Here’s a review of Desperation (2006) by Reut of Sweet Archive for our October King-a-thon.
It’s my great pleasure to participate in this awesome King-A-Thon, so tons of thanks to Movie Rob and Darren of Movie Reviews 101 for awesomely organizing this and letting me contribute.
I chose the 2006 TV movie Desperation, which is a horror sci-fi movie based on Stephen King’s novel of the same name. It was directed by a dedicated and frequent collaborator of King’s novels and a massive horror fan, Mick Garris.
People are getting arrested by a strange sheriff on a lost Nevada road for no reason at all. Delivered to a god forsaken town called Desperation, the arrestees try to escape and find out that past incidents have led to the occurrence of unusual things in this ghostly place.
Desperation aimlessly tries to scare and has its fair share of dull moments with me sneaking an occasional yawn. I loved the reading the novel and have to admit that Desperation made me the King fan I am today. The book was fascinating. It’s filled with good mystery and oddity just like you would expect from a horror mastermind like Stephen King. I couldn’t put it down for a second. The movie, however, doesn’t measure up to the book’s success, but nor do I think it pretends to be. I’m sure Mick Garris is quite aware of the mediocrity of his adaptation and even owns up to it. Garris did manage to pull off a few good scenes followed by some great asymmetric camera angles and background music, which no doubt contribute to the strange and unusual nature of the story.
You think Desperation is a shitty movie? Don’t blame ya. I was fairly skeptical myself, but I think it’s not completely hopeless. It has somewhat of a potential as a B rated cult movie. The script is not perfect, but it’s fairly amusing. Collie Entragian, the weird sheriff played by the fantastic and weird looking, Ron Perlman, is well equipped with a funny attitude and a few good punch lines which can be easily turned into unforgettable quotes “Wait a minute… Peter Jackson? I LOVE “Lord of the Rings”! He’s a twisted dude who keeps saying “Tak”, and there’s no anticipating what he’ll say or do next.
Perlman really sticks out in some fine acting here, however is not the only familiar face we can see here. The cast contains good actors like, Tom Skerritt, Steven Weber, Annabeth Gish, Charles Durning, and Henry Thomas, which is quite promising for a just a TV movie.
Moment of epiphany? It’s only when I watched Desperation that I noticed King has a strange affection to forsaken locations, whether it’s a hotel (The Shining), an airport (The Langoliers) or in this case a wind-swept town. King also has that recurring theme of reviving abandoned places with lights turning on and background music playing. It was the Gold Room bar in The Shining, and it’s the town theater in Desperation.
To sum it up, Desperation is not a masterpiece. Far from it. It’s just another mediocre TV movie, and nothing more. It’s somewhat entertaining and yet occasionally boring, but overall harmless and at times even fun and mysterious. I would definitely recommend reading the book first.