BAG OF BONES. BASED ON THE BOOK BY STEPHEN KING. DIRECTED BY MIKE GARRIS. STARRING PIERCE BROSNAN, MELISSA GEORGE, ANNABETH GISH, ANIKA NONI ROSE, MATT FREWER, JASON PRIESTLEY, CAITLIN CARMICHAEL, PETER MACNEILL AND WILLIAM SCHALLERT. REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©
I love it when Stephen King writes about writers. There’s no better man to do it, after all. MISERY is a brilliant book with novelist Paul Sheldon as its protagonist. BAG OF BONES sees Pierce 007 Brosnan take on the role of Michael Noonan, a writer whose latest book THEY ALL FALL DOWN has a line from a nursery rhyme as its title, a practice made popular by guys like James Patterson. ‘Patterson,’ ‘Grisham’ and even ‘Bachman’ all get a mention in this TV mini-series.
Anyway, when Mike’s beloved artist wife Jo dies in a traffic accident, a devastated Michael heads off to the house he inherited from his Grandpa Harold to lick his wounds. It’s a gorgeous, creepy old place situated on Dark Score Lake in the small town in Maine where Mike’s Grandpops grew up. It has an attic, a basement, a scary lake surrounded by trees, the works. The scene is set for some serious haunting to start happening, which it does almost immediately.
Mike keeps getting visions of a beautiful jazz singer from the ‘Thirties called Sara Tidwell, who one day mysteriously disappeared along with her small daughter Kisha. Sara’s records keep putting themselves on the record player in his house, which is eerie and disturbing. He’s also plagued by dreams/images of a small drowning girl, a situation none too good for his mental health. And his house has a poltergeist. Well, it has something, anyway. It has a moose, too. I don’t much care for the moose.
Mike tries to write but he has writers’ block. He misses his wife so badly it hurts and, to add insult to injury, he has his suspicions that she may have been playing around behind his back all the times she was at the lake house by herself and he was at home working on his books. Knowing that she was pregnant at the time she died (while he himself has a low sperm count…!) only makes her death that much harder to bear.
To complicate matters further, Mike accidentally finds himself involved with local temptress and single-mum-of-one Mattie Devore. Mattie is played by the utterly ravishing Melissa George, whose acting credits include the ‘Angel’ part of ‘Shane ‘n’ Angel’ in Australian soap opera HOME AND AWAY and Kathy Lutz in the (pretty bad!) 2005 remake of classic horror film THE AMITYVILLE HORROR.
Thanks to his involvement with Mattie, Mike incurs the wrath of Mattie’s Pa-in-law, local millionaire Max Devore, who’s a kind of a Mr.-Burns-from-THE-SIMPSONS character but without the laughs. He even has the gay toadying sidekick, Rogette. Well, if she ain’t gay, I’ll eat my spats, haha…! Anyhoo, Max badly wants custody of his grand-daughter Kyra, who was left fatherless when Mattie shot her hubby for trying to drown the child…
Quite a significant number of other Dark Score Lake fathers down through the years have either drowned their daughters too, or attempted to, according to Mike’s cleaner. Now isn’t that strange? A town in which the fathers have a history of trying to drown their daughters…? And Mike himself having visions of a drowning little girl? And ghostly visitations of a dozen different kinds from morning till night? That’s all mighty strange, isn’t it? I’d say it was pretty strange indeed, wouldn’t you…? Damn straight it’s strange.
So, why is an apparently long-dead jazz singer trying to make contact with Mike? Just why is Max Devore so desperate to get his hands on little Kyra? Who- or what- is buried under the Green Lady? What exactly was Jo Noonan getting up to all those times she went to Dark Score Lake without Mike? Why was an obviously trim, fit Pierce REMINGTON STEELE Brosnan not permitted any nude- or at least topless- scenes?
And what-in-the-hell kind of mickey-mouse police force allows a man at the centre of the biggest murder case to hit the town’s headlines in a while to swan off up the river in a bloody paddle boat with a small child who’s not his own instead of remaining at the scene of the crime for questioning…? These are all questions you’ll want answered. Watching the film will only answer some of them…
BAG OF BONES is great fun. There are a few plotholes, a couple of really cheesy scenes, one genuinely shocking scene and plenty of spectral visitations, enough to satisfy your average horror fan if they’re not looking for anything too terrifying. It’s not THE EXORCIST, but it’s not CASPER THE FRIENDLY GHOST either. It’s somewhere in between. I enjoyed it. Give it a try and you might just find that you do too.
AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.
Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based performance poet, novelist, film blogger, sex blogger and short story writer. She has given more than 200 performances of her comedy sex-and-relationship poems in different venues around Dublin, including The Irish Writers’ Centre, The International Bar, Toners’ Pub (Ireland’s Most Literary Pub), the Ha’penny Inn, Le Dernier Paradis at the Trinity Inn and The Strokestown Poetry Festival.
Her articles, short stories and poems have appeared in The Metro-Herald newspaper, Ireland’s Big Issues magazine, The Irish Daily Star, The Irish Daily Sun and The Boyne Berries literary journal. In August 2014, she won the ONE LOVELY BLOG award for her (lovely!) horror film review blog. She is addicted to buying books and has been known to bring home rain-washed tomes she finds on the street and give them a home.
She is the proud possessor of a pair of unfeasibly large bosoms. They have given her- and the people around her- infinite pleasure over the years. She adores the horror genre in all its forms and will swap you anything you like for Hammer Horror or JAWS memorabilia. She would also be a great person to chat to about the differences between the Director’s Cut and the Theatrical Cut of The Wicker Man. You can contact her at:
1) ‘… BY A WOMAN WALKING HER DOG…’
2) A WRITER’S JOURNEY
3) ANNA MEETS COUNT DRACULA
4) ANOTHER FIFTY REALLY RANDOM HORROR FILM REVIEWS TO DIE FOR…
5) CANCER BALLS
6) CATCH OF THE DAY
7) FIFTY FILTHY-DIRTY SEX-POEMS YOU MUST READ BEFORE I DIE.
8) FIFTY REALLY RANDOM HORROR FILM REVIEWS TO DIE FOR…
9) THE DEVIANTS
10) VISITING DAY