Saturday, 26 October 2013

Misery

"Misery" (1990, Rob Reiner, Castle Rock Entertainment, Nelson Entertainment, Columbia Pictures) is the film adaptation of Stephen King's fantastic novel "Misery".

I hold this film in high esteem because it captures a lot of the themes from the novel and the changes it makes are beneficial for the on-screen adaptation. It doesn't just chop and change features for laughs and creates a few levels of intrigue and dread without trying to go too deep.

The casting is also flawless with James Caan as author turned captive, Paul Sheldon and Kathy Bates frankly makes the role of crazy 'number one fan', Annie Wilkes, her own. I couldn't imagine anyone else playing the part. She is truly terrifying.

In case you've been under a rock since 1987 (when the book was published), the plot is simple: Paul Sheldon is the author of a successful fictional series called "Misery" (named after his title character). He is caught in a terrible car accident, and is horribly hurt. The car crash scene is very arty with the music. Love it.

He wakes to find that he's been saved by Annie Wilkes, a strange lady who proclaims to be his number one fan and a nurse. She nurses him back to health, but upon reading his pre-copy of his latest novel and discovering that he intends to kill off her beloved Misery, Annie gets nasty. Real nasty.

An excellent study of jailer and captive behaviour and a tense mental game of wits, I'd rate this film as one of my favourite King adaptations as well as an excellent psychological thriller.

While there are certainly 'eep' moments, this film is not a gory film or a jump-infested spook fest. It's a slow building dread, which eventually unleashes some real mental scares.

Also, there's a pretty epic fight scene that still makes my eyes water at a certain part!

[Image: Castle Rock Entertainment]

Hani