CVIndependent

Sun01202019

Last updateTue, 18 Sep 2018 1pm

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.

Published in DVDs/Home Viewing

In These Final Hours, writer-director Zak Hilditch has made a movie reminiscent of 1988’s Miracle Mile, that weird indie film that had Anthony Edwards racing to find Mare Winningham before the planet went kablooey in a nuclear holocaust.

Hilditch set his film in Australia, where that part of the globe awaits a wall of fire resulting from some sort of asteroid strike. (The true cause is never fully explained.) James (Nathan Phillips), with his wife’s permission, makes the decision to leave her and join his mistress at an apocalypse party.

On the way to the mayhem, he rescues Rose, a young girl (Angourie Rice), from a fate worse than death, and begins to attain a sense of responsibility and compassion in the last hours of his life. Phillips puts forth a strong, frantic performance, while Rice provides a nice, serene balance. The party itself is madness personified.

Some of the film drags a bit, but it’s quite good for most of its run. I especially liked the ending, which wraps things up nicely.

These Final Hours is available on demand and via online sources including iTunes and Amazon.com.

Published in DVDs/Home Viewing