Strange Bacon: Stephen King Marathon

As a lover of all things Maine, including Lobster, wooded acres, cabins, lakes, and Moose, I have a special place in my repertoire for all things Stephen King. Not only was he the longtime neighbor of a few of my relatives, but he is living proof that you can write as many stories that you want once you have made a name for yourself, and they will all do exceptionally, regardless of whether or not they actually have different characters, plot, or messages.

In all seriousness, I know it’s fun to have a shot at America’s most famous horror writer. But the impact of his imagination on our modern culture is undeniable, and he has impacted everyone I know (Who can read) with at least one story or movie adaptation. You’ll be seeing a lot more movie adaptations out of him here, since Maine is the closest thing America can get to Canada.

This week’s edition is Bag of Bones, a 2 episode mini-series spanning approximately three hours. Pierce Brosnan (Who I must say is looking a lot older than in his James Bond days) plays Mike, a writer whose wife has been trying to unlock a mystery at an old family camp while he wrote and sold books. After her shocking death, Mike is visited in his dreams with frightening images, and goes to the camp in an attempt to unwind and return to writing. But as you might suspect, he encounters a great deal more than he bargained for.

There are creepy old people, custody battles, haunted refrigerators and moose heads. There is a brooding writer, a tree that looks like a woman, and even flashback sequences. Everything you’ve come to love about horror movies in one package, with a respectable acting cast who, beyond Brosnan, know their roles and don’t attempt to overdo it, which is often key when you’re talking about a horror genre. Creepy, but believable is key. This is a situation you could see yourself in, and become emotionally invested in the plight of the protagonist, something which he isn’t able to quite pull off in films like Pet Sematary.

It’s not King’s most original piece. But the film adaptation is solid, combining a very solid acting performance by Brosnan with good creepy timing, an interesting storyline and a gripping back story. If I sound like I’m trying to sell it, I understand, but I was thoroughly enjoying the viewing experience. King’s stuff isn’t for everyone, it isn’t the cheap slasher horror of the youth masses, nor is it purely psychological like a Session 9. King just writes good stories which just happen to be horror, and even if you don’t startle easily you can still appreciate the experience as it is being told. There is often a transition issue from book to film, and a lot of King’s work doesn’t adapt well, but this one does.

I don’t say this often but it’s a must watch. The extended run time could give some viewers pause, but it is broken into two short length movies in terms of time, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to stop halfway through, though I doubt you’ll really want to.

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