In 2009 there was a media frenzy over the coming Swine Flu Aporkalypse. In April 09
The Sun helpfully speculated that 25 million Britons could get ‘pig flu’ and The Telegraph reported the WHO as saying that “the whole of humanity is under threat”. (The actual quote was “the whole of humanity is under threat in a pandemic” (my italics), which makes it more an epidemiological fact than the prediction of imminent doom the media wanted.)
With all that media hysteria over mass extinction by flu, I’m only surprised it took the studios this long to realise that there could be some mileage in remaking The Stand. A movie with a budget and some decent special effects are what this story needs. I’ve had reservations about remaking movies in general but this one is long overdue and could be great.
Stephen King’s novel has always been my personal favourite out of all his books. There were some characters that got well and truly under my skin. Apart from Flagg, the one who really creeped me out was the Monster Shouter. The thought of being in a city with millions of corpses and hearing him shouting his crazy stuff each night would be enough to drive you out of town. But through the tunnel? Full of dead people in cars? In the pitch black? God, those scenes freaked me out. I really hope they do them justice in the remake.
Last year I watched the 1994 mini-series again. And it’s OK… for a TV effort. The cast are good. A youthful Rob Lowe, Jamey Sheridan and Molly Ringwald give it some muscle. Although, for me, the two stand out performances are Gary Sinise as Stu Redman and Miguel Ferrer as Lloyd Henreid.
It’s main problem though is that it’s just not scary enough. Some of it is watered down to allow for a TV audience – the scenes of the ‘real’ demonic Flagg are more comical than terrifying but the first part where the flu spreads is worth watching. The trailer below gives a taste of it. And it features the Monster Shouter.