Often, when we think of the word “infatuation”, we think of schoolyard crushes and harmless flirtations. In this thriller based on one of Stephen King’s most riveting novels, we get a look at the horrific side of being someone’s crush.
Paul Sheldon (James Caan) is the author of a series of romance novels starring the beautiful heroine Misery Chastain, a series beloved by an audience of mostly middle-aged women all over the world. But Paul wants to write a serious novel and launch a career divorced from his most popular protagonist. On his way back home to New York City after a writer’s retreat in Silver Creek, Colorado, Paul encounters a terrible blizzard and gets into a car accident. Paul is rescued by Annie Wilkes (Kathy Bates), his self-professed number one fan, and that’s when his relatively uneventful life gains some excitement in the worst possible way.
Paul, who is grateful to be rescued, and by a nurse, no less, gives Annie his latest manuscript to read as a token of his gratitude for her immeasurable help. That’s when his real-life heroine starts to come apart at the seams. Annie is upset by the profanity in Paul’s new manuscript, angry that he is no longer dealing with the character Misery. After buying and reading his latest published book, the end of the Misery series, the violent anger simmering just beneath Annie’s surface erupts, and the thin veneer of good Samaritan posturing falls away completely.
Paul realizes that he Annie’s story doesn’t add up and that he is being held hostage by an obsessed fan once she admits that she has never contacted his agent or the police, and no one knows that he he has been in an accident, or that he is with her. Locked in a room, injured, and terrified, Paul faces a nightmare more dramatic than any scene he’d ever written for Misery.
In the throes of a crush that would go up to and including breaking the object of her obsession mentally and physically, Annie embarks on a regime of control that doesn’t just involve Paul’s body, but his mind as well, as she forces him to write another manuscript just for her.
Terrifying due to the fact that this is a very realistic trauma to endure, with no supernatural entities making an appearance, Misery showcases both the determination and will that a person can exhibit when their survival is on the line, as well as when they seek to control another.
I give this one 4.25 stars.