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(Review originally written at 12 February 2007)

The movie really isn't technically build up well or constructed. The way of storytelling really means that the movie shouldn't work but yet it does.

Never have been too fond of Stephen King adaptations. His horror stories are always too formulaic to bring them to the screen and deliver a fine and original genre movie, although there are the obvious exceptions, this being one of them. Still the movie heavily suffers from the book elements. It of course is always hard to turn a 500 pages book into a feature length movie is always hard. You have to drop a lot of elements and story lines but still keep the spirit and essence of the story. The story keeps switching plot lines in basically every 15 minutes. It's ridicules! It shouldn't work! But yet it does work out fine, with as a result an original fresh thriller/horror movie.

This is an early movie from director David Cronenberg, that differs quite a lot from his normal style. I think he wanted to stay true to the novel and tone thing down a little. Nothing is forced and it has a realistic approach. So just don't expect any 'scare' moments or things like that but simply expect a well constructed and made movie, without any big production values. Just like the story, the movie is kept overall simple and close to home. It provides the movie with a good atmosphere and it are the actors of the movie that really take the movie to another level.

Christopher Walken is a great leading man and its fun to see that his style of acting has very little changed over the years. The movie further more features Tom Skerritt, Herbert Lom, Anthony Zerbe and Martin Sheen in some good and smaller roles.

The movie features many different events and linear told plot lines, such as the first one focusing on Johnny Smith's own struggles after his accident, the one that concentrates on the serial killer, the one with the Stuart boy and the final one with congress candidate Greg Stillson. As the movie progresses things start to develop well and take more and more form and it becomes obvious were the story is heading to. This isn't clear yet from the beginning on. It makes the ending work out all the more well and fitting.

One of the better King adaptations and also one of the more accessible David Cronenberg movies.

7/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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