Saturday, October 27, 2018

Halloween 2018 #26: Sometimes They Come Back **1/2 (1991)

The TV movie adaptation of Stephen King's short story "Sometimes They Call Back" from his 1978 collection Night Shift aired on May 7, 1991. 

Tim Matheson stars as Jim Norman, a history teacher dealing with difficult students who attempt to ruin his life. Many of King's familiar tropes appear: an adult still dealing with a childhood trauma, a high school setting, supernatural villains, and evil cars. The premise mirrors that of The Shining, a married teacher dealing with psychological issues while trying to rebuild his life.

The best scenes are those in the classroom, a former teacher himself, King was familiar with the challenge of teaching. When some of Jim's favorite students begin to disappear and get replaced with some devious greasers, he suspects the supernatural. The story unfolds in a predictable way, but there are worse ways to spend 90 minutes. It's great to see Brooke Adams as Jim's wife and source of emotional support. Two direct to video sequels followed.

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