First off, I love horror. Movies, books, comics, music, anything horror. I just finished reading the book Bag of Bones, and loved it so much I jumped right in to the mini-series on Netflix. With that said usually I can take a film adaptations of a book with a grain of salt. In the case of Stephen King’s Bag of Bones miniseries however I would need more salt than is on this planet. If you couldn’t already tell… spoilers for the Mini series, and book ahead….
After the unexpected death of his wife, 40-year-old writer Mike Noonan (played by Pierce Brosnan in the mini series, a bit old to play the character, but I can accept that.) returns to a lakeside town with no actual name that is ruled with an iron fist by an elderly software mogul, where he owns a summer home named “Sarah Laughs” (This is never once mentioned in the mini series.) Once there he is visited by ghostly incarnations. One day while going to town for dinner he meets a young girl Kyra (MUCH older in the mini series than she is in the book) and her young widowed mother Mattie. He is soon warned by an old man in town to stay away from that family. His ghostly room mates have other plans however.
Mattie is in trouble. Her late husband, who she killed because he tried to drown Kyra( which did NOT happen in the book) was the son of Max Devore the elderly software Mogul. Now the 80 some-odd year old man wants custody of Kyra. Mike’s ghostly room mates what him to help Mattie and Kyra. Along the way Mike slowly learns about the “Dark Score Lake Curse” from his housekeeper and some books. (It was never stated in the books in the book, little information is known.) He learns of the fate of famous black singer Sarah Tidwell, who in the books wasn’t so famous, never even had anything recorded.
He soon finds out old Max and some town residents had raped and killed Sarah, and drowns her daughter Keisha (her SON Kito in the book.) Before she dies Sarah curses them so their future children drown their grand-daughters. There was no mention of a curse in the book, and the children were of any sex as long as their names sounded alike to their sibling or their name started with a K.
I have never seen a mini series/film adaptation so far off the mark from the book it’s based on. Key characters are completely left out. Mike doesn’t have much involvement in the mini series with Mattie and Kyra losing crucial character development along the way. Changing Kyra’s age from 3 to around 8 in the mini series, in my opinion, takes away from the tragedy of the story. It was only vaguely the same story, even the setting of the climax is changed. This mini series loses so much emotion from the book, it’s sad in an entirely different way. You don’t get to feel for Mattie and Kyra’s situation in the mini series as the book. The entire thing felt rushed. Perhaps it would have been better as a theatrical movie, or even if it had more than two parts. There was too much story for a mini series that clocks in at just under three hours.
There you have it folks. If you love the book, stay far FAR away from the mini series.