You may have heard of Stephen King and might have seen a blurb about a TV movie or series with his name on it. You may have felt the need to watch it, but have been uneasy to do so for fear of being disappointed in view of all the hype. Generally, in the case of the celebrated horror writer, most adaptations of his work are pretty poor with a few outstanding moments of glory in between.
Whether you feel love, hate, or indifference toward him, Stephen King’s name has been a trusted brand tied to the horror world for a while now. If, however, you come across “Crouch End,” which is the second story of the eight episode TNT mini-series Nightmares and Dreamscapes (the title is based on the King anthology of the same name), the hate or indifference you feel toward him may feel justified.
The story would seem to be typical of this genre – a lawyer and his wife (Eion Bailey and Claire Forlani) attempt to meet a man about business in the community of Crouch End (which is in London). When they arrive at the town, they are greeted with weird occurrences, which happen because they are on Druid land – the whole area is Druid land.
They run around for a bit and find the land acts as a gateway into another dimension. Then for some strange reason, the husband gets sucked into a bridge underpass, which also tries to draw the wife in. She runs around for a bit, and finds an exit back into the real world – or so she thinks. As she attempts to give a police report about her husband's disappearance, a strange-looking cat she saw in the other dimension jumps up on the table, looks at her, and apparently answers to her husband's name!
I would have liked a bit more clarification as to what was behind the events of the story beyond the Druid explanation. I don't expect a long and boring speech from a character, but just a hint that ties in to the wacky events in the story. This lack of clarity makes the average viewer feel as if he's just taken a nonsensical ride into The Twilight Zone.
Even when you are taken on a journey that never makes sense, the very last thing you need are bad characters. The couple who were victims of this adventure didn't make me care for their plight or hope for their survival. I think the fault lies with Bailey and Forlani for turning in such bland performances, particularly in the case of Forlani, who managed to turn two possibly good movies (Meet Joe Black and The World Is Not Enough) into mildly enjoyable movies.
If there are any King fans out there, feel free to comment on what I might have missed.
If you’re a fan of King, regardless of critical opinion and/or are just looking for something to watch on Wednesday, check out Nightmares and Dreamscapes on TNT at 8 PM Eastern Time/9 PM Central Time.