The story and tension of Misery revolves around one of the most difficult situations a human being could possibly find themselves in, which is where the thrilling and suspense elements of this Stephen King adaptation come from. Best-selling novelist Paul Sheldon (James Caan) is on his way home from his Colorado hideaway after completing his latest book, when he crashes his car in a freak blizzard. Paul is critically injured, but is rescued by former nurse Annie Wilkes (Kathy Bates), Paul’s “number one fan”, who takes Paul back to her remote house in the mountains in order to ‘care’ for him. Basically, she is more than a little disturbed and is completely obsesses with the author. After discovering that he has killed of the character Misery in his latest book, she exacts revenge by making his life tortuous and doing some pretty gruesome things to him. She forces him to write a follow-up book depicting Misery’s return, but Paul would rather leave and go to a hospital (surprise, surprise). While Annie is out, Paul, still seriously injured from the accident) searches the house for an exit and makes some shocking discoveries. Good old local sheriff Buster (Richard Farnsworth) tries to come to the rescue but ends up getting shot through the back by Annie. Paul ends up killing Annie in the end and everyone lives happily ever after (except Annie and Buster: they’re dead).
People who compare this to the book need to stop comparing it to the book. Misery is without a doubt one of the best films of the 90s, and in my opinion, Stephen King’s second best adaptation into a movie after The Green Mile (A lot better than The Shining anyway). James Caan surprised me with his performance as the physically broken author, making our hope for his escape all the more desirous. This is TRUE horror, there’s no monsters, no mega special effects, just Kathy Bates who is truly made the big time on one of the scariest villains in horror movie history. (8.5/10)