‘I am your number one fan. There is nothing to worry about. You are going to be just fine. I am your number one fan.’
Director: Rob Reiner
Cast: James Caan, Kathy Bates, Richard Farnsworth, Frances Sternhagen
Plot: Famous author Paul Sheldon (James Caan) is rescued from a car accident by local nurse Annie Wilkes (Kathy Bates). Broken and bedridden in her remote cabin, Paul soon realises that his ‘number one fan’ has no desire to let him leave.
MISERY is one of three Stephen King adaptations to feature in THN’s HalloweenFest and remains the only King feature to receive an Academy Award. Kathy Bates won an Oscar for her portrayal of the deeply disturbed Annie Wilkes and it’s not difficult to see wh Introduced as a caring and eccentric woman, Annie’s mask gradually slips as we discover her true nature. Pure psychological horror, Annie is MISERY’s monster. Confined to his bed and at her mercy, Paul is forced him to resurrect his fictional heroine Misery by any means necessary.
‘And don’t even think about anybody coming for you. Not the doctors, not your agent, not your family. Because I never called them. Nobody knows you’re here. And you better hope nothing happens to me. Because if I die… you die.’
A battle of wits ensues between the nurse and her unwilling patient, and the scenes that follow are built on pure adrenaline. A desperate Paul manages to escape his room and plans to destroy his captor without her knowledge. But Annie returns home. Who knew a penguin could lead to such violence…
Horror Highlights: Annie’s mental instability is the root of the horror in MISERY. A nostalgic tale transcends into a rage-filled rant that reveals a dark, unstable side (and manages to make the word ‘cockadoodie’ terrifying). But it’s what we don’t see that amps up the scares. Paul’s discovery of Annie’s scrapbook (titled ‘Memory Lane’ no less) reveals a murderous past. The revelation that the nurse is an Angel of Death makes us question exactly what she’s done, and what she might do…
Best Scare: The infamous moment in which Annie ‘hobbles’ Paul has earned its place in cinematic history. Calmly informing her favourite author that she knows he’s left his room, Annie secures a block of wood between his ankles and… You know the rest. It makes toes curl and feet ache as Annie snaps Paul’s bones without the blink of an eye.
Catch up on the rest of THN’s HalloweenFest here.