When you think of good audio-visual presentations of Stephen King novels, you don't really think about the original book, but the result from a really good director. You think about Kubrick's "The Shining", Cronenberg's "Dead Zone", and, ah, gimme a moment, it's around here somewhere. Uhm, well, there's ... hell, the best thing which has come from Stephen King has been on teevee. And there's no shame in that, in fact, if he turned his back to Hollywood entirely, and just worked on the small screen, we'd have much better things to see on the tube.
Case in point, the recent made for teevee two-parter "Salem's Lot". This was King's first novel (my first exposure to Stephen King was reading Ben Grimm in the Fantastic Four - sorta like something out of "The Ice Storm", yes, I am get gonna all meta on your ass — reading "Salem's Lot", and shitting bricks when somebody startles him (well, what the hell else would The Thing shit but bricks?))
Anyways, Stephen King's best film work in the last decade has been in teevee. As an adaptation of his novel, the teevee version of "The Shining" was actually quite good, and "The Stand" had some nudity.
And now we get "Salem's Lot", which has been previously made for teevee, but was campy and had too much Soul - David Soul. This version has Rob Lowe and a farmer priest, and best of all, the vampire is played by Rutger Hauer. It is creepy, tense and really captures the tone and style of King's novel like the big screen versions don't.
Sure, there are the in-jokes (a guy calls his dog "Cujo", etc, and while I didn't see it, like in "Kingdom Hospital", there was probably somebody reading a Stephen King book) but the mini-series really rolls along on the dread suspense instead of SFX.