Wednesday, December 16, 2015

What "Misery" means to me by Psycho Chick Flick's Tiffany Santiago (A 25 Days of Shitmas Post)

Ah it is that time of year, holidays with the family, snowy weather, Christmas music, cheers, laughter, the hint of pine and spices in the air, and holiday films to enjoy! Now I normally enjoy holiday films all year round but nothing feels quite as right like enjoying a wintry flick around the holidays and Misery is no exception. I watch Misery several times throughout the year but I especially love enjoying it close to the holidays in the cold winter months, maybe because the film takes place around a snow storm and in the winter or maybe because Annie Wilkes just makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside. Either way, Misery is one of my favorite films and belongs in the 25 days of Shitmas!

This year celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Rob Reiner directed psychotic thriller. I remember when the movie first came out. It was released around the holidays. I remember seeing movie posters in the subway and my dad talking about it. He had seen it and liked it very much. I didn't get to see the movie until it was released on video. I remember watching Misery and loving every minute of it. I was fascinated by Kathy Bates and so proud that she won the Oscar for best actress that year for portraying the misunderstood Annie Wilkes.

Misery was written by the genius Stephen King which was released in 1987. I remember buying the book in the 90s after I had seen the movie. As I read the book, I continued to picture the characters in the novel as Kathy Bates and James Caan. I loved it because the book had so much more detail so in my mind the movie was much, much longer! But the film is dear to my heart and I have an affinity for psycho chick flicks!

The film begins as Paul Sheldon played by James Caan, finishes his latest novel. As he leaves his cabin, he ends up getting into a car accident in a snowstorm. Annie Wilkes played amazingly by Kathy Bates, rescues him. She's his number one fan who is also a psychotic, baby killing, murdering nurse. She's obsessed with Paul and ends up holding him hostage, especially after she reads his latest published novel which he kills off the main character Misery Chastain. That sets Annie off! She loves Misery Chastain. She makes him burn his latest novel and makes him write a new novel bringing back Misery Chastain. Paul tries to escape and Annie finds out, well we all know what happens after that!

There are two specific scenes in Misery that stand out to me and seriously still creep me out every time I watch it. The scene where Paul wakes up and he's tied up. He reaches into the mattress to pull out a knife he hid and Annie pulls it out and says "Is this what you're looking for?" The look right there on her face was so scary. I remember saying to myself "Oh shit she found the knife!!"

And I saw the movie before I read the book so I had no idea she would "hobble" Paul which brings us to the second scene that makes my skin crawl to this very day. She takes the first swing on that sledgehammer while Liberace music plays in the background and boom you hear that resonating crunch!

This scene is legendary. You can almost feel the excruciating pain Paul is going through as his ankle is shattered to a million pieces.

As much as a psycho Annie Wilkes was, a part of me feels so sorry for her. That cold blooded murderer side of her came from somewhere, deep down she was just misunderstood. Annie Wilkes will always be one of my top favorite psycho chicks! In the end, she dies a horrible death and Paul is saved. But Annie stalks Paul even in her afterlife, he sees flashbacks of his number one fan even months after the event. I'm watching Misery right now as I type up this article and it's just a great movie all around. Great acting, great soundtrack and score, smart cinematography, great cast, an all around great movie to watch with your loved ones while curling up with a cup of hot cocoa while the snow falls outside the window. Everything just works and the characters have great chemistry with one another. Thank you Stephen King, Rob Reiner, Kathy Bates, and James Caan for making this movie so special to me!

Thank you for reading and happy cockadoodie holidays!!

XOXO Tiffany Santiago
Facebook: Psycho Chick Flicks
IG: Nailsneverfails

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