Based on the novella by the great Stephen King by the same name, 1922 tells the story of Wilfred James(played by Thomas Jane), a husband and father who is prepared to do anything to preserve his farm and build a future for his son.
The movie starts with an older version of Jane’s character writing down his story in a hotel room seemingly afraid of someone (or something) coming for him. A year prior to this, Wilfred’s wife was given 100 acres of land by her father. His wife (played by Molly Parker) wants to sell the land and move to St. Louis and use the money to open up a dress shop. Wilfred is displeased with this news and objects to the suggestion since he sees this land as the perfect place. With both of them on opposite sides on what to do, Wilfred’s wife suggests that they should just sell the land and split the profit 50/50 and get a divorce on the condition however that she takes their son with her in the city. It is made clear that they do not enjoy being together anymore as the tension slowly rises from the current events.
Wilfred sees that his wife Arlene will not let up on her dreams and selling the farm so he devises a plan. He notices that his son has a liking to the neighbor’s daughter and that he loves the farm almost as much as Wilfred himself does so he uses him and devises a plan to murder his wife and keep the farm for themselves.
Overall the main plot of the film revolves around guilt. We see Wilfred as he tries do cope with the consequences of his actions and the guilt of his deeds. It shows in a fantastic way how one bad decision can ruin not only your life, but the life of everyone around you. The best part about this movie is definitely the acting. Thomas Jane delivers arguably his best performance as Wilfred, a man who seems like a stereotypical “dumb, clueless hillbilly” but is in fact a very terrifying, conniving and cunning individual. He captures his descent into madness perfectly. The cinematography was decent with some very gorgeous shots.
The movie is nothing special or groundbreaking but it is still a fantastic film with grizzly and unsettling visuals. It is adapted from King’s short story which means that it can be a bit stretched out at times. It captures the source material well but since it is in a different format the pacing is a bit off. But even with the slow pacing the movie did a great job being very tense from beginning to end.
Final verdict: 7/10