Bag of Bones (2008)–Television Review

bag of bones poster

Director:  Mick Garris

Starring:  Pierce Brosnan, Melissa George, Annabeth Gish, Matt Frewer

 

I’m ashamed to say that Bag of Bones was one of those books that I started but never finished.  Eventually I’ll reread it, along with another few Stephen King novels that I just couldn’t seem to get through at the time.  At any rate, I remember when the 2-part made-for-TV Bag of Bones was announced.  I thought it would be a good opportunity for me to catch up on the storyline.  Alas, I never got the opportunity to see it when it aired so I was happy to see that it was available via Instant Netflix.  All and all, it was an entertaining little piece, but certainly not the best Stephen King project out there.

The story, in a nutshell, is about Mike Noonan, a bestselling author who loses his wife tragically at a book signing event.  Overcome with grief and feeling the pressure from his publishers to turn out another novel, Noonan escapes to the cabin he and his late wife owned on Dark Score Lake.  It’s here that Mike starts experiencing some strange shit in the form of paranormal activity and hallucinations that would rival Dennis Hopper at a Grateful Dead concert.  With some help from his wife’s ghost, Noonan discovers a long forgotten murder that several of the town’s forefathers have managed to cover up for decades.  The third act is a little predictable, and basically plays out as your typical situation in which a ghost drives the lead character into uncovering the secret of her murder while the descendants of the original killers do everything in their power to stop it from happening, as they’re all cursed too.

It’s a fun Ghost Story.  In fact, it’s very reminiscent of the movie (and book) Ghost Story by Peter Straub.  That’s why I found it a little predictable.  One more thing that just didn’t sit right with me was the casting of Pierce Brosnan as the lead character.  Don’t get me wrong, I like the guy and think that he’s a fine actor, but come on—it’s impossible to watch something like this and NOT see him as Bond.  James Bond.

Well, that’s about it for my dislikes, here’s a few things that I did like about this little mini-series.

  • The opening credits are cool, but weird until you’ve seen the whole thing.
  • There’s an Annie Wilkes joke towards the beginning of first episode that I loved.  (If you don’t know who she is you should be ashamed of yourself—catch up on reading Stephen King or staple yourself in the kneecap starting right now, whichever you find more pleasurable…)
  • There’s a decent amount of gore in this for a major Network special.

bag of bones zombie    (See, told you…)

 

  • This had one of my all-time favorite under-appreciated actors of all time in it.  Stephen King flick alumni Matt Frewer!  (the neighbor from Honey I Shrunk the Kids)
  • This show had a couple of jump scares that actually got me!  That hardly ever happens any more…
  • I love how in most Stephen King stories the town, or setting, is a living breathing, and often times evil character in and of itself.  Bag of Bones’ Dark Score Lake is no exception.
  • The little girl in this, played by the adorable Caitlin Carmichael gives one of the best on screen crying performances I’ve ever seen, second only to that James Van Der Beek scene on Dawson’s creek

So there you have it, kids.  As I said at the beginning, this is not the best piece of Stephen King material out there, by far.  But it isn’t bad, and it’s made for T.V., so if you can’t get a babysitter to come over so you can head out with your sweetie to see Hatchet IV it’s relatively safe for the little ones.  (BTW, I TOTALLY just made up that Hatchet IV part, but I’ll admit, just thinking about it makes me tingle)

 

–Tyson  tyson headshot

 

The Verdict

Overall:

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Plot:

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Acting:

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Gore:

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Atmosphere:

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Suspense:

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