Netflix’s “1922” is the latest Stephen King work to receive a film adaptation. Following the great success of IT: Chapter One and Gerald’s Game, Netlfix is now streaming their original film, 1922, based on a novella from King’s “Full Dark, No Stars.”
Thomas Jane plays the protagonist Wilfred James, a farmer living in 1922. Wilfred’s wife, Arlette, played by Molly Parker, owns 100 acres that Wilfred plans to add to his own 80 acres and bequeath to his son, Henry. Ruining his plans, Arlette announces her intention to sell her land and move to the city. Wilfred attempts to talk her out of it; however, she counters with an ultimatum: either he agrees with her to move to the city or she divorces him and takes Henry with her. This leaves Wilfred with a decision to make.
Instead of agreeing to one of his wife’s demands, he finds a way to get what he wants by killing his wife, with his son on his side They tell everyone that Arlette has run away. Because he botched the murder by hacking her to death, he dumps her in their well. Even after he fills it, this is when all his troubles really begin.
Having received all the land, Wilfred has what he wants; yet he is now haunted by rats and his dead wife. Henry, on the other hand, is consumed by guilt. At only 14, he ends up getting his girlfriend pregnant, and the elopes with his girlfriend in an attempt to be with her. In the end, Wilfred deals with ideas that are relevant even today: a woman’s place in the household: the contrasts between men and women; and how far a man will go to get what he wants and he able to live with the consequences?
Jane gives a great performance in the role of the haunted Wilfred. With his glittering eyes and jerky glances, the viewer can see his guilt and remorse. The soundtrack underscores the horror film. Sometimes, it is in tune, and sometimes it is in jarring contrast to what is going on. No matter which, it calls attention and underscored the events.
If you generally enjoy Stephen King movies or psychological horror, then this movie is definitely worth your time. If rats and corpses aren’t your thing, stay away from this one.