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Sometimes filmmakers try overly hard to "modernize" a novel (or in this case, short story) and, in doing so, take out the power of the work. This film does just that, coming across more as a cheap B-movie than creating any type of creepiness. Not only this, but the acting and story are really hollow and wooden, coming across as something you might find at 8 or 9 on Lifetime. It just seems like some type of soap opera fluff, with amateurish actors.
Another problem with the film is that, unlike the short story, there is too much information given, which seems to plague most of today's horror movies. Sometimes what is left to the imagination creates much more suspense, but with the constant "flashbacks" we can only guess what is going to happen in the small town of New Hope, where our protagonist goes in search of answers to his mother's death. What we don't know, the subtle information that is lacking makes a story keeps its suspense intact. This movie seemingly gives it away within the first 10 minutes of the film, whereas in the short story you are kind of hit all of the sudden when it dawns on you what "the lottery" really is. A better imagination might have helped this film, but I guess that can't be expected with most films that are "adapted" to meet a work of fiction.
If there is anything that is redeeming it is the last half hour of the film. This is the only part that really identifies with Shirley Jackson's short story, and some of the parallels are drawn here. Otherwise, it is mediocre at best.
I ended this lesson with having them compare and contrast certain aspects of the movie with the short story.
However, they did stick to the story in the way that it was indeed very ironic. What is pictured in the movie and the story is a peaceful town in which the children are playing and everyone is friendly to each other. No one would expect such a heinous act to be committed in such a friendly town. There were also major clues of foreshadowing in both of them, for example, the children collecting stones. At first, you think that it is just the kids playing around, but by the end of the story, you come to realize the truth of the collection of the stones.
Something that stood out to me was how no one ever stood out of the crowd and say that this is wrong. They were all very aware that it is wrong but just because that's what they did hundreds of years ago, they think that it is necessary to do. The one time that happened, that person was rejected from the whole town. The town won't even say the man's name who "didn't follow the crowd" and try to help his wife when she won the lottery.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I love this movie. Very different and interesting. I was excited to find it here and am thrilled to finally own it.Published 18 days ago by Christine Sanders
It was an attempt to adapt the Shirley Jackson short story to the big screen. Mind you the short story is only 8 pages long. Read morePublished 1 month ago by maestrokenneth
Movie was definitely very 90's and very dark, but kind of fun since I live in the city it was filmed.Published 19 months ago by Linda A. Sanders
Loved it. I had read the book decades ago in school and was glad to see it got turned into a movie. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Upton01
Set in the seventies (or eighties) it is a slow paced story and a movie that is not well known
The blurb on jacket suggests intrigue over a "lottery" that one can... Read more
We were given this movie to watch in English class at my community college about twenty years ago. It took two days to complete the movie. Read morePublished on July 15, 2013 by vlip99
OMG! A student asked me to show this movie after we read the story, "The Lottery." Gulp...poor Ms. Jackson, the author, would have committed suicide if this movie had been made... Read morePublished on August 13, 2012 by mike kent
This movie is Absolutly nothing like the book! I wonder if the person who decided to make this movie understood what the story was about. Read morePublished on April 20, 2012 by Dawn James