Well! For the first time in my life I caught up with an iconic film, a film I thought everyone but me had seen – ie ‘Misery.’ Half-way between Hitchcock and The Shining (it’s a Stephen King story) it reminded me a lot of the former’s ‘Rear Window’ where the protagonist is confined to bed, as it has similar claustrophobic qualities.
There’s a good performance by James Caan (which surprised me as I’ve never really rated him) and Kathy Bates is utterly brilliant as the psychotic fan who swings between adulation and murderous fury. The film achieves stretches of almost unbearable tension (very Hitchcockian) especially when she goes out of the house and he takes the opportunity to pick the lock and escape – but he has to retreat suddenly, putting everything back as he goes, covering his tracks and locking himself in again before she discovers him.
‘Misery’ is one of those films everyone knows about – there are references to it everywhere, like that scene from The Shining where Jack Nicholson’s head comes through the door, but I’m starting to wonder now how many people have actually seen it. I hadn’t – and Mark hadn’t.
If not, you should.