1922 - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

1922 Reviews

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½ September 18, 2018
Terrible accents that sounded like they were forced. It's obvious that King and the filmmakers have no idea whatsoever what farmers and others who depend on their hands and bodies to make a living. A rat bite isn't going to keep a farmer from fixing a hole in his roof. I can buy that the farmer is dumb, but he was shown to be clever well prepared. Which shows intelligence and pragmatism. Characters were cliche throughout. The hole in his livingroom ceiling would've gone upstairs, not to the outside. Poor continuity. Just a jumbled mess thrown together by Stephen king to make money. Like the vast majority of his work.
Super Reviewer
September 8, 2018
I often wonder how many things that I've done that I've forgotten about. I'm certain there's a lot of things I've forgotten that if I were to play my memories back, as if a film, I'd go 'oh yea, I remember I did that now'. The reason I bring this up in reference to this, an adaptation of a Stephen King novella, is because I wonder if King, an incredibly prolific writer, has ever forgotten anything he's written. And I wonder if he's ever surprised when someone wants to adapt one of his books/novellas/stories into a film and he's like 'oh yea, I remember that I wrote that'. This question is both a serious and joke observation at the same time. I'm certain the man has written stuff, prior to getting his first book (Carrie) published, that may have never seen the light of day that he doesn't remember putting pen to paper to. Regardless, as I mentioned in my It: Chapter One review, this (I believe) was the third good King film (if you believe the reviews) in a six-week span. The other, released in between this one and It, was Gerald's Game (which I also hear is good, but it's a movie I haven't seen yet). And, again, as I mentioned in the It review, I don't think there's even been a year like last year, where there were three good movies based on Stephen King books and/or novellas. So that's good for the man who, really, introduced a lot of people to horror with his books. Anyone who disagrees with the fact that King is a horror icon is just delusional. Regardless, let's go on with this movie, shall we? Thomas Jane is an interesting actor. The reason I say that might not be the reason you might think. Daniel Day-Lewis is an interesting actor in that his commitment to whatever character he's playing is a testament to his dedication and his willingness to give all of himself to the material. Thomas Jane differs in that I've never been able to decided if I think he's a good actor, a bad actor or something in between. I guess I'd have to say he's somewhere in between. But, and this is the thing, in a lot of cases, he's either one extreme or the other, he RARELY falls into the in-between category. Not that he hasn't fallen in that in-between category (check Before I Wake), but he's either good or he's bad. That's why it's impossible to get a read on him, because you never know what you're gonna get out of him. Though, to be fair to Jane, I think he's the type of actor that excels when he's given a role that he can really do something with. That's not to excuse his inconsistency as an actor, because a good actor is good all the time and not when it suits him. Plus, there's certain people that are so great that they're still good when they're phoning it in. Thomas Jane isn't one of those actors. Having said that, I think Jane gives one of, if not, his best performances in this movie and he's a large part of why I thought the movie ended up working. Not to say that he's completely irreplaceable, but Thomas Jane definitely did do a great job here as this conniving man who manipulates his teenage son into helping murder his mother and the consequences that he suffers as a result of his actions. And, ultimately, I feel like the movie is about those consequences. The decision made by Wilfred to kill his wife, in order to keep her from selling her land, moving to the city and taking her son (and livelihood), was made in order to secure his lifestyle as a farmer and his wife's 100 acres of land (and his own 80 acres, which he would have to sell if his wife goes through with her own sale, since his land is no good for farming without hers). Wilfred might have thought that his decision would be simple. He'd be rid of his wife and that'd be it, but her death sets off a series of escalating events that end up with, at least, two families (Wilfred and Harlan's families) and who knows how many others as a result of Wilfred and Harlan's son and daughter, respectively, becoming bank robbers. I like movies like this. It's not that they go into that many details of the consequences to anyone outside of Wilf's own family and Harlan's, but I do like how the movie portrays the events that took place could all be traced back to when Wilf decided to murder his wife. So, if Henry and Shannon (Henry's pregnant girlfriend), murder someone, directly or indirectly, Wilfred himself is responsible for that, for having manipulated and pushed his son to do something that, at fourteen years old, he should not have been accomplice to. Also, and this is also a result of Wilf's own actions, but he ends up losing everything he thought he would have kept when he killed his wife. He is, eventually, forced to sell the land for a pittance of what he would have made before, not to mention constantly being haunted by visions of his wife and rats. Having said that, I do think that the movie, in spite of how good it is, will test the patience of some people. Not all of what I mentioned happens immediately. The film definitely takes its time building up to that, since explores how every aspect of Wilf's life starts falling apart and, again, how he loses everything. I think one of the things the movie doesn't do, which, according to the novella's Wikipedia entry, the novella does is leave it open-ended as to whether the events that Wilf described were real or if the guilt of what he had done and what his son became had rendered him delusional. I suppose you're meant to make up your own mind about what happened, but I felt the movie should have played more with the fact that what you're seeing may not, in fact, be happening at all. That's a minor complaint, but I felt that the script was strong and the movie has a strong sense of time. It feels like it's set in 1922, whether it's from the costume design, the way Jane talks or the gothic atmosphere, the film definitely captures the tone that it needed to have to tell its story. As far as horror is concerned, honestly, I feel that, while there's certainly some horror touches, I feel that this is more suspense than straight-up horror. The film is framed as a horror and the score, which is tremendous, lends to that, but I felt that the movie was more about the suspense of what is going on to Wilf and the guilt he suffers, whether it is his own mind playing tricks on him or his wife (and later his son and his girlfriend) haunting him down to make him suffer a little bit first before, eventually, taking his life as their last act of revenge. So, yea, if you're looking for something that's full-on horror, this is the wrong movie to watch. It requires far more patience than most people expecting a full-on horror movie have. That's not to say the film is perfect and, as good as it is, I feel that it just that, good. And that's not to criticize this film, since making a good movie is already hard enough, but it's not the second coming of anything. It falls short on some aspects and I feel that that held it back as it relates to my rating. Though, don't misunderstand me, this still has some strong and compelling storytelling and a really good performance from Thomas Jane. That's enough to warrant a recommendation on my book, but it's not the best movie you will ever see. Still, I enjoyed myself watching this movie and, ultimately, that's what matters. Here's to hoping Gerald's Game concludes the 2017 Stephen King movie trilogy strongly.
½ September 2, 2018
I thought this film was excellent. Really well made and directed brilliantly. I was also impressed with the sound and tension building throughout this movie.
August 26, 2018
This is good as hell
August 22, 2018
Having not read the King novella, I endured this tragically forced drivel with a non-bias and open mind to what the production had to offer. Unfortunately, there wasn't a whole lot to barter with.

A film veteran (particularly those with experience in psycho-thrillers) can spot very early on what exactly the producers have attempted to do with this story, or more importantly what they have failed miserably to do.

The film lacks any essence of tension or suspense, despite almost every seen being littered with forced, cheesy horror
music (sped up, off tune violins) and blatant imagery even a first grade English student could pick up on. No scene ever comes as a surprise and you are constantly left waiting for something substantial to the plot to happen. But I suppose that is the paradox within this film. The plot is so fickle and the characters are so weak that you are left with very little to care about, even if you endure enough to make it to the closing titles.

If you are going to make a film that is incredibly dark, you need to have some level of contrast - regardless of how subtle - in order to emphasise the relevance of the darkness. (When editing a photo, you don't just whack the exposure down to -100 as the entire image turns black and you can't see anything). This film begins as dark and miserable as it starts out, giving audiences nothing to look forward to nor miss.

A definite miss if you're a fan of well delivered psycho-thrillers, but could make for a good watch if you have no taste in good film.
August 16, 2018
One of the most horrifying movies I've seen in a long time. This one will haunt you for a while.
½ August 15, 2018
A film about rats. Rats get more screen time and close ups than humans in this film. Not I movie I would suggest. Based on a Stephen King novel is not a synonym for slow paced and predictable unfolding.
August 10, 2018
Hubris, as defined in Merriam Webster: "To the Greeks, hubris referred to extreme pride, especially pride and ambition so great that they offend the gods and lead to one's downfall. Hubris was a character flaw often seen in the heroes of classical Greek tragedy, including Oedipus and Achilles. The familiar old saying "Pride goeth before a fall" is basically talking about hubris."

That's the one word that keeps popping into my head as I watched 1922, a movie based on Stephen King's story of the same name, in which the farmer named Wilfred (Thomas Jane) influences his son Henry into helping him murder his wife Arlette (Molly Parker) in order to prevent her from selling her part of the land to a livestock company (who wishes to use the land to build a slaughterhouse) and move to the city with their son.

Of course, as one would expect in these kinds of situations: Hubris. Wilfred's land and way of life starts to fall apart around him, at first just a bit until it starts to cascade together to create an avalanche that smothers the farmer. What I particularly like about this movie is the acting; the main cast really does a bang up job of portraying their characters off as real people, and the script helps along with that as well. I also find the costume design to be charming and quaint, very fitting for 1920's heartland Americana. I also appreciate that this is a movie that does a slow burn with the sense of fear of dread, instead of having it coming all at you in spades. This is a movie I would highly recommend.
August 1, 2018
Intriguing but not particularly scary or game-changing.
July 27, 2018
"1922" tells the story of a despicable man and how he dealt with his life after murdering his own wife with his son's help. Throughout the entire film, I never felt bad for Wilfred. Beginning to end, I hated him. With the story being told from his perspective, I saw how the character cared for no one except himself and his son. THIS WAS MY PROBLEM WITH THE MOVIE. The story was pretty good and, at times, scary, the message was there but the movie was told from the eyes of someone I hate. If it was not narrated and had been told as a horror-thriller-drama kind of movie, it could have been so much better. The one aspect of "1922" that I can praise, good story and scary scenes aside, are the performances of Thomas Jane, Dylan Schmid and Molly Parker. They were amazing.
Overall, "1922" had major storytelling issues but it is an okay film.
July 25, 2018
It's Stephen King, and his style well known, predictalble and entertaining. Great acting from everyone. Not much else to say.
½ July 2, 2018
More concerned about intimidating or getting under the skin of the audience and breaking their hearts than telling a cleverly original story - 1922 is as easily forgettable as the culture of the year it takes place in.
½ June 23, 2018
The score, the cast, the narrative progression, everything was done perfectly to standard for a parable of dread.

Sincerest respect to Thomas Jane for his sterling performance, I hardly recognized him at first.
Super Reviewer
June 16, 2018
A totally satisfying Stephen Kill story. Beautifully filmed and acted.
½ June 5, 2018
A new horror flick, based on Stephen King's novel, that should have your attention..!
½ May 27, 2018
It's very well written and acted out. Yes a bit slow in some parts, but overall I enjoyed it.

People might've mistaken the genre. Not all Stephen King's stories are "horror." This one is more of a crime genre. But it is definitely a King's story with elements of morality, conflict of good and evil, choices and consequences, etc...

Spoiler and critical thinking: The rats are metaphor for his "guilt." It is easy to speculate, but he actually said it outright during the scene where he was at work in omaha.
½ May 22, 2018
For such an interesting story that is well-performed, it's sad that it moves so slow and is so boring.
May 14, 2018
Good performances by the actors but the movie's plot was a little simple and predictable
May 10, 2018
Very solid piece of filmmaking. I'm a Stephen King fanatic, so I came in remembering this piece and was very impressed with the style, tone and simplicity the film was told with. It has an Edgar Allan Poe-Telltale Heart feel to it. While it is plodding, I believe that's by design. The tension is rife throughout, with the dread of a terrible act painting the world that surrounds the Wilfred (Thomas Jane). It's not giving anything away to say he won't escape. Watching him toil in that which he reaped is his hell - it is painful and truthful to watch. HIdlitch has fantastic control of the material throughout. He doesn't overdo the dialogue - relying instead on a terrific score and Thomas Jane's slowly peeling scowl.
May 10, 2018
Very solid piece of filmmaking. I'm a Stephen King fanatic, so I came in remembering this piece and was very impressed with the style, tone and simplicity the film was told with. It has an Edgar Allan Poe-Telltale Heart feel to it. While it is plodding, I believe that's by design. The tension is rife throughout, with the dread of a terrible act painting the world that surrounds the Wilfred (Thomas Jane). It's not giving anything away to say he won't escape. Watching him toil in that which he reaped is his hell - it is painful and truthful to watch. HIdlitch has fantastic control of the material throughout. He doesn't overdo the dialogue - relying instead on a terrific score and Thomas Jane's slowly peeling scowl.
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