Thursday, July 11, 2002

The Movie I Watched Last Night XXVI
Tuesday: Stephen King's Rose Red
Most Stephen King stories and novels haven't translated that well to the TV or silver screen. This TV miniseries -- which hasn't been published previously as script, story, or otherwise -- stands up well. I usually wouldn't even be interested in a show like this (my days as a King fan are behind me), but I stayed in the castle used as the primary exterior set for the miniseries -- Thornewood Castle near Tacoma, Washington -- while traveling last fall. Awesome to see what the filmmakers did with the property! The story, like many of King's recent writing, is a hodgepodge of themes and models he's used previously. At one level, Rose Red is your classic haunted house story -- a locked-room mystery of sorts. But it also incorporates King's penchant for possession (a la Christine) and organically growing horror (a la Thinner). Throw in a little telekinesis that evokes Carrie, and it's clear what made it into the equation. I made the mistake of watching this in one sitting -- it's almost five hours long, and I recommend taking a break -- but I was riveted the entire time. The acting is solid, the special effects are impressive, and the plot progresses at a good pace. On the DVD, there's an additional documentary about the making of the series, so you can learn more about Thornewood, the special effects, and how the producer and director worked around the untimely death of David Dukes, who passed away playing tennis during the shoot.

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