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The film feels overly familiar to other King adaptations such as the Langoliers, IT and even the Stand. A group of sundry people are trapped in a Nevada ghost town and are at the mercy of a powerful earth demon or entity known as Tak, who dates back to an ancient, pre-Native American civilization. In the first half of the movie, Tak is played by the woefully underrated Ron Perlman, one of my favorite actors. Perlman chews up the scenery and seems to be enjoying himself. But the problem is that Tak can only inhabit human bodies for short amounts of time as they decompose rapidly, so Perlman isn't really seen in the second act. Lots of familiar actors and actresses show up, including Tom Skerrit as a Vietnam vet writer, Matt Frewer, Anabeth Gish and Stephen Webber. However, things get really muddled in the clash of good vs. evil. There are ENDLESS speeches and pep talks about God and christian faith, its really tiresome. However, the little boy who stands in for Danny from the Shining often finds himself asking if maybe the God he worships might be no less sadistic than Tak, so things aren't all black and white. The atmosphere of the town of Desperation is cool, but suffers from bad lighting. Probably the creepiest scene is a supernatural old film reel of how Tak was released from its ancient slumber.
Its too bad that there wasn't much light shed on what exactly is Tak trying to accomplish. It simply awakens, posseses people, controls animals and that's about it. It would also have been cooler if they delved a bit deeper into the ancient civilization that is connected with Tak. Oh well, if you're a King fan you might eat it up.
The DVD, rated "R", was EXACTLY the same presentation word for word and scene for scene with the only difference being the exclusion of commercials. I'm going to say, and prove me wrong, that the "R" rating was slapped on the DVD to intice people to rent it to see the original adult version. What a sneaky rip-off. How can they do that?
Overall, the movie was not great. The ending was completely tacked on and I got a little tired of the sermonizing. The performances were OK, with the exception of Ron Perlman's performance. He was outstanding.
I know Amazon sells this DVD but they also sell the book and the book is much more satisfying. It's hard to believe the same guy that wrote the movie also wrote the book. I'm sure everybody made lots of money on this project but I'd like my money back.
Ron Perlman turns in a great performance as the Sheriff. Its a great character actor sort of part and he projects danger/menace/insanity very well in it. But he is gone way too soon. It really hurts the film that its major (and best) villian is disposed of in the way the sheriff is.
There is also a semi-religious sub-plot which is mostly well done, but dealt with in the script in a repetitive and talky way. Showing things in that regard is far more effective than talking about it. The sequence from the jail cell through the escape is very well done in that regard. But it falls down after that.
The whole sub-plot about the Chinese miners is a preachy waste of time.
The monster in the film has the same failings as most of King's monsters: They have no motivation for what they are doing. No long term plan beyond killing one person after another for no particular reason.
Not a great film. But a reasonably good by the numbers old school horror film with one very good acting performance.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It's long but I enjoyed it I love Stephen King movies when they are not a cinematic master piece. Well except langdoleers.Published 16 days ago by Amazon Customer
Although I adore Stephen King, there have been few adaptations that have been worthy, particularly any made-for-tv movies. Read morePublished 23 days ago by Amazon Customer
Stephen King does it again. Can always be counted on for a good read/viewing.Published 1 month ago by Skookum
3.5 Stars! Really great adaptation of the book. I would have easily given this movie 4.5 stars, the cast is excellent, the acting is superb, and the movie is an amazing... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Elizabeth Serena
Very true to the book, but I missed a scene towards the end where a badly injured heroine flees the disintegrating monster, a little illustration of "Oh s***, the Mummy's after us,... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Fozzetti
It was pretty good...still love the book better (a lot more detail) :-)Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
I saw this movies along time ago thought Id watch it again..I enjoyed it the fist time and the second time ..Published 3 months ago by S. Roberson
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