Thursday, October 1, 2015

2015 October Horror Challenge #4 "Mercy"

I've been a Stephen King fan for most of my life.  My mom wouldn't let me read his books when I was a kid, so of course that only made me want to read them more, so I kept asking her over and over again, until one day when I was 12, she finally said yes, and I quickly devoured as many of his books as I could get my hands on.  They wete spooky and all, but very few of them actually scared me very much.  This movie is based on a short story of his, "Gramma," from the book "Skeleton Crew," and it's safe to say that this is one of the few King stories that genuinely terrified me.  I mean I was so scared that I cried, I refused to turn off the lights when I went to bed that night, and just thinking about one scene from that story can still make me shiver, even all these years later.

So being such a big Stephen King fan, how excited was I at the prospect of seeing this movie?  Let me tell you, I was...not excited.  In dact, I was worried. Why?  Well as many King fans will tell you, the movie adaptations of his stories tend to...How do I put this delicately?  They suck donkey dick.  Even the movies of his that most people like tend to underwhelm me.  Being such a fan of this story, I wasn't looking forward to that experience.  So how did it fare?

First off, I really appreciated the acting in this movie.  The kid George and his grandma particularly, which is good because most of the movie revolves around them and their relationship.  I was also impressed with the way the story was beefed up to make it stretch to the running time of a full-length movie.  It didn't drag for me, and I was grateful.

The story is pretty subversive, and the movie doesn't shy away from that or water the story down, for which I was grateful.  Unfortunately,  the ending sucks.  I mean REALLY sucks, which is too bad, because until those last 15 minutes or so, i thought this would actually run out to be that rarest of creatures, a Stephen King adaptation that is actually good.  All in all, there's something to be said for the sparse terror of the original story, which doesn't try to hard to be anything but a nasty little subversive nightmare come to life.

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