When Stephen King Doesn’t Write Horror

Good Marriage is the second film based on the stories from the Full Dark No Stars collection-I read this collection and not once got the impression that it was a collection of horror stories. It has some great stories in it, but critics stating that this movie isn’t ‘horror enough’ need to read the fucking book. Jesus Christ. I’d hate to be that writer that branches out from what she’s known for, and have her work get slammed for not being what she’s known for.

These stories aren’t horror, they’re suspense, thrillers, true-crime. The only one remotely close to being a horror is Fair Extension. The short 1922 was more psychological, but it seemed out of place to me, mainly because the women’s stories in Good Marriage and Big Driver were so reminiscent of Gerald’s Game and Dolores Claiborne; we have women in trouble forced to examine the choices they’ve made in life because a traumatic event brings out the best or worst in them.

SPOILERS AFTER THE CUTZ

Good Marriage and Big Driver were two of the best stories in the collection–and in my opinion, good examples of feminist suspense (Big Driver, the movie on Lifetime? Not so much…) It was difficult watching Big Driver on Lifetime, because it lacked the punch that true PTSD brings, in favor of making it a female-victim-vigilante film. Big Driver the short story was an example of what happens when strong confident women are victimized; knowing her place in society isn’t strong enough to afford her justice without her very person being ripped to shreds in the process, the victim takes matters into her own hands not just for herself, but for her other victims. (personally, I think both female leads in Big Driver and Good Marriage did what they did for their own peace of mind–justice for any other woman was just a positive side-effect). I live in a country where the rights of the male accused far outweigh the damage done to his female victims; what cracks me up is that if Tess (the title character of Big Driver) were a man, no one would question why he wouldn’t go to the police–why he wouldn’t expose his victimization to the public…a male victim of male rapists would be wholly justified in killing his attacker…unless the victim was gay, then he’s as complicit in his victimization as a woman would be.  0_0  Sad truths that exists in a world tailor-made for CIS straight males.

Good Marriage presented a woman at the other end of the spectrum. A ‘surrendered’ type that chose housewife over career-woman, only to discover that her spouse is a serial killer.  How she handles it in the book is perfect–not sure about the film, haven’t seen it– but the comments are killing me. Perhaps because the movie poster makes it seem like it’s horror, and by-proxy written by King makes it horror?

Not really, no.

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Head’s up, if you’ve read Full Dark No Stars, skip the 5$ Good Marriage short–it’s the same one.

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