31 Days Of Horror: Netflix Original “1922”



Title: 1922
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Posted October 25, 2017 by

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Alright, boys and girls, I have watched another horror movie for you to check out and it’s yet another Stephen King adaptation (we seem to be having a lot of those lately). The film is “1922”; a horror film set in, you guessed it, 1922, that’s about the James family: Wilfred James (Thomas Jane), Arlette James (Molly Parker), and their son Henry James (Dylan Shmid). When Arlette makes it clear that she wants to sell their property that she inherited and move on with her life, taking Henry with her, Wilfred feels threatened that everything he cares about will no longer be his. Not seeing another way out of the situation, Wilfred convinces Henry that staying with him is what he wants, that his mother is a loose cannon that will make his life miserable, and they should kill her in order to keep life the same.

Now offing someone back in those days was a lot easier. All you had to do was hide the body, say the person left town without saying where they were going, and hope everyone involved knew how to keep their mouth shut. At first father and son seem to be completely fine with the violent act they committed but the longer the reality settles, the more the pair is haunted by what they have done and the fabric of their bond begins to tear at the seams. Henry has other challenges most teenage boys deal with, except his situation is different since he has the ultimate bargaining chip he can play on his father any time he sees fit meaning he can get away with whatever he wants. Having committed one of the worst acts you can do, both Henry and Wilfred no longer see the boundaries of right and wrong, only what they must do to survive while they grasp at a normal way of life when it will always be just out of reach.

The subtle way writer/director Zak Hilditch shows Wilfred’s psyche start to crack and crumble by using imagery from when he first killed his wife is what sets the tension in the film in motion and carries on through the last scene. His past never too far behind his present; his actions haunting him until the day he ultimately dies. While Arlette’s death was gruesome and unpleasant, Wilfred’s and Henry’s lives are much worse because of it; everything coming back to a karmic full circle. Hilditch does a great job at showing the horrors of reality and that your actions carry more weight than you could have imagined.

The setting of the film lends a lot to the horror aspect as well. Heavy wooden doors that creak and bang open and closed when pushed by the wind, the dustiness of the farm that makes everything feel old and fading, Wilfred’s rough but cracked voice narrating what took place, and the intense heat during the day that can only be fought back by drinking the lemonade Arlette made for them. Everything in this movie serves a purpose and it’s truly breathtaking to see what Hilditch can do with so little.

Currently streaming on Netflix, “1922” isn’t your typical horror flick but it will dredge up the same sense of dread; bringing the terrors frighteningly close to your own home.




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