1993’s The Tommyknockers directed by John Power and written Lawrence D. Cohen is a guilty pleasure of mine. I probably watch it at least once a year, as I do most Stephen King films. I think Jimmy Smits and Marg Helgenberger did solid jobs with their roles and it was the beginning of my appreciation of Traci Lords other talents then what she was known for earlier. It is, oddly, one the few books by Stephen King I haven’t read. I wonder if my fondness of the film would change much when or if I ever do get around to it.
I’m almost afraid to find out.
Well, according to The Hollywood Reporter James Wan, who has made quite a name for himself in the horror genre writing, directing and producing films like Insidious and The Conjuring, is teaming up with Roy Lee, who was one of the producers behind last years monster hit It, adapted from Stephen King’s classic horror novel of the same name to create a new adaptation of Stephen Kings 1987 novel The Tommyknockers. They will be working with the guy who produced the 1993 miniseries, Larry Sanitsky, who still holds the screen rights.
Sanitsky’s reasoning behind this:
“It is an allegorical tale of addiction (Stephen was struggling with his own at the time), the threat of nuclear power, the danger of mass hysteria and the absurdity of technical evolution run amuck. All are as relevant today as the day the novel was written. It is also a tale about the eternal power of love and the grace of redemption”.
I ‘like’ Wan’s horror movies well enough but I don’t love them. Ultimately, I think jump scares are a cheap, hacky way to engage with your audience. Movies like Hellraiser, The Howling, The Exorcist and The Ring will always be superior horror films because they achieve their terror through merit, not gimmicks. The one thing that compels me to give Wan’s films a pass is that he at least made an effort to build a decent universe. Points will always be given for that.
I didn’t like the latest It movie either (they butchered Mike Hanlon and Ben Hanscom). But I’m well in the minority on that one.
So, where does that leave us? Fingers crossed?