There are four new Stephen King Movies planned to come out this year, and I’d like to take a quick look at each, or at least the story behind each of them, and give my thoughts.
First up is the one I’m most excited for – Cell. Cell is King’s zombie opus, and it’s a smart take on the genre. In Cell, a comic book artist on a business trip to Boston is suddenly trapped in a nightmare when everyone with a cell phone becomes a cannibalistic zombie. The book is sort of a zombie road trip, with the main character and his sidekick heading north to Maine to try to find the man’s son. Along the way they pick up a young girl, and the trio work their way north, avoiding the zombies and the survivors both. The book has a heart wrenching part that I can only assume will be in the movie and probably make people really angry, but it’s meant to show just how cruel and brutal the world can be. My one hope for this movie is that it will finish the ending, which is somewhat missing in the book, much like the end of The Mist.
The next film coming up this year is called Mercy, but is based on the story Gramma from Skeleton Crew. I would say this is the movie I’m most looking forward to, because the original story is heavy on the Lovecraft references, but I’m sure all of it will be removed. Still, this is a scary goddamned story. Gramma is the story of a young boy left home alone to tend to his bedridden and obese grandmother. He comes to realize his grandmother is a witch, and worse, has apparently died while in his care. He tries to call for help, but the phone is dead, and so he waits for his mother to return. While doing so, he has to again go into his grandmother’s room and discovers she is alive, or rather, has returned from the dead. The undead woman, essentially a lich, chases after him. He grabs the phone when it rings and his aunt tells him how to subdue the dead thing by invoking the name of Hastur. As anyone who’s ever read the mythos knows, that’s not a good idea. In the end, the mother returns and discovers the old woman dead and her son apparently fine, but it’s heavily implied that the old woman has taken over his body, ala The Thing on the Doorstep.
The third film coming up is The Ten O’Clock People. This story has a lot in common with the John Carpenter movie They Live, and in fact has pretty much the same premise, only instead of special glasses, it’s quitting smoking that reveals the aliens. I’m not sure how this one will work out since it is so very similar, but heck, it might be a good movie, and They Live wasn’t exactly a blockbuster.
Finally we have A Good Marriage, which is a pretty creepy novella from Full Dark, No Stars, making it the most recent of King’s works in the list. There’s nothing supernatural in this story, one of King’s psychological thrillers instead. It’s the story of a woman who discovers that her husband was (and still may be) a serial killer. She resolves to stop him, killing him in a way that makes it seem like an accident, but a detective who was on her husband’s trail deduces that she killed him after learning the truth. Instead of turning her in, he tells her she did good. It’s not the best story in Full Dark, No Stars, but perhaps the most filmable, though I would have gone with 1922, a nice period piece that could be either supernatural or simply psychological depending on how you look at it. This movie’s screenplay is being written by King himself, so it has some real promise.
So four movies to look forward to this year, and four chances to fuck them up by Hollywood. We’ll see which ones do well and which end up in the DVD bargain bin.