Some of you might still be coming down from Halloween. It was only three days ago but I’m still in the mood for some scary movies.
Last week I reviewed The Babysitter, a Netflix original, and this week I went with another Netflix film. This time a Stephen King adaptation. King has had himself a renaissance this year with projects on the big and little screen (Kind of like what Matthew McConaughey had a few years back. Also known as the McConaissance.). Prior to this year, there were the punching bags Cell with John Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson and the CBS series Under the Dome. There was also the Syfy series Haven, loosely based on The Colorado Kid. Haven wasn’t bad considering it was on Syfy (the network has picked up their game in last few years), but I gave up on it after two seasons. But things shifted in 2017.
Sure, The Dark Tower bombed (a TV reboot is in the works) but IT was received positively by critics and audiences alike. For those who didn’t want to venture away from their laptops or couches there was Mr. Mercedes on Audience (an AT&T channel…weird), Spike had a remake/reboot of The Mist (I have three episodes left on the DVR that have been sitting there for quite some time), and Netflix recently released two movies that debuted at Austin’s Fantastic Fest. Gerald’s Game is a mixed bag of unease and tension (it deals with S&M, child molestation, and a Boogeyman). It stars Carla Gugino and Bruce Greenwood and is directed by a new voice in horror, Mike Flanagan (Hush and Oculus). The other release is 1922, which I’m reviewing here for you.
1922 takes place on a Nebraska farm in, well, 1922. The past few weeks I’ve been reviewing beers on the darker spectrum, but I thought a farmhouse ale would be quite suitable for this tale. I decided to go with a funky saison from Wiley Roots. I made this decision because I think their Galaxy Dry Hopped Funk Yo Couch is one the best beers I’ve reviewed here and had this year, but also because it recently won the gold medal at the GABF for Mixed-culture Brett Beer. Surely, they must know something about making good beers and saisons.
Four Legged Funk: The Basics
- Brewery: Wiley Roots Brewing Company (Greeley, CO)
- Style: Saison
- ABV: 4.3%
Four Legged Funk: The Details
Harkening back to the days when potable water wasn’t available, saisons were a perfect beverage for those working the farms in France and Belgium. There are some disputes as to whether saisons were just for the warmer seasons or brewed year round. Four Legged Funk pays homage to those times. It is a table (i.e. sessionable) farmhouse saison fermented with captured Brettanomyces from the wild (which was quite probable with brewing techniques of the time).
Four Legged Funk, and I don’t mean this in a demeaning way, is a saison light, but the ABV hews closer to the original saisons. The beer is a hazy, golden straw with a big, creamy white head. The long-lasting head eventually drops and fades to a lingering lace. The first whiff is pure, uncut barnyard funk. That is followed by the saison yeast. It brings with it scents such as spicy notes as well as subtle fruity esters that come across as stone and tropical fruits. There are also some orange notes floating around there.
This is a satisfying light flavored beer. It took me a few sips to really get into the groove of it. At first, I was oddly getting some pilsner characteristics. As it warmed and opened up the beer started speaking to me. There were those fruity notes from the nose to go along with a slight twang. Hints of grass are also present. The Brett funk is subtle and tends blend in with the mild bitterness of the hops
The mouthfeel follows the trend of the nose and taste. As with most saisons, Four Legged Funk is dry and effervescent. This beer is light and goes down easy it begs you to have another sip and another…okay, a few more.
- Director: Zak Hilditch
- Genre: Horror
- Total Running Time: 1hr 42mins
- Rating: TV-MA
- Availability: Netflix
Most of you have gone through a Stephen King phase. Mine was from my early teens to mid-twenties. While I haven’t read anything new of his in a long time, I try to keep up on the television and movie adaptations. As the case with most King adaptations, there are the good and the bad. 1922 falls on the former.
1922, based on the novella in the Full Dark, No Stars collection, stars Thomas Jane. Jane is quite familiar to King adaptations after playing the hero in 2007’s The Mist (the black and white version is the way to go, and if you don’t like the ending you can kick rocks). In 1922 he does a complete turnaround as Nebraskan farmer, Wilfred James, who has big dreams for his land. His wife, Arlette (played by Molly Parker), has other ideas. She wants to sell the land her part she inherited and move to Omaha. The idea of moving his son to city disgusts James.
Having echoes of Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart” (and that Simpsons episode), James is driven by the darkness inside of all of us after his wife threatens divorce and taking their son with her to Omaha. He manipulates his son into helping him take care of his wife. James’ way of life begins to sour personally and on the farm after the horrific deed has been accomplished. The basement and the walls of his home become a haven for rats who stalk him wherever goes. These rats are just a harbinger for the haunting visage of Arlette.
1922 is a slow burn of a story, more of a haunting ghost story where mood is more important than scares. To watch James be driven by evil to commit a heinous act, and then see him succumb to his guilt and madness is very human and terrifying. The time period and farm setting, with help from the production design and cinematography, also lend itself to the dread of living in isolation.
Four Legged Funk is one of the most refreshing beers I’ve had in quite a long time. For a table beer with Brett you’d probably hard-pressed to find a better example. It’s obvious to see why a saison like this would go over so well those working the land. The Brettanomyces isn’t too funky and is balanced out with the subtle spicy and fruity notes.
Wiley Roots has earned several medals at the GABF over the past few years, and it’s evident to see why. They make top-notch ales. If you have a hankering for a saison, you can’t go wrong with this brewery.
1922 has a pretty straightforward story that doesn’t do too much or ask much of the audience. Yet it is effective. Sometimes it’s not the supernatural that horrifies us, but the evil within us. This film delivers on both. Thomas Jane really drives the film with his performance (and has an assist from Molly Parker). When he finds a film suited to his sensibilities (usually genre fare) he always shines.
The future of Stephen King looks pretty promising. The second chapter to IT is on its way, Hulu has a series called Castle Rock based on King’s multiverse, and there are talks of another The Stand adaptation (I quit that book after 500 pages and realizing I wasn’t even half-way done), as well as some other projects. Recently King has taken legal action to regain rights of some of his original works from studios. This won’t take effect until another year. What this means is no more poor quality sequels and that filmmakers will now have to get his consent.
On another Stephen King tangent, but if you love The Shining (not King’s mini-series) then I recommend checking out Room 237 (Netflix, Amazon, and iTunes). Room 237 is a documentary looking at all the conspiracy theories hidden in Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation. There’s some wild stuff in there, like the theory that Kubrick filmed the fake moon landing.