Saturday, October 5, 2019

Movie Review: "Misery" (1990)

Director: Rob Reiner
Year: 1990
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hour, 47 minutes

After a horrible car accident, a writer wakes up to find himself in the home of his biggest fan. Things are okay at first as she helps nurse him back to healthbut the more time that passes and the longer he stays in her home, the more he realizes she has no intention of ever letting him leave.

Kathy Bates plays the frightening Annie Wilkes in the 1990 Rob Reiner horror film "Misery" where she won Best Actress for her performance
"I thought you were good Paul, but you're not good. You're just another lying ol' dirty birdy. " (Image Source)
Stephen King is known for writing horror stories about telekinetic high school girls, killer cars, werewolves, and alien worms that come out of your butt. However, we imagine "Misery" is one of King's worst nightmares played out on screen. As a very prolific writer with throngs of adoring fans all over the world, it isn't hard to imagine he could have an encounter with someone like Annie Wilkes (Kathy Bates). Annie is a fan who seems nice at first but might be just a little off her rocker. This story revolves around writer Paul Sheldon (James Caan), who after writing his latest novel is involved in a car accident on a snowy road. He wakes up in the home of Annie Wilkes, his "biggest fan," as she takes it upon herself to be his personal nurse. When Annie reads Paul's latest book in the "Misery" series and sees that the protagonist, Misery Chastain, has been killed off, she suddenly changes her friendly demeanor. Paul quickly realizes he is in a remarkably dangerous, precarious situation with an unstable woman.
James Caan burns his latest novel in a still for the 1990 Stephen King classic Misery
"Whatever you're thinking about doing, please don't do it." (Image Source)
Director Rob Reiner and screenwriter William Goldman have done a fantastic job bringing Stephen King's novel about obsession, fandom, and multiple personalities to life. It's crazy to see where we are in 2019 as "stans" run amok on the internet and how easy it is to fathom someone kidnapping their "fav" in the blink of an eye. This film is wonderfully shot with picturesque cinematography and scenery. It is taut and steeped in tension. It is thoroughly captivating from beginning to end. That being said, the absolute best thing about "Misery" is Kathy Bates and her Oscar-winning, unhinged performance as sociopathic madwoman Annie Wilkes. Bates helped create one of the most unnerving antagonists ever put on celluloid while simultaneously offering the best performance of her career and one of the best performances by any actor period. She goes from adoring, sweet supporter to homicidal lunatic in the blink of an eye. She is one of the main reasons this film is so fantastic... well, that and the hobbling scene, which will be forever ingrained in the memories of every person who has ever seen it. We still get the heebie-jeebies thinking about it! Talk about iconic. James Caan also does a great job as Paul Sheldon, though he is overshadowed by Bates in every manner of speaking. He and Bates get some terrific witty banter in the "early days" of their "relationship," the best of which we imagine came from King's deliciously devious brain. We also enjoy Richard Farnsworth's performance. He offers some light comedic relief to an otherwise tense, gripping movie.
Misery 1990 movie scene where Kathy Bates's Annie Wilkes and James Caan's wheelchair-bound Paul Sheldon enjoy a lovely candelit dinner together
"I'm your number one fan. There's nothing to worry about. You're going to be just fine. I will take good care of you. I'm your number one fan." (Image Source)
"Misery" is one of the few films that genuinely unsettles us each and every time we watch it. Anyone who appreciates good movies will probably like it, and it is an absolute must-see film for fans of Stephen King and for fans of the horror and suspense genres.

My Rating: 10/10
BigJ's Rating: 10/10
IMDB's Rating: 7.8/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 89%
Do we recommend this movie: ABSOLUTELY YES!!!

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