Bag of Bones (film)
|Bag of Bones|
|Genre||Horror, Drama, Mystery|
|Directed by||Mick Garris|
|Produced by||Michael Mahoney|
|Screenplay by||Matt Venne|
|Based on||Bag of Bones
by Stephen King
Anika Noni Rose
|Music by||Nicholas Pike|
|Editing by||Andrew Cohen
|Original channel||A&E Network|
|No. of episodes||2 or 1|
Bag of Bones or Stephen King's Bag of Bones, is an American TV horror film adaptation of Stephen King's novel. Directed by Mick Garris from Matt Venne's screenplay, it was first aired in 2011 on the A&E Network in two parts. When shown on British Channel 5 on 29 December 2012, it was however shown as a single three-hour film.
Best-selling novelist Mike Noonan and his wife, Jo, are unable to conceive children; Mike conceals that he has a low sperm count. Jo is killed by a bus while crossing a street. As she dies in his arms, Mike notices she bought a pregnancy test, and assumes that she may have been having an affair. Overcome by grief from her death, Mike develops a case of writer's block. He suffers a series of nightmares about his wife and their summer home on Dark Score Lake in Maine. On advice from his brother, Sid, Mike takes a trip to the summer house.
Once there, he meets a young widow named Mattie Devore and her 6-year-old daughter, Kyra. Befriending them, he earns the ire of Mattie's estranged father-in-law Max Devore. Max has been trying to get custody of Kyra since Mattie shot his son Lance (Lance was trying to drown the child). Despite the turmoil, Mike begins to write again, but visions and nightmares lead him to believe he isn't alone. He finds that his wife's spirit is with him. He also detects the spirit of a 1930s singer named Sara Tidwell who plays records of her music. Sara also appears in dreams that Mike has of her last day alive in 1939. During his stay at the lake, Mike learns about "Dark Score Crazy," an apparent form of madness that caused several men in the town to murder their daughters by drowning them.
Max gives Mike an ultimatum: Max will stop the custody battle for Kyra if Mike agrees not to interfere with their lives. Mike agrees. Shortly afterward, Max has his assistant help him in committing suicide. At the funeral, Mike meets Edgar White, an old friend of his grandfather. Edgar confesses to Mike that Edgar, Mike's grandfather, and two other men assisted Max with the rape and murder of Sara Tidwell and the drowning of her daughter, Keisha. With her dying breath, Sara cursed the boys' descendants to drown their own daughters in retribution for drowning Keisha. The boys buried Sara with her daughter in the woods.
Mike tells Mattie the story. Mattie hypothesizes that if Jo was pregnant, she may have returned to Dark Score to confirm the curse on Mike's bloodline. Mattie is suddenly shot and killed in a manner that Mike saw in a dream, but before she dies she begs him to take care of Kyra. Mike is chased back to his home by Mattie's killers, but escapes when they are killed by a falling sign during a storm. Mike tries to console Kyra and puts her to bed. Max's spirit angrily compels Mike to drown Kyra in fulfillment of the curse, but Mattie's spirit struggles to thwart him. Mike takes refuge in his office, where he finds clues left by Jo in the story he had been writing, directing him to douse Sara and Keisha's remains with lye to end the curse.
A tree that had been transformed into the figure of a woman marks the burial site. Mike returns to this tree to recover the remains, but the haunted tree attempts to deter him. Jo appears and distracts Sara, allowing Mike time to use the lye to dissolve the bones. Sara's spirit is appeased and the tree returns to normal. Mike says a final goodbye to Jo. He returns home to find Kyra in the bathtub, and he is attacked by Max's assistant who tries to kill them both. Mike kills her, and Mattie's spirit appears before them. Mattie tells Kyra that she is safe and that Mike will take care of her. The next morning, Mike announces that he intends to adopt Kyra as his own daughter.
- Pierce Brosnan as Mike Noonan
- Melissa George as Mattie
- Annabeth Gish as Jo Noonan
- Anika Noni Rose as Sara Tidwell
- William Schallert as Max Devore
- Caitlin Carmichael as Kyra Devore
- David Sheftell as Max Devore (young)
- Gary Levert as George Footman
- Jason Priestley as Marty
- Matt Frewer as Sid Noonan
The project started as a film directed by Mick Garris and written by screenwriter Matt Venne. The filmmakers had been hoping to shoot the film in Maine, but due to the failure of a proposed tax incentive in June 2010 the project was cancelled. In 2011, A&E Network stated in a press release that they would start filming a miniseries adapted from the novel with Pierce Brosnan in the leading role. Filming started August 2011 in Nova Scotia. Singer Kelly Rowland was originally cast as the role of Sara Tidwell but was replaced by Anika Noni Rose for unknown reasons.
Critical and popular reception
Entertainment Weekly's Stephan Lee thought the miniseries was "occasionally hokey, and Brosnan [overworked] his mad cackling, but the production [was] never less than creepily engaging." Troy Patterson of Slate called it "too campy," adding: "Bag of Bones attempts to say something about care-giving and leave-taking. But, much of the time ... it’s busy trying to scare the pants off you and failing in the attempt." CraveOnline's Blair Marnell gave the miniseries a 6 out of 10 rating, commenting: "The greatest weakness of Bag of Bones is that it seems to be too intent upon maintaining the pace of King's novel to the detriment of the onscreen story."
Connection to King's other works
- At a book signing, one of Mike's fans describes herself as his "number one fan"; Jo teases him to "have fun with Annie Wilkes". Annie Wilkes is an obsessed fan in King's novel, Misery.
- Matt Frewer, who played Trashcan Man in The Stand, plays Mike Noonan's brother.
- Mike's agent Marty mentions, "There's even talk of a newly-discovered Bachman book". "Richard Bachman" is a pen name used by Stephen King for some of his books.
- Mike is looking for clues in a crossword puzzle and comes up with the phrase "Booya moon". This is a fictional world in King's novel Lisey's Story.
- Mike briefly has a conversation with Ralph Roberts, who is busy solving a crossword puzzle, and notes that the old man has the look of an insomniac. Ralph Roberts is the main character of Stephen King's Insomnia. Both novels occur in the town of Derry, Maine.
- Mike mentions Bill Denbrough, a character from It.
- Mike mentions Alan Pangborn and Polly to the Sheriff who are from Needful Things
- Channel 5: Stephen King's Bag of Bones Retrieved 2012-12-30
- Deadline, "A&E Greenlights ‘Stephen King’s Bag Of Bones’ Miniseries Starring Pierce Brosnan"
- Tucker, Ken. "Bag Of Bones (2011)". Entertainment Weekly.com. Retrieved December 13, 2011.
- Patterson, Troy. "Tired Old Bones". Slate.com. Retrieved December 13, 2011.
- Marnell, Blair. "STEPHEN KING'S BAG OF BONES Part 2 Review". CraveOnline.com. Retrieved December 13, 2011.
- Seidman, Robert (December 13, 2011). "Sunday Cable Ratings: Kourtney & Kim Top 'Housewives Atlanta' + ' 'Boardwalk Empire,' 'Bag of Bones,' 'Homeland,' 'Dexter' & More". TV by the Numbers.
- Seidman, Robert (December 13, 2011). "Monday Cable Ratings: Rams/Seahwaks Down, But Still Tops + 'Pawn Stars,' 'Bag of Bones,' 'Closer,' 'Rizzoli & Isles,' 'WWE RAW' & Much More". TV by the Numbers.