Made for TV: three DVDs, ten episodes explicitly modelled on incidents / characters / settings etc created by Stephen King (the series is not written by King, but has his approval to the extent that King is an executive producer): “something is wrong in a small town in Maine”.
I’m more than a bit leery about series, they just don’t seem able to sustain themselves or don’t know when enough is enough. Spotting the references in this one is quite good fun but I was concerned it might have the  appearance without the substance.
The warden of the local penitentiary (“Shawshank”, of course) retires and immediately commits suicide.
An unregistered “hostage” in a cage  is found in a disused wing. He’s been detained for 27 years (also, of course).
There was a great scene of a kids “court” which remains, unexplained, I think. (It’s “horror”, lots of dreaming, hard to tell: form / content).
The prologue and credits at the beginning of each episode are intriguing, “the story so far” snippets aren’t chronological (same with the time line in each episode, it  is regularly out of joint).
Spoiler alert: The background graphics for the credits had me quite confused for a while, until I realised that they had little to do with the “Castle Rock” plot line but were instead references to King events / characters exterior to to the story line. They exist as context for the “something that is wrong in a small town in Maine / the evil that lurks”*.
I watched the whole series over three days, it was confusing (turns out there is a “good” reason), at one point I was thinking that the discs had been misprinted and as a result I was watching episodes in the wrong order. Turned out not to be so.
Interesting enough to survive the episode 4 or 5 “run out of steam syndrome”.
The  resolution is hardly original and the conclusion completely implausible.
Tarantino says he is making movies not conducting history lessons. Stephen King tells stories…. repeat “stories”.
Enough fun for me to be looking out for series two which, according to “Wiki”, is set to premiere on October 23.
My favourite Stephen King “in joke” of the series? The owner / operator of the “Sweet Chariot” taxi company played by Jane Levy. Her “evolution” is hardly clever and “cute” might not be an entirely appropriate description in the circumstance, well, as they turn out. I should have guessed when she knew so much about axes.
*The first set of credits of this type, which caught my attention, were either for “First blood or “True detective”. Stylistically they are a lot alike. Titling has become so interesting they are sometimes deserve more attention than the programme to which they are attached. Not quite in this case, but it did take me some time to crack the code.
PS: Of all the creepy stuff I have ever read I think “Something wicked this way comes”, by Ray Bradbury, ranks #1. (Interestingly my partner had me read it to her when she was pregnant. The kid turned out OK.)
A circus comes to town: “Cooger and Dark’s Pandemonium Shadow Show” (what a name!) to be precise. “Good friends, Jim and Will, find a similar handbill ….”
Made into a movie with a script by the author in 1983*, so it should have been good? (Who knows? And novelists might not, necessarily, be good script writers or their own best adapters etc.….)
But: Walt Disney production, they were never going to get to “the heart of darkness”.
With the current proliferation of remakes surely “Something wicked….” deserves another shot and soon, whilst Christopher Walken is still alive.
Or, since it’s about kids and friendships, it’s right up Stephen King’s alley and I’m assuming he has lots of money.
To paraphrase Crocodile Dundee: “That’s a tv series”.
*Originally (1955) a Bradbury treatment (from his short story “The Black Ferris”, 1948) for a movie to be directed by his good friend Gene Kelly. Didn’t attract any interest. Bradbury spent the next five or so years turning that treatment into the novel “Something wicked….”.