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Stephen King, the master of modern horror rifts over Edgar Allen Poe’s classic novella ‘The Tale-Tale Heart’ in this atmospheric horror-thriller about betrayal and guilt on a Midwest farm.

In the chilling labyrinth of Stephen King adaptations, 1922, a Netflix original film, etches its place with a compelling blend of rustic dread and human folly.

Starring Thomas Jane in a performance that's as gritty as the dirt under his character's fingernails, the film brings a harrowing domestic tale to life.

Directed by Zak Hilditch, 1922 elevates the unsettling essence of King's storytelling, giving it the room to breathe — or perhaps more fittingly, suffocate — within the confined spaces of its plot.

Immaculate cinematography and a slow-burning narrative make it an indispensable watch for those who prefer their horror psychological, rather than gratuitously gory.

What Is 1922 About?

Set in 1922, the story unfolds on a Nebraska farm where Wilfred James (Thomas Jane), a hard-working but disgruntled farmer, finds himself at odds with his wife, Arlette (Molly Parker).

She wants to sell her inherited land and move to the city, an idea Wilfred staunchly opposes. When his wife threatens to take their teenage son, Henry (Dylan Schmid), and leave him, Wilf pretends to go along with the plan. But that is before he manages to convince Henry to assist him in murdering Arlette to secure their way of life.

Henry reluctantly agrees and after the gruesome deed, Wilfred and Henry attempt to cover up the crime. Though they initially think they have pulled off the perfect crime, they soon discover that some acts of violence have a way of haunting the perpetrators.

A series of strange occurrences and bad luck begins to follow the father and son, slowly dismantling their lives and psychological well-being.

As the story progresses, Henry leaves the farm after impregnating his girlfriend and neighbor girl, Shannon (Kaitlyn Bernard), while Wilfred's life deteriorates further.

How will it all end for the murderous Wilf and Henry, find out in 1922.

1922 Movie Official Trailer

Is 1922 Worth Watching?

Alongside Gerald's Game, 1922 is one of the more satisfying Stephen King adaptations.

Edgar Allens Poe’s gothic horror ‘The Tell-Tale Heart’ shares many of its themes with Stephen King’s novella. Although, Stephen King has the ability to flesh out characters in a way Poe never could.

The film’s small cast does a fantastic job. The main protagonist Wilf is no hillbilly caricature. Lead Thomas Jane plays the troubled father perfectly with a measured performance. Parker is well cast as the downtrodden wife, who still possesses a steely resolve.

King expertly works the tension between the couple. Building to the inevitable disastrous outcome which changes the lives of Wilf and Henry forever.

Director Zak Hilditch captures the beauty of the rural landscape with breathtaking wide shots. These contrast against the tight claustrophobic scenes inside the house.

While not a gory slasher movie, 1922 skirts the boundaries between horror, thriller and crime. It is a tale of guilt and the mental toll it takes on people and a haunting testament to the corrosive power of guilt and the inescapable repercussions of a single immoral act.

That said, and even though it is effective, the story somewhat falls into predictable patterns of the guilt-haunting-the-guilty trope, offering few surprises.

But those with an appetite for macabre tales will appreciate this well-constructed movie. And if you do enjoy it, then also check out In The Tall Grass for some more unsettling horror.

1922 Movie Cast

Thomas Jane as Wilfred James, who decides to murder his wife for financial gain and is then haunted by his actions.

Molly Parker as Arlette James, Wilfred's wife, whose desire for a new life serves as the catalyst for her own doom.

Dylan Schmid as Henry James, the impressionable teenage son of Wilfred and Arlette.

Kaitlyn Bernard as Shannon Cotterie, Henry's girlfriend, who becomes a focal point for the unravelling of Henry and Wilfred's lives.

Neal McDonough as Harlan Cotterie, Shannon's father, who is a neighbour and friend to Wilfred.

Brian d'Arcy James as Sheriff Jones


  • Beautifully Shot
  • Thomas Jane Is Superb
  • Deeply Unsettling


  • 20 Minutes Too Long
  • More Macabre Than Horror


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