'..sometimes dead is better...' Effective adaptation of the Stephen King novel holds up pretty well with serviceable direction by Mary Lambert and some memorable horror sequences. The main strike against the film is the lead turn by Dale Midkiff who is just awful throughout. Fairing better is Denise Crosby and the child actors. A good example of 80's style pop horror.
For a predictable kitsch horror, it can really make you shudder sometimes. Full of so many creepy and silly characters, the one that bored me to death is the little girl Ellie - gurl, nobody cares about you, stop trying to get attention with those premonitions that already have happened.
This feels like a disney channel halloween movie for adults. I liked exploring the themes of death (and particularly fear & acceptance thereof), especially in the social context of family, but it just fell waay short for me. However, if you don't take it seriously at all, it can be a pretty fun watch, so 2.5 (also for the Zelda scenes which I thought were pretty great).
Mary Lambert's direction of this film is serviceable and workmanlike. The performances range from adequate to outright terrible. At times this almost feels like a television movie. However, the primal terror and creeping dread of King's seminal work still claws it's way to the surface. At it's best the film manages to convey some of the cold, shivery fear of the novel. The Zelda sequences are pure nightmare fuel.
Feels cheesy from the beginning, the characters are contradicting at best and fucking stupid at worse. However saying that, it's one of the only horrors so far which has actually made my heart stop (the sister with spinal meningitis). I hope the book isn't has ridiculous as the film, but seeing as King was involved with the script I feel sceptical.
There's something about Stephen King's stories that don't resonate with me (I tried other movies, I tried reading the books, ...). As for the movie, I kept feeling that it wanted to be sentimental, then it wanted to be funny and then it wanted to be scary - it's marvelous wanting to be all of this things but it ended up sacrificing its coherence. Nevertheless, the direction was refreshing.