This superb adaptation of Stephen King’s bestseller from director Rob Reiner deals with the trappings of celebrity, fanatical devotion, artistic dilemmas and the worthiness of commercial fiction within a psychological suspense context.
In a remote area of the Colorado Mountains, successful novelist Paul Sheldon (James Caan) is injured in a car accident and taken in by ex-nurse Annie Wilkes (Kathy Bates), a devoted fan of Sheldon and his fictional heroine Misery Chastain.
But events take a sinister turn when the novelist allows Wilkes to read a proof of his latest book.
Bates deservedly won an Oscar for her monstrously scary performance as Caan’s “Number One Fan”, turning from caring nurse to insane torturer after learning he’s killed off her favourite literary character.
While not a true-blue horror movie, Reiner’s adept exercise in chilling claustrophobia nevertheless contains numerous jolts, with the sledgehammer “hobbling” scene certain to evoke screams of revulsion.