People are constantly questioning why so many Stephen King works brought to film fail. The problem with many Stephen King novels is that a lot of the conflict becomes internal. While this isn’t a problem within the written word, such conflict is hard to portray on screen. After all, internal conflict often becomes metaphorical and any dialogue spoken is usually in the voice of the person whose internal conflict is being fought. This means that filmmakers are usually stuck with voiceovers and dream sequences, both of which only work in moderation.
is one such work where much of the conflict takes place within the minds of the protagonists. Like Rose Madder and Gerald’s Game, while the external conflict is interesting, it’s how the characters react internally to said conflict that truly makes the novel pop and Dreamcatcher is no exception.
With most other horror writers, would simply be another alien invasion story. However, the characters – four men who have remained friends since childhood – bring something a bit more cerebral to the story.
When the four friends – Joe, Pete, Henry and Gary – meet up once again at their old haunt, an old cabin in the remote woods of Maine, they soon come to realize that this excursion will be unlike any other. As the foursome encapsulate themselves within the snowy backwoods of Maine, they find themselves battling more than just troublesome childhood memories. They also become the unwilling participants and, as a result, weapons in an alien invasion that makes Invasion of the Body Snatchers look like child’s play.
The reason why works is also the same reason it failed in film form. King successfully takes the conflict in the world outside and brings it into the human psyche as the characters fight with the alien invaders within their mind. Turning the mind into a battlefield, King takes the concept of an alien invasion and turns it upside down making for a play on the successful King formula.
While might remind some King fans of his fan-favorite novel, It, readers will also find a fresh play on the issues of growing up, childhood memories, and male bonding.
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