8 September 2017 | notoriousCASK
One of the best thrillers of the 90's.
Misery is without a doubt one of the finest movies of the 90's and one of the best movies in the thriller genre. It is an ingeniously crafted horror masterpiece that seamlessly intertwines its incredibly tense and cleverly paced story with inventive cinematography, tight editing and exquisite performances. In my opinion Misery is one of the better adaptations of Stephen King's works and truly a movie that cannot be missed, especially for the genre fans.
Paul Sheldon (James Caan) is the author of a successful series of romance novels about a character called Misery, who decides to take a more serious approach regarding his future novels. On his way to publish his new manuscript, Paul drives from his hotel in Silver Creek to New York. Due to the extreme weather conditions, he has an accident that leaves him severely injured and hopeless. A local nurse named Annie Wilkes (Kathy Bates) finds Paul and brings him to her remote home in order to help him recover. Claiming to be his number one fan, Annie discovers that in his last Misery novel her favorite character dies and then her obsession about him takes a dark and twisted turn as a long story of captivity and abuse begins.
The direction by Rob Reiner is phenomenal and on a Hitchcockian level as the film has a plethora of perfectly crafted suspenseful moments that have the audience on the edge of their seats from the beginning till the amazing climax. The editing of the movie is also flawless, as the shots are specifically designed to induce tension in any moment they can. The cinematographer and Reiner both ace the perilous atmosphere of the picture, using close up shots of the moonfaced Wilkes both in her fits of rage and kindness which magnifies the polar extremes that Wilkes is prone to unexpectedly visit. What is also triumphed is the slow convergence of the audience and Paul Sheldon. The movie received a lot of critical acclaim, especially due to Kathy Bates' chilling and memorable performance as Anny Wilkes that earned her the 1990's leading actress Oscar award, which remains the only Oscar ever given to a Stephen King film adaptation. No matter how great Kathy Bates' Oscar-winning performance is, James Caan's cannot go unnoticed as it definitely qualifies as one of the best performances in his extensive career, despite how demanding and challenging his role as Paul Sheldon was.
In conclusion, Misery is a dark and tense masterpiece that is an amalgamation of excellent direction, skillful writing, taut editing, amazing cinematography and stellar performances, which succeeds into creating the feeling of captivity and helplessness that the thriller genre was purposefully built for, and that makes it one of the best movies of the 90's and one absolute classic in its genre.