Just as a forewarning, the following blog is about the master of horror, Stephen King. But you should have a preface before I dive right into him.
Here goes: A joy in my life is the discovery of a new television series.
Netflix, Hulu and Amazon have a lot to do with that. Of late, these three online options deliver some of the finest TV I have ever seen. These days, I prefer this to watching a television series over a movie (Mad Max: Fury Road, aside, of course), as story arcs and content seem fuller and the options are plentiful.
One golden nugget is the series 11.22.63, which you can view on Hulu, based on the novel with the same title by, you guessed it, Stephen King.
Stephen King is the market leader when it comes to horror fiction, and has been so for a very long time.
Seriously, this guy nails the creepy and twisted. Take 11.22.63.
Nobody can copy Stephen King, ever.
11.22.63 could have easily been the fourth installment of Back to the Future. But it’s not. That’s because it came from the mind of King.
James Franco’s character, Jake Epping, is shown a portal into the past, which is located in the closet of a diner, by his friend Al Templeton (played by Academy Award winner Chris Cooper). Epping is encouraged to go back in time to prevent the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Thing is, he is quickly engaged by zombielike characters telling him “You don’t belong here.” And gets tangled up in brutal family drama, murder, gambling, butchery and a host of other subplots that King weaves together.
When you are dealing with a market leader, like King is with thriller, you tend to find a lot of copycats (just look up and down the thriller aisle at Barnes & Noble). Many simply don’t know how to stand out so they just do what the market leader is doing. This is a horrible strategy.
Think about how many times you may have heard or read, “so-and-so is the next Stephen King”? What a futile state to be in.
The truth is this: there will only ever be one Master of Horror, Stephen King.