It's always true that movies are never as good as the book's they're based on, but that nuance has never been truer than with this big-budget adaptation of "Misery" by Stephen King. Even with a great director, a return to the big-screen by Caan and an Oscar-winning performance by Bates, this movie doesn't even come close to capturing the raw suspense of the novel.
Still, this film was a big deal when it was released. Bates won a Best Actress Oscar for her role as a psychotic who kidnaps an injured romance writer (Caan) and forces him to resurrect the character of Misery, whom he'd killed off in a previous novel. She's his "number one fan" she explains to him after nursing him to health following a car crash. He slowly realizes she's a maniac who's not going to let him leave her home alive.
Horror fans were jubilant to see an actress in one of their movies receiving the highest honor the Academy can give. Critics also generally liked this movie.
King didn't write the screenplay himself, however, (that duty went to William Goldman) and the suspense is a little slow at times in this film. It frankly isn't as good as some of the low-budget King vehicles out there, particularly "Pet Sematary" and "Creepshow."
But you can't have everything. It's a worthwhile watch and very accessible for mainstream viewers.