Stephen King Movie Review-Salem’s Lot (2004)

Here is another adaptation of Salem’s Lot. Another TV mini-series remake made in the year 2004. This review will be short because I already explained the basic plot a couple times. So will I not like this movie like I did the remake of Carrie? Read on and find out. 

So first off does this movie follow the book? Let’s see Ben Mears comes back to Salem’s Lot? Check. Two foreign strangers also move in? Check. The Marsten House is there and a beacon of evil? Check. The two Glick boys have an encounter? Check  Vampires? Check. Small town life? Check. Group joins together when learning the secret and goes after the vampires? Check. 

I will have to say this movie follows pretty close to the book even though they set it in more modern times and like the original movie combined characters and changed the situation and scenes around. Usually I would knock the movie from doing that but since they handled it pretty well I let it slide. This movie showed more of the small town life then even the original movie. Smaller characters that you enjoyed in the book were present here with their stories. I felt that added so much to the narrative of the story. The Marsten House was fleshed out more as the beacon of evil it is supposed to be. 

Rob Lowe plays Ben Mears in this and I must say he did an excellent job. He captures the essence of Ben Mears from the book and acted well. Andre Braugher played Matt Burke (hey they used his actual name from the book this time) who is used more in this and also played the part well. I thought it was a pretty strong performance by him. Samantha Mathis played Susan Norton who was much more prominent and gave more emotion then in the original movie. Robert Mammone played Dr. Cody. He did a good job even though his character was definitely changed from the book but at least they used him this time instead of combining his character with Susan’s dad. Dan Byrd played Mark Petrie and again was a stronger performance. They changed him some again from the book but still was good. Father Callahan was played by James Cromwell whose character had way more screen time than the original and expressed the faith aspect well as from the book. Straker was played by Donald Sutherland.  It still did not capture the description of the character as in the book he did a great job and had the same fate as the book which made it great. Kurt Barlow was played by Rutger Hauer and did a wonderful job as the head vampire. He spoke in this movie and did not have the crazy makeup. He was played very well as he was written in the book. 

As I said the movie captured small town life great. People kept saying they are bored in the town and want to get out but what they don’t know is all the secrets the people have in town. I know there are secrets in the big city but in a small town where everyone knows everyone it is kind of a big deal. I like how in this book that one person hears something and someone says everyone probably knows now. Isn’t that true in a small town? This movie shows this and again I was sucked into it. The special effects were well done along with the vampires. There was some gore which added to the horror as it should. The movie used a lot of the words from the book which was a nice touch.  

The only nitpick is the major change of the Father Callahan character for the ending. That was way different but I am coming to the acceptance that these mini-series are either trying to start a series and have to change the ending or that they want to fool the lovers of the books. Also they did focus on a character (Larry Crockett’s daughter) that was only a little bit in the book but that is ok because it added more to the small town life stories. Besides that I find this adaption to be very well done. For those of you who just refuse to read books or don’t want then picking up this movie would be the next best thing, especially if you like vampire tales. Have you seen to movie? If so how close did you think it was to the book? Did you enjoy it as much as I did? What didn’t you like abou tit? It was a great adaptation of Stephen King’s novel in my opinion. I give this movie three and half stars out of five. My next book and movie series is The Shining. Hope you are ready for that. Here is a teaser trailer of Salem’s Lot (2004) so you can see if you want to see it:


Like I said in the past I will have a tracker of the final ratings of each book or movie I reviewed to show what I liked or didn’t like. It is a rating based out of five stars. For previous reviews if you missed it you can click on the title and it will link to that review for you to read.

Books Reviewed:
Carrie ***
Salem’s Lot ***1/2

 Movies Reviewed:
Carrie (1976) ****
The Rage: Carrie 2 ***
Carrie (2002) ½* (Yes a half of a star out of five) 

Salem’s Lot (1979) **

A Return to Salem’s Lot *
Salem’s Lot (2004) ***1/2

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