1922 centers around Farmer Wilfred James. His wife, Arlette, makes it clear that she wants to the land that she inherited from her father and move to the city and take their son Hank with her whether he likes it or not. He decides the only way to keep his home and his son is to kill his wife. So he enlists the aid of his son and, after a night of drinking, they murder her and throw her body down a well where it is slowly eaten by rats but that’s not where she stays.
This is another Netflix original adaptation of a Stephen King story. The movie is based on a novella by the same name in the aptly titled Full Dark, No Stars. I make no secret that I am a huge fan of King’s work and extra critical of any film adaptations especially when it is something that I am incredibly fond of, like this story. That being said, let’s get into the meat of it.
This movie looks the way it feels – dark and melancholy. The mood is set from damn near the first frame. Even in times where suspense is building or when the scares happen it’s always tinged with sadness. There are times toward the end I couldn’t help but feel sorry for ol’ Wilf’ as the world went to shit around him.
Stephen King is quoted as saying “Monsters are real and ghosts are real too. They live inside us and sometimes they win,” and that really sums up the plot of this film. 1992 is the story of how the inner darkness of man, what Wilfred calls the “Conniving man”, can worm its way into your life and destroy everything and everyone. Even though there is a swarm of vengeful rats and many appearances of decomposing animated corpses, it is clear that Wilfred is the real monster. Even in the scenes where Wilfred’s dead wife is whispering in his ear and driving him mad she is only telling him the truth; that truth just happens to be what the seed of darkness he planted in their son is blossoming into.
I don’t know what else to say without giving up spoilers. It’s a great movie whether or not you’ve read the source material. I am just glad to be living in a time where good Stephen King adaptations are being made even if the really good ones aren’t the ones to get a big theatrical release. Yeah. I said it. This is better than IT. So, sign in to whoever’s Netflix you’re borrowing and take another trip out to the cornfields of Hemingford Home, Nebraska.