*** (out of 4)
The third film in Turner Classic Movies "A Night at the Movies" series takes a look at the horror films that influenced Stephen King and the ones that scared him. This is basically a sixty-minute interview with the legendary author as he discusses what he feels works in the genre as well as where he thinks the genre has gone wrong. He states that the first film that truly scared him was BAMBI and then he relives the experiences of seeing movies like NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, PSYCHO as well as the terror he had going into THE EXORCIST. Many of the famous films are discussed but King also talks about some of the more laughed at entries into the genre like ATTACK OF THE GIANT LEECHES, I WAS A TEENAGE WEREWOLF and ATTACK OF THE 50FT. WOMAN. One of the most interesting parts of the documentary happens towards the end when King talks about some of his books that were adapted into movies. He talks about a pre-release screening he had of CARRIE and also talks about MISERY and how he felt that Dee Wallace Stone was better in CUJO and deserves more credit for her work. Of course, if King is discussing his own movies then you expect him to discuss his somewhat hatred of THE SHINING. King shares his opinions on the movie and why he and Stanley Kubrick had such a different opinion on what the story was really about. This documentary pretty much covers everything from the silents to the slasher period and up to today's torture porn. Fans of the genre will enjoy hearing some of their favorite films discussed and I'm sure fans of King are going to enjoy him sharing all these personal stories. This third entry in the series is certainly a major step up from the previous two but once again this film really doesn't seem to have any direction going on as the way the stories are told are all over the place and one wishes that it had followed some sort of order.