A poor, elderly white woman living in a tenement in a black ghetto is befriended by a neighborhood boy, and the two of them form a mutually beneficial relationship: he provides her ... See full summary »
Ernest Harden Jr.,
In 1926, famous evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson disappeared for six weeks. When she surfaced, she claimed that she had been kidnapped and held prisoner in Mexico. Others claimed that she ... See full summary »
A woman, who had left home 20 years previously under acrimonious circumstances, finds out that she is terminally ill. She returns home and tries to rebuild her relationship with her ... See full summary »
Many horror fans, and those who try to write such stories, understand that Stephen King has taken inspiration from the work of others. And there can be little doubt King was influenced by Thomas Tryon's outstanding novels "The Other" and "Harvest Home."
The TV movie version of the latter book, titled "Dark Secret of Harvest Home," was the second and final adaptation of Tryon's work and was originally aired in 1978, two years after the big screen success of Stephen King's "Carrie." Unlike 1972's "The Other," "Dark Secret of Harvest Home" was presented as a mini-series with a superb cast headed by Bette Davis.
Thomas Tryon wrote with an elegant style somewhat reminiscent of H.P. Lovecraft's. His plots were engaging, his characters interesting and well developed, and his New England settings evoked the gloom and obscure anxiety traditionally associated with that region. So why has his work faded into obscurity while King's is heralded as the greatest in the history of horror?
Regrettably, Tryon started writing rather late in life after a well-regarded career as an actor in such films as "The Cardinal," and died while his creative powers were on the wane. He also chose to explore genres other than the Gothic (with generally good results.) There is also a more staid, pre-World War II air about his work that might not appeal to the Baby Boomers and Gen-X'ers who form King's core audience. Nevertheless, Tryon's Gothic efforts translated wonderfully onto the small screen, and he deserves a well-deserved place in the pantheon of American Gothic writers. Thankfully, American Movie Classics has begun airing the TV movie version "The Other" again. Hopefully, 'Dark Secret of Harvest Home' won't be far behind.
28 of 30 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?