Wednesday, January 12, 2011
The master of horror, Stephen King, created an interesting view of his own nightmares in a book called Misery. That book would become an instant classic when Rob Reiner took the helm to direct one scary woman, Kathy Bates. The film has not only scared millions of audiences, it has become one of the most recognizable pieces of horror for anyone that aspires to be a professional writer.
Misery's plot is very simple on the surface. A writer crashes amidst a snow storm and looks to be on his way to kicking the bucket, but is rescued by a woman that claims she is his biggest fan. The woman takes the author to her cabin, and unravels hell on earth for the writer, and wow, does it get worse before it gets better.
There are a lot of scary moments in this film, and it's not what everyone thinks. The best part of the movie is the pacing. The pace is deliberate, and for some a bit tedious, but right when you're ready to stop the movie, something bad happens, and every few minutes the level of fear gets higher, and louder and eventually all hell breaks loose. This film really feels like a play, that is until Annie (the antagonist) breaks Paul's ankles with a sledge hammer. Sadly, it's what most people remember.
Desperation, that's what I remember most about this film. There is a great deal of desperation expressed by the trapped author, as he can't go anywhere. Most people would say that he should've just pulled out his cell phone or gotten to a phone in general, but that's not possible when you're not living in 2011, you're int he late 80's or early 90's. Yes, you have to place yourself in an era where communication is not very easy, and your life could end in a car crash somewhere. I'm not sure what is sadder, the fact that most people that will see this movie can't recall a time when they weren't online 24 hours a day, or available via cell phone all the time, or even in communication with the rest of the world at all hours, or that this movie won't scare most audiences in 2011. The desperation found in this film by James Caan is classic, and a testament to how good his performance was in this film.
There's no gore, no sex, and no major sickness in this movie. The majority of this film's scary points all focus on psychological terror and the pain and desperation of being isolated, alone and without contact to the outside world.
When I first saw this movie, I didn't really like it. I was a kid and couldn't imagine how it could be scary. Then as an adult I read the book and rewatched the movie, and boy oh boy, it is scary notion to have a fan claim they love you, to the point of madness. There is a sure fire horror to this film that lasts through the facade of a three character act. You'll be hard pressed to find a better acted horror film, with such psychology in modern horror. The film works on a variety of levels and really is entertaining. You'll have to think a little more than usual to get the horror elements, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. If you haven't seen Misery, you're missing out, it's a high quality flick.