Directed by: Tommy Lee Wallace
Written by: Lawrence D. Cohen (part one), Lawrence D. Cohen and Tommy Lee Wallace (part two), based on the novel by Stephen King
Starring: Richard Thomas, John Ritter, Annette O'Toole, Harry Anderson, Tim Reid, Dennis Christopher, Richard Masur, Tim Curry, Olivia Hussey, Michael Cole
And the Stephen King style fun never ends. No really, it never does. The movie was gratuitously long. But what did I expect? It was a TV miniseries and designed to be watched in two parts. I don't have time to watch things in two parts God Dammit! They could have cut this movie in half and it would have been just fine. Indeed, the second half of the movie is kind of lacking.
It's about a bunch of kids who face the evil and believe that they have destroyed it, only to face it again thirty years later. Thus is the nature of the evil. (It's got one of those 'every thirty years' deals. Those are overrated, trust me)
The monster is creepy enough. In it's clown-Tim Curry format. As a giant stop-motion spider it isn't that intimidating (thus is the nature of suspense). Yeah, stop motion is cool, but it looked strangely out of place here. In a monster movie from the sixties, I would have been a bit more sympathetic. Anyway, Tim Curry is creepy as hell, so there you go.
I thought the best part of the movie was getting to see younger versions of Seth Green and Emily Perkins (B from Ginger Snaps), before she looked like a heroin addict. They were just so cute!
Moving on, one of the characters was a horror writer from Maine suffering from writers' block. Hooray for making up your own characters.
We also have the creepy phrase being written over and over and over again on a typewriter. Instead of All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy it's He thrusts his fists against the posts and still insists he sees the ghosts. A line which Mr. King seems to like a lot. He talked about it in Danse Macabre, and it has something to do with Donovan's Brain. I can't remember the exact specifics.
And a number of other little trademarks I don't dare go into at this point. I would say that the best course of action would be to remake this movie as a regular length film. Maybe with Seth Green and Emily Perkins? I suppose they're a wee bit to young still, but that isn't important. They can pretend. Besides, he was way to old in this movie anyway. Thus is the nature of the film industry. Children are actually a lot younger than they look in movies! Mind you, Drew Barrymore was actually nine in Firestarter....
Speaking of which, this movie didn't have enough closure either. Or maybe it had too much? I guess I prefer the 'kill the monster end the movie' style of film making. And if you aren't going to do that, you have to instead take the John Carpenter route and get the final scare over and done with. If you're making a horror movie, anyway. That advice really doesn't apply to anything else.