I had never heard of this movie before browsing Prime Video and the title jumped out at me.
There was a time in my life (a long time) when, if you had asked me “who’s your favorite author?” the name Stephen King would have sprung from my lips without conscious thought. So when I came across this movie last night, I just had to watch it.
The movie started off great. It seemed like a really fun send up of horror tropes. The movie even starts off with on-screen graphics describing each character and what stereotype they fill. Many of the camera shots are copies of angles and scenes you see all the time. I was laughing hard for the first fifteen minutes or so, then the laughs came less frequently, until they stopped all together. Now that would have been fine, if it was the filmmakers intent. Start off seeming like a comedy, only to slowly morph into a hard core thriller. That’s a cool idea, but if that was the plan, it succeeded in the first part, not so much the second.
The film just wasn’t very scary for the second half. I’m not sure if it was the acting, the direction, the script… probably a combination of all of it. In a movie that was supposed to have Stephen King themed killings, we had to be explicitly told of the connections to his books. Why not go for more iconic King novel references? A killer St-Bernard? Run over by a car? Someone set on fire, a bucket of blood dumped on them? Instead, we have to be told “her lungs were filled with sand, just like in…” and I can’t even remember the reference it was so obscure.
The good thing about this movie is that it exists, and by that I mean, someone with more skill and connections to deeper pockets might be able to buy it and make a better one. One that hopefully also has a Stephen King cameo in it, which I kept expecting but (spoiler alert) didn’t get.