[Netflix] Review: A Good Marriage

A Good Marriage is based on a short story of the same name from Stephen King’s Full Dark, No Stars (book review). Like 1922 (another Stephen King short story) it follows the book plot fairly closely. Some of the details are different, such as the box under the tool bench, Darcy’s fears for herself and her family (which are depicted as hallucinations rather than her thoughts, which makes sense in a movie format), and some of the clues that confirms her worst fears.

It does start a bit slow, but so does the short story, establishing Darcy and Bob’s ‘good marriage’. The average couple, still in love, and two grown kids doing well on their own. Its very difficult to talk about this movie without giving away the pertinent point that the plot revolves around. But I’m going to try to continue.

Skipping to the ending, as the middle of the movie is mostly Darcy coming to terms with the truth, and deciding what, if anything, she wants to do about it. So what does she decide? Darcy’s family is her world, if she tells the truth, her children will suffer, so there’s only one solution left. That solution is to eliminate the problem.

*Note: As of this writing A Good Marriage is no longer on Netflix, but can be found on the Roku Channel.

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[Netflix] Movie Review – Ghostship

Yes, it’s true I like horror/thriller movies on the open waters. From JAWS to 47 Meters Down, I have liked them all. But now it’s time for something a little different. Ghostship.

An ocean liner mysteriously appears in waters off the coast and a salvage crew is hired to bring her in. Of course if everything went to plan the movie would be a little boring, so indeed it doesn’t go to plan.

Gabriel Byrne (aka D’Artagnan), Julianna Margulies, and Desmond Harrington (of DEXTER fame) star in this little known horror flick. Karl Urban (the new Spock of Star Trek) is also on deck as part of the salvage crew under Byrne and Margulies. Harrington was the one who found the liner and hired the salvage crew.

Trouble follows their every move, from blowing up their tugboat, stranding them on the ship, and what follows afterwards. Which if you didn’t know, is a plot twist! I love a good plot twist. I also have a secret love of horror movies, even if they aren’t critically acclaimed, which this one isn’t. But I still like it.

 

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Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King

Full Dark, No StarsFull Dark, No Stars by Stephen King

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Stephen King is firmly lodged in the section marked “Sarah’s All Time Favorite Authors”, but what lured me to this short story collection was the fact that two of the short stories have been made into Netflix Originals; 1922 and Good Marriage.

I will also admit to watching 1922 before reading 1922. And…the movie follows the book closely. Like, really closely. I can’t think of anything that wasn’t in the book that isn’t in the movie (did that make sense?).

The other short stories are easily just as good even if they weren’t made into Netflix Originals (thought they probably could be). I related to “Big Driver”, as I try my hand at writing every now and again and have cats myself. Fair Extension is an interesting read, and I’m slapping myself for missing Good Marriage while it was on Netflix. I think I would have enjoyed it too.

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[Netflix] Movie Review – 1922

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I’ve made no secret of my love of Stephen King’s books, his movies have been hit or miss at the box offices but I still watch them and like them for what they are. As of writing this I have not read 1922 a short story in Full Dark, No Stars, a short story collection. With that out of the way, here’s what I thought of the Netflix adaptation.

The tagline reads “A simple yet proud farmer in the year 1922 conspires to murder his wife for financial gain, convincing his teenage son to assist. But their actions have unintended consequences.” And with Stephen King, the consequences can mean ANYTHING.

But life goes on, even after murder, sons encounter growing pains, and fathers become desperate to salvage their lives. In true Stephen King fashion, the horrors of real life become something more, as everything spins out of control only to end, as most horror stories do, in sadness and tragedy.

I thought that this movie started out a bit slow, and it’s not one of those movies that continually builds to an exciting climax, but it does have a slow build to the end. I am more convinced that I need to get my hands on the book this film is based on though.

Great Tales of Horror by H.P. Lovecraft

Great Tales of HorrorGreat Tales of Horror by H.P. Lovecraft

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’m not new to the idea of the Cthullu mythos, the stories have been around since the 1930’s so it’s almost impossible not to know of them. If you don’t know about the stories, maybe you’ve seen The Reanimator or heard of it. In any case, you’ve probably heard of Lovecraft or the niche he created with his writings.

This is a collection of all his writings, which I was surprised to know that all he wrote were short stories. I thought he had this epic series around the Cthullu mythologies. Even so, his works aren’t all about Cthullu, and in fact the works only give him a passing mention to explain the goings on in the stories.

My favorite horror author is Stephen King, and these aren’t the “in your face” fears that he writes about. These are more of an all encompassing, world ending, deep fear; and I liked it. Lovecraft’s writing style is first person, and as this person is telling you his story, the fear creeps up little by little. The story starts out fairly normal, then you can tell something isn’t quite right, and by the end, you’re curled up in a fetal position hoping it will all blow over.

Lovecraft is a horror genre classic, the Cthullu mythology is enduring, and it’s just plain good storytelling.

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Just After Sunset by Stephen King

Just After SunsetJust After Sunset by Stephen King

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Stephen King is one of my most favorite authors and I love that he still writes short stories (and publishes them!). I’ve read another short story anthology by him and loved that one too. I can’t say that I’ve read anything from Mr. King that I didn’t like or love.

He explores several topics in this anthology, life after death, dreams, other dimensions, loss, and perilous situations. No two stories are completely alike and that gives this collection a nice flow. I’m glad the themes change from story to story.

He also includes a brief explanation of how the stories came to be, how he came to start writing short stories again, and the art of writing short stories. I love that too about Stephen King, he gives us a glimpse into the mind of a brilliant writer.

Horror stories aren’t for everyone, but if you’re a fan of the genre, you should be reading Stephen King.

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From a Buick 8 by Stephen King

From a Buick 8From a Buick 8 by Stephen King
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It has been ages since I’ve read a Stephen King book, and I don’t know why that is because I count Stephen King as one of my favorite authors. I rectified that by reading this book. I’m not much of a car person, though I do know a few bits and pieces, but this book doesn’t really get into the mechanics of a car.

If you couldn’t tell, the title gives the plot away. It’s all about a car, a Buick 8-cylinder Roadmaster, though it’s not an ordinary car, not with Stephen King. It’s a guys book, because it’s a car, and it’s the ’70s. But, it’s still a very good read, and there are a couple of females that comment on it. But the main narrator is a guy.

They story of the Buick is told in flashbacks, how the policemen of Troop D found it, what happened over the years, and then what happened just now, and then a bit later. This book has a long timeline, almost a good 4o years worth.

It’s not scary like Cujo, where there is an actual “monster” to contend with, this is much more subtle. Even so, with most Stephen King books there is an element of “this could happen to you” and that is present here, but it takes a little more believing. If you like Stephen King, if you like cars, if you like a good horror story, see if you can find this one.

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