Netflix’s 1922 is a reminder of what Stephen King does best – The Verge
2017 has been a banner year for Stephen King adaptations, but the batting average hasn’t been so hot. It is easily the best of the bunch: in spite of its “more, and then much more” aesthetic, it hit big with audiences, and is now reportedly the highest-grossing horror film of all time. And Netflix’s Gerald’s Game does a startlingly impressive job of drawing out the novel with memorable performances. The Dark Tower, on the other hand, was a confused, generic would-be series-launcher, and Spike TV’s The Mist and the Audience Network’s Mr. Mercedes series have both been accused of stretching out their stories until their energies get lost along the way.That criticism highlights the problem with virtually all of 2017’s King adaptations: they aren’t out to tell simple, direct stories. It is the first half of a two-film package, Dark Tower was planned as one installment in a sprawling film-and-TV cinematic universe, and Mr. Mercedes is in a position to continue its stories if the ratings justify the expense. (So was The Mist, but Spike TV eventually cancelled it.) Which is why 2017’s latest King adaptation, Netflix’s feature film 1922, comes as such a comparative relief. It isn’t trying to lay the foundations for a grand, cosmic universe. It isn’t trying to build characters who can sell their own merch and carry their own spin-offs down the road. It’s just a simple, single self-contained horror story.
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