This makes the third film based on Stephen King’s work I’ve seen this year. Five if you count his shows The Mist and Mr. Mercedes. As for his films, IT, you already know my thoughts on that. His other being Gerald’s Game, another Netflix original. The plan was to review that one as well, but after I fell asleep for the 3rd time, I decided to pass on writing a review for it.
Horror month has been pretty shitty this year, not a whole lot to really talk about. And surprisingly, the ones worth mentioning have all come from Netflix. Cult of Chucky started things off to a good start, though the fact only the rated version is available on Netflix is a bit disappointing. From what I could tell there wasn’t much of a difference between the two cuts, the rated and unrated, maybe they linger on some of the kills more for the unrated, but for the most part I couldn’t really tell you what was cut. Except for the after credits ending. If you watched the film on Netflix, you missed the extra ending. I didn’t want to review it, mainly because the Chucky films now are made for and by Chucky fans. Which I most certainly am. But not everyone is.
The first great horror comedy of the year was The Babysitter, also on Netflix. I already did my review on that. The film is great, everyone should check it out.
After watching one of the worst horror films I’ve seen this month, a shitfest called WTF, a film with shitty acting and equally shitty characters, I went on Netflix to look around and that’s when I ran into Patchwork. It came out in 2015, so not one I really wanted to spotlight for horror month, which is usually reserved for the newer horror films coming out. But trust me, Patchwork is pretty damn good. Think Frankenhooker meets Re-Animator.
Now that brings us to 1922.
I had my hesitations about this one, mainly because I was afraid the thick southern accents might get a bit too grating. But Thomas Jane did a fine job. He plays Wilfred, a part time alcoholic, full time corn shucker.
He’s carved out a pretty good life for himself, though this is before the great depression, so no matter what kind of life he has now, it will eventually turn to shit anyway.
Wilfred is married to Arlette, unfortunately for him the farm and the money all belong to her. That causes tension between the two once she makes it clear to him she isn’t happy living the farm life. She wants to pack up and move to Oklahoma City with or without Wilfred. That also means taking their teenage son Henry with her.
Wilfred is stuck between a rock and a hard place. If he divorces her, he loses everything. If he stays with her, he still loses everything. His son Henry is also feeling trapped.
The farming life is the only kind of life Henry knows, not to mention he has himself a cutie down the road named Shannon he’s sweet on. The last thing he wants to do is move to start some fancy city life.
That’s when Henry and Wilfred start conceiving a plan on how to get rid of their little “problem”.
To get her in the mood, Wilfred agrees to sell the farm and move to Oklahoma City with her. Overjoyed by the news, Arlette celebrates by getting drunk with Wilfred. While she is passed out, father and son sneak into her room and slit her throat.
They later wrap her up in a rug and toss her down the well.
To help cover their tracks they walk one of their cows over to the well, dropping her in, giving them an excuse to fill in the well with dirt. The sheriff drops by, takes a quick look around before taking off. He didn’t even bother looking out back at the well they were filling in. They killed a cow for nothing. Also, if you have a missing person report and you suspect that maybe some foul play is at hand, check the fucking hole your suspects are filling in at this pretty convenient time. It is 1922, I guess you can’t fault the sheriff too much for doing a shitty job.
Now that the wife is gone, father and son can go back to how things were. Shucking corn.
I kind of saw this movie like King’s take on The Tell-Tale Heart. He has this secret in his house that is slowly eating away at him. Slowly going mad as everything seems to be out to get you.
In this case it’s rats. The well was infested with them when they dropped Arlette’s body down there. It didn’t take long for them to start feasting on her remains.
Now the rats are everywhere on the farm, eating livestock, crawling around in the walls… Even attacking Wilfred on the hand.
To add to his troubles, Henry knocked up Shannon, the pretty girl next door. Her dad wants to put her in a home for girls in her situation and he wants Wilfred to pay for it.
Upset by what he did to his mom and now having Shannon taken from him with their unborn child, Henry runs away from home, robbing banks to get by.
Meanwhile, Wilfred’s rat bitten hand has started to fester. Besides that, there’s a leak on their roof that won’t go away. Like the hand, he pays it no mind until there’s a giant whole in the ceiling and his hand needs to be removed.
Wilfred has been seeing his murdered wife sneaking around the farm house. Eventually she corners him with her rats and shows him visions of his son.
Henry broke Shannon out of the facility she was being kept and the two go on the run, robbing banks and other places along the way. The two become famous, kind of a teenage Bonnie and Clyde. Eventually however their luck runs out and a man they rob ends up shooting Shannon, killing her.
Not wanting to live on, Henry kills himself.
Now Wilfred has no wife, no kid, no hand, all his livestock is dead, even his barn and farm are falling down around him… he has no other choice but to sell the farm.
But even that doesn’t get the ghost of his wife to leave him alone. No matter where he goes the rats end up finding him.
And that’s 1922. A kind of slow burn horror film. I think I would have liked it more if the fact he was being haunted by the ghost of his murdered wife was a bit more ambiguous. It’s pretty clear that she is a vengeful spirit. But it would have played better if you didn’t know. The argument could easily be made for both. A lot of what happens to him and his son really had nothing to do with a ghost. The rat infestation could also easily be excused as well. I mean, he just gave them a giant feast to chew on. The pipe in the well connected throughout the entire house, even the barn. And once he filled it in, the rats had nowhere else to go but the barn and house.
Wilfred seeing her ghost could be explained by just being the delusions of a man with a serious infection, the fact he has a bit of a drinking problem and the fact he might have a guilty conscience about murdering his wife. And I like that angle more, I like not knowing. But with a few scenes it made it pretty clear he is being haunted.
At least play up the mystery more, have you convinced that all this is just in his head until the very end where they get you with a big reveal.
However, I did enjoy the ending, it seemed fitting for a man like himself. The funny thing is, he got away with it. The sheriff found a woman matching Arlette’s description. They just assumed someone picked her up, robbed and killed her. Again, great job sheriff.
As for current Stephen King adaptations go, this might be the one I enjoyed the most. Of course for me that wasn’t very hard. Gerald’s Game bored me to tears and that ending, wow that stupid, shitty ending…
And then there’s IT which I think I shit on enough already. If you’re a King fan and you have Netflix, check out 1922. It gets a big RENT IT, only because it isn’t in theaters and renting it is the only option you have.
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