Rob Reiner’s “Misery” gives the seemingly innocent and common claim, “I’m your number one fan!” a sinister meaning that by the time you finish watching the movie, hearing that phrase might give you goose bumps.
“Misery” is one of those novels-turned-films by Stephen King. Released in 1990, it was directed by Rob Reiner and starred James Caan and Kathy Bates. It has been regarded as one of the best psychological films to have ever been released, mainly because of Bates’ performance as the crazed Annie Wilkes, the self-proclaimed “number one fan” (read: obsessed) of Misery’s Child novels author Paul Sheldon (Caan).
To give you an overview of this film, watch the trailer below:
Personally, I think the key for a movie (or any story, really) to work is that the characters in it should be developed down to the very last detail, as if he or she’s an actual person. I think a good story can only do so much if the characters in it aren’t fully developed. And what’s a good character if it isn’t portrayed by a good actor, right? But that’s just my humble opinion as someone who enjoys watching films.
In the case of “Misery,” it does have a good story, although it’s one that has been retold many times over the subsequent years. However, I don’t think “Misery” would enjoy the distinction that it has even more than two decades after its release if it wasn’t for Bates’ excellent performance. I think Annie Wilkes’ character is so complex that it would take a really good actress to portray her. And Bates did – the way she quickly shifts from kind to deranged quickly, often in the same scene, is so impressive. I actually found myself being torn between amusement and fear of her! It’s no wonder Annie Wilkes, thanks to Bates, has gone down in film history as one of the most iconic horror film characters.
All in all, “Misery” is a very entertaining movie. If you like something that constantly keeps you at the edge of your seats, then you should probably give this one a try. Halloween’s long over, but who says you only need to watch horror films at that time of the year?
Like this article? Check out our articles from the Friday Movie Flashback series in the Lomography magazine!