For the second time in just a month, Netflix has scored again on the Stephen King front (after Gerald’s Game) with 1922, a horrific ghost story starring Thomas Jane—someone who is no stranger to King territory, having starred in Frank Darabont’s The Mist.
Jane plays Wilfred James, a farmer who kills his wife, Arlette (Molly Parker), with the help of his lovestruck son, Henry (Dylan Schmid). Of course, Arlette has been murdered in a Stephen King movie—so it goes without saying that her soul will not rest peacefully, and her corpse will be riddled with rather spirited and determined rats.
Jane delivers a chilling, complicated character with Wilfred; he’s a terrible man, yet we can watch him for an entire movie and feel some concern for the welfare of him and misguided kid. Wilfred is one of those men who speaks through clenched teeth, and Jane simply disappears into the character.
Parker doesn’t have a lot of scenes before becoming a scary specter, but she does both the pre- and post-murder scenes well. Schmid is somewhat heartbreaking as the dumb son who goes along with his dad’s dumb ideas and winds up paying the price.
Director Zak Hilditch gives the movie strong atmospherics and creates something that feels faithful to the words and world of King.
1922 is now streaming on Netflix.