Sunday, October 27, 2013

31 Days of Halloween - Day 27 - Movie 3

Pierce Brosnan plays bestselling novelist, Mike Noonan, who following the death of his wife heads to their lakeside retreat in order to come to terms with her death and to begin his new novel. Once there he finds himself troubled by terrifying nightmares and ghostly visitations. One of the spirits present appears to be his wife, Jo. But the other one is someone who is very angry and threatens his own safety and the lives of some of the towns people he's come into contact with, unearthing a terrible secret that haunts the entire town.

Based on Stephen King's novel, Bag of Bones (2011) was a two part mini-series directed by Mick Garris, who has adapted many King novels for television in the past. It's a decent adaptation with a strong cast and some disturbing imagery, but something about Bag of Bones, and many of the tv adaptations by Mick Garris, feels too sanitized to be a truly effective horror story. Like reading ghost stories on a sunny beach, something feels very safe about it. It's been years since I've read the novel, but I remember the villains (played here by William Schallert and Deborah Grover) as being really nasty threats. Here they seem to come and go very quickly. And while their impact has major consequences, it never feels like the constant dark shadow it should be. Instead there are far too many lengthy scenes of Noonan struggling with getting something on the page, jogging, wandering the house, listening to music, and having vivid dreams which transport him to 1939. This isn't to say that material isn't necessary, or important, but it could have been scaled back, unless the intent was to craft a more romantic ghost story than a chilling one.

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