Stars: Pierce Brosnan, Annabeth Gish, Jason Priestley, Melissa George, Matt Frewer | Written by Stephen King (novel), Matt Venne (screenplay) | Directed by Mick Garris
Review by Aaron MK
Based on the award-winning bestselling novel by Stephen King, Bag of Bones is an unforgettable psychological thriller. Two-time Golden Globe Award nominee Pierce Brosnan (Die Another Day) stars as Mike Noonan, a novelist who suffers from writer’s block after the death of his wife, Jo (Annabeth Gish, TV’s “Pretty Little Liars”). A dream inspires him to return to the couple’s lakeside retreat hoping to find answers about his wife’s sudden death – but he is plagued by ever-escalating nightmares and mysterious ghostly visitations from Sara Tidwell (Anika Noni Rose, Dreamgirls), a blues singer whose spirit lingers in the house. As the inhabitants of Dark Score Lake haunt him, Mike comes to realise that his late wife still has something to tell him. Jason Priestly (TV’s “Beverly Hills, 90210″), Melissa George (30 Days Of Night) and William Schallert (TV’s “True Blood”) also star in this haunting thriller.
Unlike previous reviews, this writer will be omitting a score for the plot, as that would be reviewing the novel which this miniseries based on and not the series itself…
Acting: 8.2 out of 10
With the renowned actor Pierce Brosnan leading an all-star cast, one would expect a quality performance and the cast of Bag of Bones delivers. Though some scenes seem slightly overdone, there is an overall sense of reality from scene to scene that makes this supernatural thriller seem all the more surreal. The only problem this writer had with the cast performance was the protagonist’s agent played by Jason Priestly. His performance seemed stilted, as if he was starring on a public access television show instead of a big budget miniseries. Fortunately, however, his scenes were few and far between and had little effect on the rest of the series.
F/X: 7.8 out of 10
The special effects were well executed and believable with the exception of one scene late in the series involving a vehicle crashing into a motel sign. The times when the special effects department really shined were the scenes involving the protagonist’s visions of the dead which are littered throughout the series. One scene involving actress Annabeth Gish covered in ghoulish full body makeup is especially striking.
Location/Stage Settings: 10 out of 10
Shot in beautiful Nova Scotia, Canada, the series brilliantly conveys the feeling that everything is taking place in rural western Maine. Luckily for the viewers, many scenes take place outdoors showing a glimpse of the unbelievably beautiful scenery. Similarly, many of the indoor settings share the same rustic, old world feel that one would imagine finding in such a place. Overall, the setting is what defines the series, and had it been shot anywhere else, it wouldn’t have been nearly as entertaining.
Summary: 8.6 out of 10
First and foremost, this writer will concede that he isn’t the “Stephen King” type. Despite this, the series was still entertaining and kept him guessing until the very end. Though the plot progresses rather slowly over the first two hours, the story begins to come together at a rapid pace towards the end. I feel that the production team did the source material justice and the genuine quality of the series is something to be applauded. If you’re a fan of Stephen King, or just like a good paranormal thriller in the same vein as Supernatural, Bag of Bones might be worth checking out. Overall, I give it a solid 8.6 out of 10.
Stephen King’s Bag of Bones is released on DVD on August 19th courtesy of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.