I have to admit, I've been looking forward to this one for a while. Misery is my favorite horror movie, The Shining is a close second and while Rocky Horror is great as well it's not really "horror" in my eyes so it doesn't count. As to why I put it in my Horrorthon if it's not actual horror? It's a musical that makes fun of classic horror b-movies...how can I not put it in? But that's for later.
I've read the book a few times and the movie is pretty faithful to the book I think. Where as The Shining had a lot of differences. Or if there are differences they're so slight, I don't notice them. Why it's my favorite horror movie...this is kinda creepy but I get what Annie feels for Paul. If you love someone THAT much and she does...then of course you want them with you...forever. Like I said it's creepy I know. I'm not as insane as Annie since I'd never hurt someone like that (more so if I loved them) but I get it. And it connected me to the movie...I really enjoy it and I enjoy Paul's struggle to get away from this crazy bitch haha.
And I'm starting earlier on this review then I have before! It's now 4:00 PM...let's see when I finish it. 11 PM I guess. I did take a few breaks though so...if I cut down on that...I guess I can get it done faster? But not by much. It's made me realize that I don't like doing this. But I said 31 reviews and I'll stand by it...unfortunately. I don't think I'll ever attempt this again. Mainly because the payout is...not there. I get hardly any page views or comments. So why bother?
Title - Misery
Genre - Psychological thriller
Year - 1990
We open up with that lovely click clackity click of a typewriter (am I the only one that really likes that sound?) and see Paul Sheldon finish the last page of his new novel (we also get to see the trademark single cigarette/match and a bottle of Dom Perignon he has at the end of every finished novel.). He seems to be...moody here (since I know the story I'll take a shot and think it's relief that he's finally wrote something other then Misery Chastain novels and maybe a bit of anxiety, wondering if he can write anything other then Misery Chastain novels...what a mix of emotions lol.).
Paul packs up his new novel and leaves his rented cabin in his car while a very catchy song plays (it's Shotgun by Jr Walker btw) and we get a lovely view of the snowy Colorado mountains (gee...what other movie/book took place in snowy Colorado mountains...heh.). As the snow starts to come down heavier, Paul hits a patch of ice (at least it looks/sounds like he does) and skids out of control, flipping his car over the side of a hill. We get a little flashback (?) to his life before the accident and see him meet with his publisher Marcia and they talk about how he's killed off Misery in his latest book and how he never "meant for it to become my life".
Back to the present, luckily for him (or not) someone happens upon him and saves him...and his new novel lol. I still find it a little hard to believe Annie can pick him up like that (while it's snowing!) and climb up the hill with him. I know she lives on a farm in the middle of nowhere and has to be strong and the book describes her as being a very big and powerful woman but damn...
Paul wakes up groggy and confused to "I'm your number one fan." (creepy lol) in bed. Annie introduces herself and tells him she's a nurse and he's safe. Later (the next day or a few days since Paul looks less...out of it) Annie disconnects his IV and gives him more pain killers (Novril, which is basically a fake Codeine) and also explains why he isn't in the hospital and the phone lines are down. I sort of wonder what would have happened if Annie had found someone other then Paul? Would she have left the poor person to die or saved them...god only knows. I lean to the let them die theory. Because she later on says something like "I drove up to the cabin (that he rents) hoping to see you." So she knew he was there, and what car he was driving. My theory is she followed him, saw him wreck and saved him because she loves him so much. If it was any other person, I doubt she would have stopped.
Back to the movie...later on Annie reveals to him his broken legs (saying how proud she is of having stabilized them). She tells him he'll be able to walk and his dislocated shoulder will be fine as well. She tells him as soon as the roads are clear she'll take him to a hospital.
In New York we see Marcia worried about Paul, calling the local Silver Creek sheriff. She reveals that he's been missing since last Tuesday and that's why she's so worried. He promises to put his name through his "system" (which looks to me to be a messy notice board of papers...I mean I doubt this little town out in the Colorado mountains has an actual computer system...but who knows.). He asks his wife when the blizzard was and ponders on the fact it was the same day Paul went missing.
We go back to Paul and Annie and Paul is getting a little shave. Paul remarks on how it was a "miracle" she found him. Annie reveals she had been following him. Paul asks about the phone lines, wanting to call his daughter and Marcia. Annie says they're still down but she'll keep trying for him, she then asks to read the new novel in his case. He says she can since she saved him and she's very thrilled.
Cut up to the Silver Creek Lodge, we see the sheriff there asking about Paul.We learn not much other then he always orders Dom Perignon when he finishes a novel and is always a good guest, never doing anything weird.
Back to Annie and Paul, Annie's feeding him soup when she brings up how she dislikes the swearing in the novel. Annie argues with Paul about this and ends up getting so flustered she spills soup on his bed (and here we get the first glimpse that Annie isn't...normal.). Annie apologizes to Paul and tells him she loves him (his mind and creativity that is...sureeee Annie...sure.). Annie leaves and Paul seems to get a little worried about Annie and being alone in her house with her.
We switch over to the sheriff and his wife driving back down from the Lodge when the sheriff spots a broken limb on a tree and tells her to stop (really? a broken limb makes you stop? and how the hell did you notice it...). The sheriff climbs down the hill to investigate a little before he gives up because the snow is too deep (and we see just a little bit farther...Paul's cars tire sticking out of the snow...so close yet so far lol). We see Annie drive past them both.
Back at her home, Paul wakes up to Annie entering his room with a new copy of his last Misery novel. Paul asks if the roads are clear then but Annie says just the one to town is and that she "called" the hospital and talked with a doctor here. He asks about the phones working and she says the ones in town do but hers is still out and that she "called" Marcia. She blathers on about how good the first parts of the new book are but Paul interrupts her talking about his daughter and how he wants/needs to talk to her. She tells him he'll have to wait till tomorrow for that. She then goes to get him some food.
Time passes and we get introduced to Annie's pig, Misery. She comments on how his book and the Sistine chapel painting are the only two divine things in this world (and also letting loose a racial slur for Italians, showing she's a bit backwards...). This scene is sort of funny but mainly...a little unnerving? Paul seems to show signs of being unnerved as well at this point.
Later that day, Annie talks about her ex husband and how because she was so lonely she started reading a lot and that's how she discovered the Misery books. Cue awkwardness as it's revealed Paul was...answering natures call while she was talking. She leaves him saying she'd love to stay and talk but she's at the end of the book and want's to finish it.
That night Annie enters Paul's room, obviously shaken up that Misery dies. She rant and raves at Paul, scaring the crap out of him before leaving him. She tells him before she leaves that she never called anyone, so no one knows he's here or alive. And she states "you better hope nothing happens to me, because if I die, you die". She then leaves him alone in the house and drives off.
Alone now, Paul struggles to get out of his bed before falling on the floor, hurting himself. Honestly this scene still makes me flinch. If I was in that position...I don't think I could do what Paul does. I mean I know it's a matter of life and death but...damn. He then manages to drag himself to the door, at which point he finds out Annie locked the door. Whoops...
We go back to the Sheriff who's talking to Marcia, and we learn that now the search has expanded now that he's working with the FBI (why the FBI? because he's a big shot writer?) and the state police on finding Paul.
Back to Annie, she finds Paul sleeping on the floor. She helps him into the bed, telling him she has a surprise for him, but he has to do something first. She absentmindedly lets slip a little clue (how she was on a witness stand in Denver.) while she tells him about how she talked to god about him (is it just me or does Stephen King paint religious people as...nut jobs? First Carrie's mother and now Annie...hm.) and how god brought them together so that Annie could "show him the way". She then wheels in a little outdoor grill. She starts pouring lighter fluid on his new novel and hands him a match saying "you must rid the world of this filth". Damn Annie...was the new novel that bad? She then shows off how much of an obsessed fan she is by telling him how she knows it's the only copy because he's superstitious about stuff and never makes more then one copy of a novel when he's writing it.
Paul makes no attempt at lighting the match so Annie "threatens" him by "absentmindedly" throwing lighter fluid all over his blankets. He finally gives in and lights the match, tossing it into the grill, setting his novel aflame. He watches with regret as the novel burns. We then hear a helicopter flying and see the sheriff and the pilot in it looking for Paul's car. But not finding anything they leave, letting Paul lose hope that help was coming. Annie gives Paul his pills and leaves with the grill. Paul debates about taking them, but ends up hiding the pills under his mattress. Later that night while Annie is upstairs watching TV, Paul uses his fork to rip a hole in the mattress and hides his pills in the hole.
The next day Annie pushes him in a wheelchair revealing to him the "surprise" he's going to get now that he burned his novel. He's going to write Misery's Return! Oh joy of joys...haha, poor Paul...he just wanted to be rid of the bitch but Annie just had to bring her back. She sets up his new "studio", while he is...less then thrilled with the idea. Annie leaves him for a few moments when he just so happens to spot a single bobby pin on the floor. She comes back with paper, but Paul tells her it's the wrong type because it "smudges" (pretty sure any paper would do that if you try to rub just typed letters...fresh ink and all.). She gets pissed off about it and tells him she'll get better paper, before slamming the ream of paper down on his legs (ow!) and leaving.
Paul then grabs the bobby pin and unlocks his door with it. He tries the front door but finds it locked as well (I guess he can't pick it with the bobby pin because it's a different lock?), so he rolls into the living room finding a phone. But he discovers the phone is just for show (creepy).
We cut to Annie in town, loading up her truck with the new paper and heading back home (uh oh Paul...better hurry!).
Back to Paul he slowly rolls around investigating the house. While he does this he knocks a small glass figure down but catches it before it breaks (thinking he saved himself from letting Annie know he was out of his room, he replaces it...but in the wrong position...whoops.). He spots a memory book (important later on...) and a small "shrine" to himself with all his books and a signed photo of him (interesting so did he meet her before or did she buy it like that...). He rolls to a small closet in which he spots Annie's rather large supply of drugs, and grabs a pack of the Novril. He makes his way to the kitchen, but finds the door is to small for his wheelchair so he has to drop out of it and crawl along the floor. He makes his way across to the back door but finds it's of course locked. He spots the knife holder when he hears Annie's truck pulling up (making for one of the most tense scenes of the movie! But I wonder how he knows it's Annie? I guess he knows what the truck sounds like...or maybe he knows no one else would bother coming here?). He quickly crawls back to the wheelchair and gets the hell out of the kitchen as quick as he can. Paul then uses the bobby pin to relock his door (didn't know you could do that...) and gets back into position just as soon as Annie opens his door.
Annie notes how sweaty he is and asks why, and Paul tells her because he's suffering in pain. He begs her to give him his pills and she gives in and goes to get them, giving him time to hide the pills he stole. She then comes back, gives him the pills and puts him to bed before leaving. We then see Paul cheeked his pills.
Next scene we see the sheriff and his pilot spot Paul's car hidden in the snow (about time!). Down on the ground we see a state cop (I assume) tell the news that they assume Paul is dead, but can not find his body. We go back to the sheriff and his wife and the sheriff notices the marks on the car door (that Annie made when she was trying to get him out) and he doesn't think Paul died the way the state cop says Paul died (which makes me wonder why the state cop wouldn't notice that as well and think something fishy was up...why is it this little "hick" town sheriff notices this?).
Back to Paul and we see him make a small paper "packet" for the drugs. He cracks them open and once he makes sure they don't give off any smell or taste (which isn't actually true. According to the book Novril is bitter...like most medicine!) he pours the powder into the packet and eats the outside casing (blah...).
Later on we see Paul beginning the new Misery novel when Annie comes in to tell him that the novel is all wrong and he'll have to do it over. When he says she might be a little hasty, she explains the novel isn't "fair" and goes on to tell him why she thinks that (showing once more...she's completely nuts.).
So Paul rewrites it and Annie approves. He then asks Annie if she's like to have dinner together to celebrate the start of the new novel, she agrees dreamily and walks away.
Ah dinner, the main event...let's see if Paul can get his way. Annie and Paul settle in to dinner then Paul proposes a toast and asks Annie for some candles. Going to find them, Paul then drugs her wine with the pill power he's been saving. Coming back with the candle she lights it and they go to toast but she knocks over the candle and spills her wine (and to this day I still wonder if she knew he drugged it and did it on purpose...). They then toast to Misery (what a fitting toast...).
Time passes on as we see Paul doing his best to write the book Annie wants. Nothing much happens during this time other then we see Paul lifting the heavy typewriter to get stronger.
One stormy night as Paul is working out with the typewriter, he hears Annie coming and quickly puts it down. We see Annie looking and sounding...unusually down for her normal self. Paul asks why and she starts talking about how she loves him and he'll eventually leave her. She then pulls out a gun and creeps Paul out before leaving the house and driving off. Ah she's such a crazy bitch haha. Paul takes this time to grab a knife from the kitchen.
We pop over to the sheriff and see him catching onto a quote in one of Paul's Misery books (which is important for later.)
Back to Paul he goes back to his room but before he goes in, he spots Annie's memory book open in the living room (I said it was important!). As he flips through the book (which gets darker and darker every page) he learns that Annie was behind a string of infanticide cases. He then goes back to his room and gets in bed. Annie returns but goes upstairs to her room and Paul hides the knife under his mattress. He then says "see you in the morning" and falls asleep. Ah...bad idea Paul...bad idea.
Annie then surprises him in the middle of the night, waking him up and injecting him with a drug. Which makes me wonder why wait for him to wake up? Just do it when he's asleep...? Also she didn't exactly stick it in a vein...right? idk I know it's all "Hollywood" magic and stuff but...sometimes little things like that annoy me.
Next morning Paul wakes up groggy and sees he's tied down to the bed. Annie tells him she knows he's been out of his room because her little figure was in the wrong position (bad luck Paul). He then starts to look for the knife he hid, which Annie then pulls out. What follows is one of the best scenes in movie history. To this day I have to look away when Annie "hobbles" Paul. And the sound? Jesus...
Later we see Annie driving into town when the sheriff notices her when she almost gets into an accident with someone. This sparks something in him and he runs off to the library to search for something. We see him spot the quote from Misery under a picture of Annie in the papers and he starts putting the pieces together. He goes over to the (general store?) and asks if Annie's bought any Misery books and anything odd...and he learns she's bought all the books and some typing paper.
The sheriff then gets the idea to go pay Annie a visit, much to Paul's delight. But that delight is short lived when Annie rushes in and drugs him again. She then hides him down in her hidden basement and goes to greet the sheriff. What follows is a great example of how twisted Annie's mind is (I mean did she make this up ahead of time in case anything was connected to her or is she doing this on the fly? She has a reason for everything, the paper, the typewriter...).
The sheriff does a brief look in her house before going to leave when he hears a crash (Paul downstairs!) and goes rushing back in. He then hears Paul yelling from downstairs. Unfortunately for him and Paul...Annie's got a boomstick (heh). She kills the sheriff and tells Paul she's ready to kill him and her next. To stop her, he tells her he loves her and she is right that they should die together (I wonder why she believes this when just before the sheriff came, he was trying to strangle her...) but the book must be finished before then. She agrees to it and goes back upstairs, giving Paul time to stick a can of lighting fluid down his pants (haha...writing that sounds funny.).
Paul then goes back to finishing the book much to the delight of Annie. Finishing the book, he tells Annie to prepare the three things he always has at the end of every finished book, while he himself prepares to fight Annie. She brings in the items but he tells her to get a glass for herself. She leaves to get it and Paul soaks the book in the lighter fluid and waits for Annie with the match ready. He sets it on fire and when she goes to put it out, he hits her over the head with the typewriter (ow that's gotta fucking hurt!) and the fight starts! She manages to shoot him in the shoulder but he tackles her making her fire the other shot into the air. They struggle before he manages to trip her and she slams her head into the typewriter. Thinking he's finally killed her, he starts crawling out of the room but she surprises him and jumps on his back. He finally does kill her with a heavy metal pig statue thing.
18 months later in New York and we see Paul limping along with a cane to go meet Marcia in a restaurant. They talk about his new book and Annie. Paul sees Annie as a waitress before she changes to a normal women who tells Paul, "I'm your number one fan.". Oh I doubt that honey...
My thoughts - As I've said this movie is my favorite horror film. And it's hard to see anything bad/wrong with it. I mean not that there's a lot but there are a few things that I pointed out...and watching it again, it does remind me there are differences between it and the book. Is it the most amazing movie ever? No not bar far but out of the (few) horror movies I have watched in my life so far, I like it the best. It doesn't have a ton of gore (just a little blood here and there) and no scary "monsters" (Annie is a monster but I mean stuff like the boogie man). Which is what I enjoy.
If your a fan of non monster/non gory horror films then you'll like this I bet. More so if you enjoy thrillers. Stephen King is know for thrillers and it continues on here in this movie. I'd actually recommend watching the movie BEFORE the book. Why? Well thriller books are...nice but they don't really "thrill" me like a thriller movie does. Nothing keeps me on the edge of my seat better then a nice thriller movie. Books can try and while I am a huge fan of books and they can make me feel so many emotions...thriller ones just don't give me the same emotion as the movies do. Like with horror books as well...words don't scare.