Get Paid $1300 To See Which Stephen King Movies Give You Nightmares

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Danika Ellis

Associate Editor

Danika spends most of her time talking about queer women books at the Lesbrary. Blog: The Lesbrary Twitter: @DanikaEllis

USDish, a television provider, is holding a contest for a horror fan’s dream job: getting paid $1300 to watch 13 Stephen King movies to see definitively which one is scariest. They’ve curated a list of 13 Stephen King classic movies to watch (the original books are linked):

Red balloon with 13 on it against a black background with skulls and a spider web
Image from USDish, used with permission

Carrie (original or 2013 remake)
Children of the Corn
It (original or 2017 remake)
It: Chapter Two
The Mist
Pet Sematary (original or 2019 remake)
Salem’s Lot
The Shining
Doctor Sleep

To measure which one truly gets your rate racing and gives you nightmares, you’ll be wearing a Fitbit, and you’ll also journal your experiences.

In addition to the prize money and the Fitbit, USDish will provide access to all 13 movies as well as a goodie bag to complete your movie watching experience, which includes popcorn, candy, a blanket, and some Stephen King goodies.

To enter, you’ll just need to fill out a form, including 200 words of why you’re the best person for the job. For bonus points, include a video in your application to plead your case! Applicants must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and at least 18 years old. You have until October 8th to apply.

Black graphic with read balloon and text reading Watch 13 Stephen King Movies By Halloween and Get $1300
Image from USDish, used with permission

This isn’t the first time they’ve held this contest. In 2019, they received over 500,000 applications! The winner that year was Dr. Anthony Tobia, a teacher at Rutgers Medical School, who submitted a video essay about teaching Stephen King movies as a way into learning about mental illness. Tobia donated 100% of the cash prize to medical research at Rutgers.

Tobia wrote about some of these viewings his students on Psychology Today, explaining how Pet Sematary and Dreamcatcher are related to psychiatry. You can see all 31 horror movies the class watched, including the 13 King adaptations, as well as students’ thoughts about them on this archived Reddit thread.

After watching 13 King adaptations, Tobia found that It was the scariest, followed by The Shining. USDish is ready to test this conclusion with a new victim, though, to see if they get the same answer!

Creepy artwork of 4 Stephen King characters, including Pennywise
Image from USDish, used with permission

If you’re not the 1 in 500,000 person who wins this chance to be a professional Stephen King movie watcher, remember that you can still be a hobbyist. And, of course, there are always the books! If you’ve already read (and reread and rereread) King’s backlist, try 50 Must-Read Books Recommended by Stephen King and 15 Authors Like Stephen King. Or try a familiar story in a new format: The 10 Best Stephen King Audiobooks, A Ranking.