1922: Stephen King Novella Gets Spooky Netflix Adaptation
Master of horror, Stephen King, has been having a busy year, with four of his works receiving film adaptations, the most famous of which have been IT and The Dark Tower. But Netflix has jumped on the wagon, too, by bringing 2010 novella, 1922, to life.
The film follows a farmer – Wilf played by Thomas Jane – and his family in the year 1922, who after several attempts of trying to convince his wife –Arlette played by Molly Parker – not to sell her inherited land, murders her with the aid of their only son. In doing so, he finds himself haunted by her apparitions, all while feeling that he’s been cursed after several unfortunate events.
A slow burner of a film, 1922 might be too slow for some, almost spread too thin. On the other hand, it’s an immersive direction choice that makes the audience feel the slow decay of what Wilf is going through throughout the film, as he deals with guilt. Thomas Jane does an impeccable job in conveying his swirling and often contradictory emotions accordingly, all while convincing himself that he did the right thing for the sake of himself and his son.
While Arlette’s apparitions are few and far between, they’re impactful, gut wrenching and downright terrifying – the make-up department deserves plaudits for that alone. While there isn’t much to speak of in terms of direction and cinematography, the audio and soundtrack of the film are affective, with shrieking violins and large horns taking centre stage in creating tension and suspense in every scene they’re played.
It would be unfair to compare 1922 with IT and The Dark Tower; Netflix’s adaptation simply can’t compete with budget and production value. But taken for what it is, 1922 is perfect for the horror fan who likes their films spooky, atmospheric and peppered with some human drama.