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Salem's Lot - The Miniseries (2004)

Horror and Television movie directed by Mikael Salomon

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A Modern Re-make

  • Feb 5, 2005
Rating:
+3
'SALEM'S LOT first aired on TNT in 2004. The budget for the two part miniseries was equal to that of a major motion picture and the look and feel of the film seems like a movie, not a television miniseries. Despite having been published around 25 years agao, the book that the movie is based upon remains one of Stephen King's most popular works.

'SALEM'S LOT is King's examination of what would happen if Dracula came to America. Author Ben Mears (Rob Lowe) returns to his hometown of Jerusalem's Lot, commonly known as Salem's Lot, to get some privacy and work on his latest book. Around the same time that Ben returns home, an antique dealer purchases an infamous house on the hill overlooking town for his "employer". A few days later strange events begin happening. A boy named Danny Glick disappears. A dog is impaled on the fence surrounding the community's graveyard. Danny Glick's body is found but looking not quite like Danny. The events quickly esculate until Ben and a small group of others realize that Dracula is in 'Salem's Lot and if they don't do something fast, no one will escape alive.

The movie changes several things from the original novel. However, a movie and a book are not the same things and overall the movie stays true to the spirit of the novel. My only complaint is what ends up happening to Father Callahan. Salem's Lot was one of the few books that Stephen King ever considered writing a sequel to, mostly because of Father Callahan. He later decided against it, but Father Callahan didn't disappear and has a major role to play in the Dark Tower series.

There have been a lot of comparisons of this movie with the made-for-tv 1979 version that was directed by Tobe Hooper. There really isn't much of a comparison. The 1979 version gains points for effort, but that's about it. Overall, the 1979 version is a mess of bad acting, bad writing, bad lighting and sets, and cheesy "special effects". That film does not hold up well and is nowhere near suspenseful, let alone frightening. This version holds up much better and though it makes more changes to the original storyline, this version flows much better, has better writing, excellent acting, and good special effects. It's a modern re-make made right.

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About this movie

Wiki

The vampiric Stephen King tale returns to the small screen, 25 years after the first made-for-TVSalem's Lot, a Tobe Hooper-directed ratings hit. This time it's Rob Lowe as a successful writer who returns to his haunted hometown. As a kid, something awful happened to him in the spooky mansion on the hill; now that he's back, the mansion is once again buzzing with evil portents. The physical production (shot in Australia) is convincing, and it's fun to see old pros such as Donald Sutherland, Rutger Hauer, and James Cromwell cutting up in juicy roles. The storytelling, however, feels oddly disjointed, as though King's sprawl had been arbitrarily hacked away rather than adapted (a few big moments are bewilderingly left offscreen). The approach misses the basic assets of a vampire story: the disbelief, the lore, the sex appeal. Instead, it feels like a random collection of bits for short attention spans.--Robert Horton
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Details

Director: Mikael Salomon
Screen Writer: Stephen King, Peter Filardi
DVD Release Date: October 12, 2004
Runtime: 181 minutes
Studio: Turner Home Ent
First to Review

"A Modern Re-make"
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