My History With the Film:
It’s been talked about again and again, but 2017 was a huge year for Stephen King adaptations. Movies like IT, Gerald’s Game, Mr. Mercedes, The Dark Tower, and 1922 were released. 1922 is a Netflix horror release that was announced just a few short weeks before its debut. It stars Thomas Jane (The Mist) and Molly Parker (Deadwood) and is an adaptation of a novella by Stephen King.
I was only vaguely familiar with the 1922 book, and had no idea what it was about. The trailer gave a pretty good look at a creepy story set in 1922, so I decided to give it a shot. I watched it the weekend it came out in October 2017.
What The Film Is About (Non-Spoiler):
In 1922, a man and his son kill his wife and suffer the consequences afterwards.
What I Liked About It:
-This is a slow, character driven story in which the entire plot revolves around Thomas Jane’s character, Wilfred James. I think Jane did a good job with the material and brought to life this old fashioned farmer who makes a bad decision and is tortured by it.
-Molly Parker is wonderful in what little scene time that she gets.
-Because of the slow burn, when scary things start happening, they are quite effective.
-The movie feels like it’s truly lived in. The house doesn’t feel like a set at all, but an actual home where somebody lives with its faults and all.
What I Didn’t Like About It:
-This movie is based on a novella, which I’m sure Stephen King wrote because he didn’t feel there was enough material for an entire novel. This story doesn’t contain enough material for an entire movie either. This would have made a great one hour long Twilight Zone episode or Tales from The Crypt, but not a movie. It drags way too long and is not strong enough to support the 101 minute run time.
-I felt like Thomas Jane’s accent was good, but not great. Sometimes it slipped into mumbling territory and I ended up switching the subtitles on just to make sure I didn’t miss anything.
-Thomas Jane starred in two other Stephen King adaptations: The Mist and Dreamcatcher.
1922 plays out like Stephen King’s version of The Tell-Tale Heart. It’s a slow piece about a man terrorized by his own guilt. I feel like the filmmaker tried to channel the slow burn that worked so well in The Witch, but I don’t think it worked as effectively here. Thomas Jane did a wonderful job and really brought to life his character, but ultimately there wasn’t enough in the script to keep my interest for the entire movie.
I’d rate 1922 a two and a half out to five and say skip it unless you are a big Stephen King fan or a fan of slow burn horror flicks.