Stephen King's The Night Flier
The short story The Night Flier by Stephen King first saw the light of day in the 1988 horror anthology Prime Evil: Stories by the Modern Masters of Horror which was edited by Douglas E. Winter. King later chose to include the tale in his patchy 1993 collection Nightmares and Dreamscapes. It remains one of King’s pulpiest and most self aware stories, full of the usual post-modern intertextual tricks one has become accustomed too in his work. However it does cleverly combine vampirism and sensationalist journalism and offers an implication that the two are closely linked. Generally speaking King’s short stories do not make for good movies. The shorter form is more usefully suited to the anthology television series format - but as this type of programming has pretty much died a death in the last twenty years we have to endure heavily padded movies. The Night Flier is no exception and does drag and meander along, but fortunately it never does so aimlessly. There are scenes of repetition (the journalist Richard Dees in unconvincing flight for example) and there one or two notable scenes that do not further the narrative at all (Dees encountering a car accident and ghoulishly moving the corpses in order to get a better photograph). This scene is particularly superfluous because by this point the film has rammed it down our throats that Dees is a rotten bastard.
The Celluloid Highway's 100th Film Review.
© Shaun Anderson - 2010