TV FILM REVIEW STEPHEN KING’S BAG OF BONES 2011
A very uninspired TV movie, originally presented as a three part US mini-series, and a very tired, typical Stephen King horror story.
Former James Bond, Pierce Brosnan plays yet another of King’s struggling authors. We had one in Misery, The Shining, The Dark Half, etc.
This author, Mike Noonan, sees his wife, Jo, as his muse and inspiration, so he is totally lost when she is killed in a road accident. The days following the tragedy suggest that her solo visits to their old Summer home might indicate that she was having an affair with someone there. Noonan goes to the lakeside town both to write and to uncover the truth about his wife’s secret past.
He finds himself quickly haunted by more than one ghost. His wife is they’re supporting him, and clearing his suspicions regarding her assumed infidelities. He is also challenged by the spectre of a black 1930’s singer, Sara Tidwell, who disappeared in the town in 1939.
Noonan also faces a conspiracy by various town members with grudges and dark secrets. He finds out that several men in the town drowned their children in the local lake. His investigations, with help and hindrance by the ghosts, shows that Sara Tidwell was raped, and her daughter drowned by her attackers. It is her curse that causes the men of the town to drown their own daughters.
Noonan races against time to save the last potential victim from sharing the fate of so many other girls.
It’s all terribly clichéd and earnest, with its ’racism, rape and child murder are wrong’ moral message thrown at us as if we might not have known without being told. There are few shocks and Brosnan emotes desperately to seem both scared and sincere. This is a by the numbers horror story, with the horror diluted for TV audiences so that the association with King fails to excite the viewer as much as it ought to do.