Hello, my darling readers!
Last year I stumbled upon the Stephen King adaptation 1922 on Netflix and ever since have been curious about the novella. Well, I finally read the thing, so let’s talk about it!
The Plot (as found on Goodreads):
The story opens with the confession of Wilfred James to the murder of his wife, Arlette, following their move to Hemingford, Nebraska onto land willed to Arlette by her father.
Book vs. Movie:
Let’s kick it off with some thoughts on the movie. I already did a full review (which you can read over here), so I’ll try to keep it short.
Although Netflix filed the film as horror I would refer to it as a thriller. Except for maybe one scene at the very end, there is nothing scary about this in the traditional horror movie sense. However, on a psychological level, 1922 can be chilling at times.
While the story starts out interesting enough, it gets too far fetched after I while. I’m dancing on my tippytoes around spoilers here, so forgive me for this vague paragraph. The main event is credible, but some of the stuff that got triggered by that (and happens mostly off-screen) was over the top and ruined the film a bit for me.
Furthermore, the characters were all a bit gruff and I had a hard time connecting with them or even caring about them. They remain a bit blunt throughout the entire film, so, unfortunately, there’s nothing really memorable about 1922.
As for the book, we also start off mostly with a thriller but horror elements come up about halfway in and you really get the typical Stephen King vibe very soon. I am still skeptical about a few things following the main event, but mostly it feels more credible in the novella. In the adaptation, the second half of the story was a bit rushed and maybe the lack of time to unfold is what gave me the feeling that something is a bit off.
The characters are still rather gruff in the novella (and I still don’t really care for them) but they come across better in the book. I did get annoyed by some of the things the main character says (especially about women) which obviously were there to underline the time the story is set in, but whatever.
All in all, I found the written version more intriguing and certainly more memorable than the film.
Although the adaptation is actually very faithful to the source material it still wasn’t as haunting as the novella. While I found that one to be more fascinating and liked it well enough, it’s not one of my favorite things by King.
Did you prefer the book or the movie? Let me know in the comments!