Saturday, October 8, 2016

31 Days of Horror 2016 Day 08 Misery

Source-New Line Home Video VHS

When I hear people talking about how there was no good horror coming out in the 90s until Scream,Misery is one of the first films I mention. Kathy Bates won an Oscar for her role as Annie Wilkes.

Months back I found a semi local store that still has a huge amount of VHS. Most of it seems to come from a few of the now closed local video stores.Plus it seems like I am the only person that comes in looking for VHS. I was trying to kill some time while waiting on someone,so went into the store just figuring I would look around for 20 minutes find nothing and leave. But fairly quick I saw that they must have restocked their VHS shelves. So that 20 minutes of looking around turned into about an hour of digging thru boxes and looking all over shelves for VHS.I had thankfully brought my laptop with me that day. So I went and grabbed it.Pulled up my list of all the movies/tv shows/etc I own and discovered I didn't own Misery. With the cheap prices the store wants for VHS I grabbed it.

Based on one of Stephen Kings best novels,Misery is the story of a writer and his number 1 fan.James Caan plays Paul. A writer who feels trapped. He has a series of best selling romance novels. But he is tired of that genre and wants to branch out. As is his tradition he goes way up in the mountains when he is writing the first draft of a new novel. He finishes the novel and is on his way back to his home when his car goes flying off the road.

When he wakes up he is in a bed. Seems Anne Wilkes,his NUMBER 1 FAN,found him. And  has him at her home until the snow clears enough for her to take him to a doctor.Thankfully she is a nurse so can help him heal.

She ends up reading his newest novel and reacts badly when the lead,Misery,dies. And this is when her evil side comes out. The rest of the movie is a cat and mouse game between our two leads. How far will Anne go to make sure Misery isn't dead? And will Paul ever be able to escape this lunatic's home?

This is one of the movies based on King's novels were I saw the movie first. Really there is only two major changes between the novel and the film. In the novel there is full chapters of the Misery romance novel. Having never read much of that genre I have no idea how well King goes about capturing the feel. To me it read like I expected a romance novel to read. THen the other change. In the film to make sure Paul can't escape,Anne takes a sledgehammer and smashes Paul's ankle in. Were as in the book I am pretty sure she cuts one of his feet off, Then uses a hot iron to cauterize the wound.

Misery is a damn good film. Caan should have been nominated for a best actor Oscar. And in my eyes the film should have gotten nominated also.The look of the film is bleak. It so perfectly captures the feel of being snowed in that even when I watch this during the summer I feel a bit cold.This is also one of the few King films that non-horror fans seem to enjoy.

Misery gets a A.