Great writing and atmosphere bring to life intellectual characters
Yet another Stephen King story has been adapted into a film just in time for Halloween.
Netflix’s “1922” is a dark character driven piece that explores the themes of guilt and how one decision can crucially effect ourselves and our loved ones.
“1922” is derived from a Stephen King novella of the same name found in his 2010 story collection entitled, “Full Dark, No Stars”. The film is incredibly faithful to the source material.
Netflix’s new film is directed by Zak Hilditch, an up and coming director. Hilditch has directed very small independent films in the past, this being his biggest studio film. However, Hilditch’s beautiful direction of suspense and despair proves that he will be making movies for quite some time.
The story is, no surprise here, set in 1922 and centers around Nebraska Farmer Wilfred James (Thomas Jane). The film begins with Wilfred writing a confession of the murder of his wife. The story then flashes back to Wilfred living on his isolated farm with his wife Arlette (Molly Parker) and his 14-year-old son Henry.
Everything is going fine on the farm, until Arlette decides she wants to sell the 100 acres of which the farm rests on and move her family to the city. Wilfred strongly disagrees, but because the land is ultimately Arlette’s, after it was given to her by her father, it is legally her choice.
This does not sit well with Wilfred as it slowly makes him truly hate his wife. Wilfred believes that he must do everything in his will power to keep his farm and his son. This is when Wilfred convinces his son to help him murder his wife and his son’s own mother.
After the brutal and grisly murder is successful, everything seems to be perfect for the two on the farm.
Nevertheless, after sometime the story really begins as it appears that Wilfred may be cursed for his awful deed resulting in a horrific year Wilfred will never forget.
“1922” is a slow burn paced movie that will linger with the viewer for quite some time. The Netflix original is not your typical commercial horror film, so don’t expect to see anything like this year’s “IT.”
“1922” is void of jump scares and filled with an unsettling atmosphere and great writing that brings realism to the characters.
Thomas Jane, making this his third Stephen King adapted movie, probably gives the best performance of his career. He makes a very menacing and surprisingly intelligent character. His portrayal will make the viewer despise him in one scene, but sympathize with him in another. Jane and the writers had a tremendously difficult task to make a movie from the view point of a murderer, but they succeeded.
However; the real star of this movie is the gorgeous cinematography. The beginning of the film is filled with breathtaking wide shots of the farm, which gives the viewer a strong sense of isolation.
Although I particularly like this movie, I don’t think it is for everyone. It could be very boring for some viewers. For instance, they adapted a 131-paged novella into an hour and 42- minute-long feature film. Some may argue that there is not enough action, or not a good enough reason for it to be a full movie, but those who strive for good writing, good performances, and well shot films will adore this movie.
Overall, “1922” is a slow-moving film that will crawl under the viewer’s skin. The movie is visual eye candy and perfectly portrays the feeling of grief and loss of innocence. Some people will love this movie, some might hate it, but in my opinion, it is an incredible film that should not be compared to the other most recent Stephen King adapted movies.