paid to be scared. Archive Photos/Stringer
A friendless teenage girl with superpowers and an aversion to pig’s blood. A group of sociopathic children with an addiction to corn. A vampire who chills in a crate only to crawl out at night to spread a rare disease. A killer clown from outer space lingering like a pedophile in a mass graveyard of unwanted children in a small town’s sewer system.

They all have one thing in common: Stephen King.

King is the undisputed master of horror. His protagonists have been frightening people for more than 50 years in 59 different novels. They’ve spawned a number of horror films and made-for-TV movies, influencing generations of horror filmmakers and writers, as well as a top-notch marketing scheme currently making headlines. wants to pay one lucky, or unfortunate, person $1,300 to watch 13 movies based on Stephen King’s novels. They include the classics (Carrie, Salem’s Lot, The Shining), some of the worst adaptations (Cujo, The Mist, Thinner), a few with a modern twist (It, Misery, Pet Sematary) and a couple that should have been left off the list (Children of the Corn and Christine).

“Scary, but simple!” is their saying.

Part of the reason that USDish officials are putting together this contest now involves the release of It: Chapter 2, starring a frighteningly bitter killer clown, and the upcoming Doctor Sleep, the sequel to King’s The Shining. In Doctor Sleep, Ewan McGregor, aka Obi Wan Kenobi, plays the grown-up Danny, the boy with the shining in King’s 1977 original. He’s still battling ghosts and now alcohol when he comes across a group of RV-living vampires who feed off the shining instead of blood.

USD officials will provide a survival pack for the expedition, which largely entails watching how directors mostly failed at capturing King’s vision. The pack contains a blanket, candy, a flashlight, popcorn and some Stephen King paraphernalia (not smokable) to help kick-start what they claim will be “a terrifying experience.”

Like Big Brother, they want to know everything about your experience. They plan on tracking your heart rate and jump scares. They’d also like to know who’s joining you for the scare. You’ll have to journal your experience, revealing your thoughts and feelings as you wrestle your way through scene after scene in 26 hours of movies that aren’t nearly as terrifying as USDish officials claim.

All you need to do to qualify is write a 200-word essay explaining why you’re the perfect victim for their mad project.

It’s unclear what they plan to do with the data. But if they truly wanted to terrify you, they would have asked you to read King’s novels instead of watching movies based on his work. They’re hard to put down and far more terrifying in the middle of the night. The novels often haunt you long after you finish reading them.

Halloween is just around the corner, and claims this King marathon is the perfect vein to bite in celebration of All Hallows Eve.

And $1,300 could help make it a night to remember.

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Christian McPhate is an award-winning journalist who specializes in investigative reporting. He covers crime, the environment, business, government and social justice. His work has appeared in several publications, including the Dallas Morning News, the Fort Worth Star Telegram, the Miami Herald, San Antonio Express News and The Washington Times.