Two days ago, I posted up a story about how Children of the Corn is going to be remade because the original just plain wasn’t religious enough for the Weinsteins. They demand more creepy children. In corn! And while this prospect doesn’t make me all that sad – either because I’m a robot with no feelings or because I’ve grown desensitized to remake news – it does make me wish that filmmakers would dip a bit further into Stephen King‘s giant corpus of short stories.
Instead of another Children of the Corn, let’s see a few of these gems fleshed out into full feature length horror trips.
All That You Love Will Be Carried Away
The Pitch: Alfie is a traveling salesman who is fascinated by graffiti, seeing it as small messages people can leave behind on walls and bathroom stalls that broadcast out into the rest of the world. He’s also fascinated by the idea of killing himself and frequently thinks on suicide but stops short realizing that leaving behind a notebook of all the graffiti he’s copied down over his journeys would seem insane. Stuck between ending it all or sharing that insanity in book form, Alfie makes a decision: if the lights of a nearby farmhouse turn on before he counts to 60, he’ll write the book. If they don’t, he’ll throw his notebook away and pull the trigger.
There’s a lot of emotional nooks and crannies to explore even if the story takes place in a short amount of time. It could easily be expanded, and the weight of the outcome of his decision is perfect for film.
The Ballad of the Flexible Bullet
The Pitch: An alcoholic editor who receives a manuscript that he believes is a work of genius starts to believe that the writer’s delusions are real. Henry, the editor, delves into madness (the flexible bullet) while struggling to get the story published.
There’s a ton of story here, specifically because it deals with a descent into madness and a subplot of investing in an artist. Plus, it’s always fun to watch someone go crazy.
The Cat From Hell
The Pitch: A hitman is paid $12,000 to kill a cat. This goes horribly, horribly wrong.
I have to admit that I’m not sure whether there’s enough meat here to make it all the way as a feature, but that title is awesome, and watching a professional deal with an unkillable monster cat sounds rad.
The Pitch: A high school drop out with a crappy job history is hired by a special company when they realize he has the unique ability to psychically coerce people into doing what he wants through his drawings. He gets a name and email address, he draws something that will make them commit suicide. It’s as simple as that, and he lives on easy street. Until he starts getting a conscience about who he’s killing.
The Gingerbread Girl
The Pitch: After her daughter dies from crib death, Emily becomes obsessed with running and loses an immense amount of weight. She moves in with her father during a trial separation from her husband, and is introduced to a man in the neighborhood who turns out to be an insane killer who takes her prisoner.
I love this idea as a film because it flows easily between two very different plots in the way The Descent does. The first is an emotional tale of a woman losing herself and her family, the second, a slasher chase scene where her obsession happens to come in handy.