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1922: A Downward Spiral (Spoilers)

via Netflix

*Warning: Spoilers Ahead!*

Netflix is a strange creature. It has recommendations and movies based on algorithms that I can’t begin to understand. Being in the mood for a good horror flick I happened upon another Stephen King piece turned into a movie that should have been over in under an hour clean. But people like to drag things out.

The movie takes place in 1922 Nebraska where farmer Wilfred is going though a divorce with his wife Arlette. Arlette wants to move to the city and to take their son Henry with them. In most cases a man will try to find a solution to all this–and Wilfred does just that. Only Wilfred decides to kill his wife with the help of his son so they don’t have to leave the farm. In all fairness, it is a decent farm.

Despite being two strong farmers, Wilfred and his son struggle to smother Arlette and make the whole house a bloody mess–because movie logic. Seriously–the amount of struggle these two take to kill one middle aged housewife is just laughable. And that’s putting aside the accents they have.

The movie then tells us the moral of the story is to tell the truth, compromise, and make the best of life–by dragging on a man’s downward spiral for over an hour and a half. I have never seen a series of circumstances so disheartening before.

After the murder, Henry begins to act like a belligerent teenager, gets a girl pregnant and runs away from home with the same girl. Wilfred is haunted (for about 2 minutes) from his dead wife which by the widest stretch qualifies this movie as a horror. Here and there another actor will break up the scene by saying a few words that ultimately just tries to keep you from turning off the movie.

The farm begins to fail, Wilfred goes into financial bankruptcy, has his house cave in letting in snow during the winter, and loses his hand because it got infected and never bothered to go to the doctor. You are literally watching a snuff film in slow motion sprinkled with utter sadness. But don’t worry–there’s still more sadness.

Wilfred then finds out from his dead wife that their son Henry and his lover basically became Bonnie and Clyde to survive until they are shot, stay in an open abandoned farmhouse, and freeze to death. I told you it was sad.

Wilfred buries his son, sells his farm to the bank, ironically moves to the city to work with one hand, and then sits in his hotel room as his dead wife and son come to kill him in a moment of regretful peace.

I was told the film was a horror movie but it became abundantly clear after a while that it was just the story of a man slowly losing everything. With it’s slow pace, lack of build up to anything, and bland set piece this idea would have worked better as a multiple part series rather than as a movie. With the right cut off time the directors could have created a lot more suspense and dread but instead showed a man who made a bad decision and then lost literally everything because of it.

I do have to say that the morals are clear and should be lived by. But for the concept, an hour max is all the audience needs.

If you are ever looking for a movie to make yourself feel better about your life then this is the movie for you. If you think that life can’t get any worse, then 1922 might just be right up your alley. If you care about corn, funky accents, and what would happen if a writer was forced to drag an idea into a feature film then you have come to the right place.

1922 is currently streaming on Netflix.

Written by Yensin Atagah

I'm a writer that works mostly with middle grade fantasy and fiction with the occasional young adult and romance. I believe a good story should always rely on a strong backbone structure to keep people interested. I've also worked in medicine for a number of years and know way more medical terminology than I'd care to say.

What do you think?


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