Review of "A Night at the Movies: The Horrors of Stephen King" on TCM From The TV MegaSite
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"A Night at the Movies: The Horrors of Stephen King" review by Suzanne
Airs Monday October 3 at 8pm ET on TCM

In this special, Stephen King talks about horror movies. He just sits there and talks, and we see clips from the films he's discussing. That's it, and yet it's fascinating, especially if you love Stephen King books or movies, or other horror movies.

The only part I found slightly disappointing is when he is discussing the movies made from his own books - he doesn't mention "Firestarter", which I thought was one of the few movies that did a great job in reproducing his book for the screen.

Overall, it's a great special for any movie, horror, or Stephen King fan to watch.

More Info:

TCM’s "A Night at the Movies: The Horrors of Stephen King" features Stephen talking about the genre of horror films from early days to present day to include some of his own. The premiere is Oct. 3 at 8pm on TCM. The special’s producer, Laurent Bouzerau is available for interviews on Monday, Sept 19 from 1-3pm ET.

He’s a very well know documentary director, producer and author and has worked with Stephen Spielberg in the past along with many others. He’s a VERY interesting guy.

TCM’s A Night at the Movies specials are written, produced and directed by Laurent Bouzereau, an award-winning filmmaker and author. Bouzereau has created many documentaries on the making of films on some of the world’s most acclaimed filmmakers, including Peter Bogdanovich, Brian De Palma, William Friedkin, Alfred Hitchcock, David Lean, George Lucas, Roman Polanski, Steven Spielberg and many others. His most recent books include The Art of Bond and Alfred Hitchcock: Piece by Piece.

We’ve included some quotes from Stephen King:

Stephen King Talks Horror

The following quotations are taken from A Night at the Movies: The Horrors of Stephen King, an all-new Turner Classic Movies (TCM) special produced by Amlin Television and award-winning filmmaker and author Laurent Bouzereau.

The Genre
“One of the things that’s always attracted me to the horror genre is that it’s assaultive. When I’m writing a story that I want to scare readers, I’m all about that experience. It’s a way of reaching out to the reader or to the viewer and saying, ‘I’m gonna take you by the lapels, and you’re gonna forget that you were supposed to pick up the kids from their scout meetings or their music lessons, and you’re gonna forget about making supper when your husband comes home.’ To me, that’s what the genre is supposed to do. It’s just supposed to assault your emotions and overwhelm your reason and your logic.”

“The horror genre is an extremely delicate thing. You can talk to filmmakers and even psychologists who’ve studied the genre, and even they don’t understand what works or what doesn’t work. More importantly, they don’t understand why it works when it works.”

“Horror movies often work better when we have a stake in the game. The more we care about the characters, the more human they are to us, the more appealing they are to us and the more effective the horror tends to be.”

The Movies
“People often ask me, ‘What was the first move that ever scared you?’ And I say, ‘It’s Bambi.’ I remember the forest fire and animals leaping to get away from it. I remember coming back home and worrying that our house was going to catch on fire.”

“When you watch movies from the black-and-white era, and I’m thinking particularly of the era when Val Lewton worked, you come to an appreciation of how wonderful black-and-white movies were, especially with the use of shadow and the use of kind of a surreal imagery. The scene in the swimming pool from Cat People is an extremely scary sequence where you never see anything.”

“I think that the shelf life of horror films is limited in terms of the emotional response of the viewer. The first time that you see Night of the Living Dead, you’re absolutely riveted. The second time, you’re scared. The third time, the film has lost something essential that it had the first time. Now people continue to go back and see Night of the Living Dead, but what they’re experiencing isn’t horror at that point. It’s the memory of the horror that they felt the first time they saw it or the second time they saw it. But that’s also one of the magic elements of the movies. It not only causes us to experience emotions, it causes us to re-experience them and then to remember where we were and how we felt.”

“The ghost story movie that scared me the most was The Changeling, with George C. Scott. I think that’s sometimes overlooked, but it’s a wonderful piece of work.”

Stephen King Movies
“Carrie was a terrific piece of work. At the end of the movie comes, when Amy Irving kneels down to put the flowers on Carrie’s grave, a hand comes up through the grave and seizes her by the arm. The audience went to the roof, totally to the roof. It was just the most amazing reaction. And I thought, ‘We have a monster hit on our hands. Brian De Palma has done something new. He’s actually created a shock ending that shocks an audience that was ready for a horror film.’ And there were several people who did it after that.”

“The only actor or actress that won a major award for anything that was based on my work was Kathy Bates for Misery, and she certainly richly deserved that Oscar. But Dee Wallace probably deserved to be nominated for Cujo as much if not more than Kathy Bates. It’s a performance that grows in my eye every time that I see it. It was an absolutely terrific job.”

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Updated10/2/11 

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