1922 (2017) Netflix
Tagline: Hi, my name is Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix. Here at Netflix, we love films, so much so many of the ones on our platform are shit. What we hate, though, is putting together a sentence as a tagline for any of our “original” productions. We're just too busy finding cheap films to tart up with a flashy poster so you'll not know they're awful until you're watching them.
P.S. We're massive fans of Bedsit Cinema though, who we have great respect for. I hear the guy who runs it is very tall. Don't pick a fight with him, he's tall and hard as nails. Handsome, too.
Premise: A farmer, Wilfred, (Thomas Jane) conspires with his teenage son Henry (Dylan Schmid- no, me neither) to murder his wife Arlette (
Delivery: “I believe that there's another man inside of every man. A stranger. A conniving man.”
I'd like to start by thanking Reed Hastings for his comment clearing up the tagline situation at Netflix. The lazy gobshites.
Starring a very old looking Thomas Jane, 1922 is a low key and understated Netflix “original”. It's almost too simple, too straightforward, and that's where the cleverness lies. The farmer father and farmer son commit the crime against the hilariously honest and somewhat spiteful mother, cover it up and try to go on with their simplistic lives. Given that this is based on a Stephen King novella, surprise surprise some funky shit starts to go down. The repercussions are creepy and apparently supernatural, working their way into the Farmer's mind, representative of his guilt.
There is a creeping sense of dread in 1922, allowing the horror to feel quite natural and real. Although it is not strictly a ghost film, it feels like one in many ways. The ambiguity as to whether the spectral element is that or not was quite deliberate and I rather liked it. The goings on the farmer and son duo encounter could be supernatural, or they could be coincidence and remorse eroding away Wilfred's sanity. However, ambiguity does not mean there's no horror in 1922. The horror lies in the brutality of life (or death in this case), and in places the grisly reality of the ramifications is really quite that.
Technically there's nothing flashy about 1922, Jane and Parker are good, I was pleased to see Neal McDonough in the cast, but he's underused as the friendly neighbour- come- bitter- rival. There is a nasty element to the film, an almost dastardly devotion to realism which is unsettling. I liked it. However do not expect a fast paced thriller, this is a slow burn for sure.
Bedsit it? Initially I couldn't work out if I thought 1922 was really good, or quite good, or just ok. I sat quite contentedly through it though, and although a little slow at times I was hooked enough to not care. Plus it got in my head, and you've got to admire that. 7/10