King on Screen
"King on Screen" is a love letter to Stephen King.
With more than 80 films and television projects (so far) to his name and more than 450 million copies of his books sold, it's easy to say that Stephen King is one of the most influential mainstream author in history. His stories have thrilled and scared the hell out of us since his chilling debut novel "Carrie" hit stands in 1974 and director Daphne Baiwir's documentary "King on Screen" showcases the author's influences on a generation of filmmakers.
The documentary consists of interviews from various filmmakers who have adapted King's works for the big and small screen, with Frank Darabont and Mick Garris taking up most of the doc's real estate. From the first frames, "King on Screen" unapologetically reveals itself as a love letter to King. Spanning 105 minutes, it leaves viewers immersed in the magic of his storytelling prowess and for me, it could have been hours more and I would have happily eaten it up.
What "King on Screen" does best is remind us, Constant Readers, why we fell in love with the King of Horror in the first place. When you've been reading King for as long as I have, it's easy to forget how that love affair began. This documentary is an excellent reminder that it's not the monsters or the terror but, in fact, the humanity that sets King’s work apart.
As the documentary states, no one writes the everyman better than King. Every story he has produced is easily accessible because we recognize people like the ones in his stories—hell, most of the time it's ourselves. Terror is a universal truth we all face daily, whether it's making a speech in front of our peers, being pursued by a snarling dog back to our car, or hearing a knock at the door at 3 a.m. King taps into those primal emotions perhaps better than any other author.
The stage of King's universe is often set in small towns or tight-knit communities where shadows are fall darker and whispers a little more sinister. In a big city, it's easy to imagine the monsters waiting for us around every corner, but in a small town, monsters most often are found lurking behind the facades of welcoming smiles and seemingly wholesome PTO leaders. The mundane is the most terrifying of all.
If you're even vaguely familiar with King's body of work, there is a limited amount of new information. No significant revelations are waiting to be discovered, but that's not important. Listening to a bevy of filmmakers talk about King for almost two hours is incredibly enjoyable.
The documentary begins and ends with a fictional tale centered around Baiwir, where she’s bringing a painter back to "The Master." Throughout her journey, there are numerous Stephen King Easter eggs, as well as some familiar faces, making it a delightful way to frame the film.
"King on Screen” delves into the captivating world of Stephen King's storytelling as celebrated filmmakers pay tribute to undisputed the King of Horror. It's a must-see for fans of King's work.