The world of Stephen King novels is an inexhaustible source for Hollywood to exploit intellectual property. The best example is the recent premiere of ‘Fire Eyes’, a new -and disappointing- version of Blumhouse almost thirty years after the first adaptation of Mark L Lester with drew Barrymore.
That 1984 film is an example of an adaptation of the master of horror not considered top of the line, but it is a very solid proposal that will do better than the remake. Although I personally prefer these three underrated pieces, all available in streamingwho successfully brought King’s work to the big screen and they deserve more than that consideration of minor works they have received.
director: John Carpenter. Distribution: Keith Gordon, John Stockwell, Alexandra Paul, Harry Dean Stanton, Robert Prosky.
Not only has this story of an evil car and its corrupted owner been regarded as a lesser King, but also as a John Carpenter minor who made a deal to compensate for the commercial failure of ‘La cosa’. Perhaps it is time to recognize the value of a formidable piece of automotive horror whose influence is becoming more and more noticeable thanks to disparate films like ‘Titane’ or ‘The Batman’.
Here Carpenter manages to give the story charisma without giving up all the ridiculousness inherent in the concept of the “evil car.” He also shows the sweet creative moment that he lived in the murder sequences, leaving some that stay with you because of how well they are done. It’s not a perfect symphony like the director’s other ’80s movies, but it’s a well-honed piece of devilish rock and roll.
See in Filmin | Criticism in Espinof
director: Lewis Teague. Distribution: Dee Wallace, Daniel Hugh Kelly, Danny Pintuaro, Christopher Stone, Ed Lauter.
A bit like the previous one, but changing “evil car” to “evil dog”. this movie of Lewis Teague -which he would repeat with King shortly after with the anthology ‘cat’s eyes‘- focuses on the scaled-down monster movie exercisewith most of the action taking place in a car and with a Saint Bernard hanging around it.
A small exercise in survival cinema and inexplicable horror that has a solid rhythmgreat makeup and production work to show the corruption of the “evil” dog and ability to get a lot with very little. Sometimes you don’t need more than that.
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‘Gerald’s Game’ (‘Gerald’s Game’, 2017)
director: Mike Flanagan. Distribution: Carla Gugino, Bruce Greenwood, Henry Thomas, Kate Siegel, Carel Struycken.
A mike flanagan he is getting the face of a great King adapter of this era, either literally bringing his novels to the screen or showing his influence in works such as ‘Midnight Mass’. Although his benchmark work in this regard is going to be his ‘Doctor Sleep’ -especially the fabulous director’s cut-, we must recognize the importance of ‘Gerald’s Game’.
It is possible that without this successful film for Netflix we would not have the possibility to see Flanagan expanding his talent, including his series like ‘The Haunting of Hill House’. The director gets an exercise paranoia and minimalist angst, which maintains the tension even when you need to pull flashbacks. It maintains the high level until its questionable end, but it wouldn’t be a faithful adaptation if it didn’t also have a somewhat poor ending.
Watch on Netflix | Criticism in Espinof