07 October 2015

Stephen King's SUFFER THE LITTLE CHILDREN

SUFFER THE LITTLE CHILDREN
(25minute short)

USA, 2015
Director: Corey Norman

9,5/10











This goes out to Brett Leonard, Tom McLoughlin, Ralph S. Singleton, Fritz Kiersch, Jeff Beesley, Mikael Håfström and to everyone who ever botched a full length adaptation of a short story by Stephen King... watch this! This is how you do it properly. This is how it should work.

With a mini-budget and the help of a few IndieGogo supporters (I'm one of them!), director Corey Norman ("Natal", "Tickle") managed to create one of the greatest King short-story-adaptations ever. I mean it! It's obviously not as amazing as "Stand By Me" (no-one will ever make a movie as awesome as this one), but it's totally on a par with "The Night Flier", "Cat's Eye" or the incredible "The Raft" segment in "Creepshow 2".


"Suffer the Little Children" has always been one of my favorite King stories ever. It's a chilling and super-scary tale, following an aging third-grade teacher who believes that her students are being taken over by monsters. It was first published in the Februar 1972 issue of the Cavalier Magazine and was originally supposed to be included in King's short story collection "Night Shift" (1978, I can't think of any other book I've read more often than this), but was deferred and replaced with "Gray Matter" due to editor Bill Thompson's choice. I love and hate Thompson for this choice: "Suffer The Little Children" would have fit so fucking good into "Night Shift", but I love the insanely outstanding "Gray Matter" even more, so I'm okay with it - and hey: it eventually got included in the 1993 collection "Nightmares and Dreamscapes", and IMHO it's the best story in this great-but-not-as-great-as-Night-Shift collection (the best one together with the epic "Dolan's Cadillac" and the hilariously intriguing "The Moving Finger").


Where was I? Oh yeah. Corey Norman's "Suffer the Little Children".
Man, Corey did such a fucking great job on this! Everything that is in the story, it's in the film too. He totally got that creepy vibe of the story, the fear and paranoia of teacher Ms. Sidley, the intimidating charisma of young Robert, the thing with the glasses, the nightmares, the shootings, the creepy open-ending epilogue... he got it all completely right.

Anne Bobby ("Nightbreed", "The Hanover House") is the movie's absolute highlight, delivering a performance that is so unbelievably strong, it's almost shocking. The way she sharply spits out lines like "Be quiet!" or "Good night, Mrs. Crossen." or "Is this a game??", the way she acts and looks in the scene where she sees the girl outside the window, the way her character seems to be slightly speechless in the scene with the principal, and oh my fucking goodness, the intense expressions she makes after her first kill... bloody hell, why did this woman never had a successful acting career?


I was also highly impressed with Andrew Lyndaker ("Tickle") as the creepy kid. At first, I thought he was miscast... but then I saw him smiling and then I heard him saying "Tomorrow something bad will happen. To-mo-rrow." and "Do you want a really good look?" and I realized that he's just perfect. In addition, the overall photography is just gorgeous, and the soundtrack is just wow: touching pianos, unsettlinng strings, explosive drums and a rocking great version of "In the Hall of the Mountain King". The few special effects may look a tad cheap, but that's totally forgiveable hence the low budget.

"Suffer the Little Children" is freaking amazing. This is how to successfully turn a classic Stephen King short story into a film that on the one hand stays true to the original completely, while on the other hand also manages to stand on its own. Impressive. Bravo!


P.S. To conclude this overlong write-up, I'm quoting from one of my favorite The Smiths songs "Suffer Little Children":

"We will haunt you when you laugh
Yes, you could say we're a team.


You might sleep,
but you will never dream!"



3 comments:

  1. Wow! I'm excited to see this! :)

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  2. This sounds great! I worked with Anne Bobby on a TV movie - she was a lot of fun and a fine actress - I also wonder why she wasn't more successful. She caused no problems, was professional and on time - had no weird processes on set - and was pleasant to be around. Add that to a good performance on camera - why no further success?

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    Replies
    1. Same what I heard. She seems to be a completelx uncomplicated actress who's super-easy to work with. And omg, she's so, so good!

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