Stephen King’s A Good Marriage to a Killer Mermaid

Stephen King’s A Good Marriage is currently available on instant Netflix

A Good Marriage

 

Stephen King’s A Good Marriage (2014) – Rated R

With a serial killer on the loose and a stranger stalking her family, a woman unearths a sinister secret that threatens her marriage — and her life.”

Stephen King adapted this from one of his stories in Full Dark, No Stars. It is a very straightforward tale. What would happen if you discovered X? The storytelling in both the novella and the screenplay are very refreshing. The full focus is kept on the husband and wife. Direction is similarly straightforward and not at all flashy.

Three time Oscar nominee Joan Allen is wonderful as Darcy Anderson, our woman who discovers a sinister secret. She singlehandedly makes the movie what it should be. Anthony LaPaglia is quite good as the concerned husband. Stephen Lang is mostly window dressing as a mysterious stranger.

A Good Marriage is worth watching if you like a dark what if? character study. There is not much action and not much to the movie beyond the relationship between husband and wife but that is enough.

Killer Mermaid

 

Killer Mermaid (2014) – Not Rated

Two young women go on an exotic Mediterranean vacation and uncover the watery lair of a killer mermaid hidden beneath an abandoned military fortress.”

Obviously my first thought on seeing that this was on Netflix was “oh no Asylum is back at it again”. My plan was to skip it. I looked it up on imdb and because it wasn’t Asylum, I thought I would give it a shot.

First I’d like to rant a bit about the dumbing down of the title. This was originally titled “Mamula”, the location of the film. Apparently that was too esoteric so in the UK, it was titled “Nymph”. Not on the nose enough, U.S. audiences received it as “Killer Mermaid”. It just reminded me when Amicus’ horror anthology “Asylum” came over here, someone apparently thought that we wouldn’t know what an asylum was and retitled it “House of Crazies”.

Digression: The term Asylum apparently caught on in the U.S. as there was The Asylum in 2000 and 2013. Asylum (by itself) has been the title of movies in 1992, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2011, and 2014. There have also been Stonehearst Asylum, The Amityville Asylum, Dark Asylum, Asylum Blackout, Asylum Days, Hell Asylum, and Doom Asylum.

Pardon my digressions but there isn’t much to say about Killer Mermaid. There is some gore but not enough and not creative enough for gorehounds. There are pretty young ladies but strangely the camera only focuses on one of them. They have a wonderful location to shoot at but not much is made of it. Most of the cast is Serbian but they have Franco Nero for some international appeal.

Compared to pretty much any Asylum picture, Killer Mermaid is good but really only by comparison. By any other metric Killer Mermaid is a slightly entertaining, forgettable waste of time.

Goodbye Killing!

The final season of The Killing is currently available on instant Netflix (and only there).

The Killing

 

The Killing (2011-4) – Rated TV-14

It all comes down to this: the fourth and final season of the critically acclaimed crime thriller is a six-episode Netflix original that wraps up loose ends and reveals long-buried secrets. Detectives Linden and Holder return to investigate a gruesome mass slaying that exposes a dark family history, while trying to cover up a crime they committed.

It certainly is nice that some abandoned series have found their final chapter at Netflix. Arrested Development’s final season was not as laugh out loud funny as the earlier series (“There’s always money in the banana stand”) but its Rube Goldberg plotting was a marvel to behold. The Killing is the latest series to receive a temporary reprieve.

The Killing was not really an underrated show. It had major flaws and the two leads, while quite good, certainly don’t fit the classical TV actor look. The first season ended on a cheat and I suspect this is where audiences lost interest. The series limped along for two more seasons but never reached its potential.

I would heartily recommend re-watching the final episode of season three before delving into the final season. Events pick up immediately from there. There is a new case but the ramifications of season three’s case interweave through these final six episodes.

The new case is very interesting. Joan Allen’s commander makes a very good counterpoint to Detective Linden. She is a very structured, rules-oriented person and a surrogate mother whereas Detective Linden is her usual maverick self and once again a winner of the mother of the year award.

Linden and Holder have to fight their personal demons as The Killing reaches its conclusion. This six episode arc is a worthy final season in spite of…

MILD SPOILER AHEAD

 

Unfortunately, in an effort to wrap up the series, the writers provide not only a cheap Deus Ex Machina but also a final coda that feels false. These serve to demean what would have been a very good and fitting ending if they had just left it alone.