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Bestselling novelist Mike Noonan, unable to cope after his wife's sudden death, returns to the couple's lakeside retreat in Maine, where he becomes involved in a custody battle between a young widow and her child's enormously wealthy grandfather. Mike inexplicably receives mysterious ghostly visitations, escalating nightmares and the realization that his late wife still has something to tell him. Written by
Has a go, but can't hold up to being an inferior version of the book
STAR RATING: ***** Saturday Night **** Friday Night *** Friday Morning ** Sunday Night * Monday Morning
Novelist Mike Noonan (Pierce Brosnan) suffers terrible writer's block following the death of his wife and finds himself drawn by terrible dreams in the aftermath to Dark Score Lake, the serene little area where he and his wife own a summer house. He runs into Mattie (Melissa George) a young mother who's locked in a bitter custody battle with local millionaire Max Devore (William Schallert) who has the place in his grip. But Kyra (Caitlin Carmichael) the young girl at the centre of the battle, Devore himself and the tale of Sara Tidwell (Anika Noni Rose) a local blues singer from the 1930s, and the memory of his dead wife are all drawn together in one devastating revelation.
Having very recently finished reading Bag of Bones, I was very eager to see this film adaptation of it, despite Stephen King novels having a poor history of translating in to films, with a handful of exceptions. The warning lights sort of felt on with this one from the off set, but I was willing to give it a chance. While staying pretty faithful to the source material, director Mick Garris has taken some creative licence with some of the material here, which anyone who has read the book will notice. This is just to be expected, though, and fundamentally the film (the first part, anyway) does nothing wrong, with a fairly decent lead performance from Brosnan and a more than willing supporting cast.
The troubles become more clear in the second part, where the translation difficulties become more apparent and the script fails to hold up to the book, from which memorable events appear on screen without half their dramatic impact, which just leaves an impression of lameness. There's also the TV movie constraints, in the shape of some laughable special effects.
It's a shame that the bad stuff lets it down, because a worthy go has been had here and the film is capable of some intense, dramatic writing and style. It's simply a case that, as ever with King, reading the book will be so much better. **
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