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
As with other reviewers, I read the novel and enjoyed it thoroughly. I even recommended it to friends, even if they didn't like King. I felt that the novel didn't overly rely on its horrific themes, but did a wonderful job of evoking a time, place and mood.
I have no problem with movies that change events from the book, even when I have loved the book. To tell the truth, I read this novel so many years ago that I don't have firm recollections of a lot of the incidents in it.
So along comes Mick Garris who ignores all the interesting parts of the story and character development so that he can focus on the purely horror aspect. He trots out all the old, stale horror clichés: from the raccoon (instead of the usual cat) jumping out from a dark space to scare the hero; to the jittery camera jump cuts intended to provoke a fright; to the sudden loud music stings; and, of course, the climactic storm. The ringing bell quickly becomes repetitious and tiresome, as do the rearranging fridge magnets. As the writer, and occasional director, of the TV series Fear Itself and Masters of Horror, I suppose this focus was to be expected.
Pierce Brosnan gives it a game try but has too little to work with. The other characters are given far too little screen time to even try to create a characterization. Garris doesn't help matters by having most of them just glower or look ominous. Anika Noni Rose has a couple good moments, but is mostly relegated to vamping it up on stage as she sings. And Melissa George needed to be reined in with her hyperactive performance.
My advice is to stick with the Frank Darabont filmed adaptations of King and just read the novel Bag of Bones.
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