Sam Morrison’s review published on Letterboxd:
"Hey crazy lady, I believe in God too. I just don't think he’s the bloodthirsty a**hole you make him out to be."
One of my favorite stories from the master of horror himself, Stephen King. Frank Darabont's adaptation to the screen made many changes to the novella, but they were welcome ones in my eyes.
Originally, David and Amanda had an affair going on in the background with each other. My guess as to why they changed that detail in the movie was for there to be less sub-plots going around, or to make David out as more of a hero in the audience's eyes.
The biggest change of all was that ending. I won't spoil either one, but I will tell you right now, they are NOTHING alike. Whereas the novella has a head-held-high mentality while being open-ended, the movie is one of the biggest downers you'll ever see in a horror movie. You are left to sit there with your mouth agape, fighting to process it all.
It was extremely bold and courageous for Darabont to move forward with an ending like this, and even though it upsets A LOT of people, I have to bow down in respect. Nobody ever has the gall to throw an ending like that at casual movie-goers, so I can only applaud him.
One last thing I must come forward with is the character of Mrs. Carmody. She is the one thing holding this back from me personally going with a 5-star rating. Filmmakers, here's a real shock for you: not everyone who believes in God is a mental patient pining for a sacrifice. Sorry to burst your bubbles. She took up way too much of the inner conflict and just like the other shoppers, I was ready to be rid of her.
The CG doesn't hold up very well and the ending will certainly be divisive, but as you progress with the turmoil happening in this one claustrophobic location, you begin to feel trapped yourself in the hive mind, mob mentality that always creates more destruction than the situation at hand.