Novels · The Stephen King Project

The Stephen King Project: ‘Salem’s Lot

Hi guys happy Monday! Today I’m going to be posting my second instalment to the Stephen King Project. After reading ‘Salem’s Lot for just over 8 months (September 2018 – May 2019) I’ve finally completed his second novel, so today I’m going to be talking about my thoughts on the novel and the three movies that were based off it.

Book (1975):

Image result for salem's lot

  • The introduction is enticing; it definitely sets up that this “Ghost Town” is more than it seems.
  • We meet Ben, nothing really special about him yet. But the way King writes his nostalgia for a place and going back to visit years later is so relatable and it feels so tangible.
  • We’re learning more and more about Ben, which is exciting. This new character Susan feels like she’s going to mix things up for him.
  • The relationship between Ben and Susan is progressing at a pace that works. There is also a lot of questions about the Marsten House, the reader is becoming quite curious.
  • We’re starting to meet more of the players, bit by bit. King writes them in a way that leaves the character wondering who they are and how do they play into everything.
  • More players are introduced, and we learn more about who has bought the Marsten House. The deals seem shady, but it makes for some good plot developments.
  • Things are starting to pick up, slowly, very, very slowly giving off creepy vibes.
  • Things are starting to really shake up as the reader learns more about the man who bought the Marsten House. Although things are progressing slowly, it’s giving the reader spooky feelings.
  • A lot of set up is happening, but there is also a lot of purple prose that the reader has to wade through which is starting to make this read feel daunting.
  • Things are starting to pick up again; Ben’s perspective is chilling to read, but also quite fascinating.
  • The characterizations for everyone in this novel are done well; it really gives the reader a sense of who these characters really are.
  • King really plays on his reader’s heartstrings with the death of a child. His writing was raw and honest. Moving forward though, things are starting to really pick up.
  • We’re hitting the mid-way part of the novel and it’s starting to feel like King is using filler to make things sound better than they are.
  • Damn, the end of Part One was chilling and haunting in all the right places. The plot is definitely rising and the reader can’t wait to see what’s in store next!
  • The plot is thickening and the reader truly can’t get enough.
  • As smaller plots wrap up, larger ones start to unravel really leading the reader on.
  • Lovers quarrels, and strange things are brewing, leaving a gripping suspicion in its wake.
  • The plot is getting spooky with talk of bloodsuckers and the undead.
  • There is some Foreshadowing happening that suggests there is still lots to come.
  • The writing is gripping; we’re getting to the thick of things and where the reader doesn’t want to put the book down!
  • King has gotten really descriptive in his backstories to minor characters. Sometimes it comes off as chilling and works, other times it takes away from the main story.
  • A plan is in action and the reader is in for the climatic part of this story.
  • The tension is building up; pieces are falling together.
  • Creepy, with a mix of eerie storytelling, the reader wants to know more, but King only gives away a little at a time.
  • Heart-pounding and creepy as the reader dives into the belly of the beast.
  • Surprisingly haunting, with twists never seen coming.
  • The end of the second part leaves lots to still be told and things look like they’re going to get spooky.
  • Part three starts off with a bang; at first thoughts and plots are jumbled into one, leaving coherent thoughts out the window, but moving past that plots are set in motion leaving the reader very excited for what’s to come.
  • The fact that we get to see the town’s people gear up and get ready for what is to be the crescendo of this novel, gives this story and the atmosphere a feeling of wholeness, like the reader is part of the town.
  • King is teasing his readers like a carrot dangling in front of a horse as each section passes we get bit of the town (and what they’re eating for dinner) mixed with some real terror as their visitor strikes again.
  • Continuing into the depths of creepy, we’re slowly approaching the end and it’s looking to be good.
  • Still gripping, yet the added scenes before the coda, which are meant to possibly frighten the reader, just feel like they’re dragging on.
  • We are in the thick of vampire hunting and it’s so engrossing and fast paced, the reader doesn’t want to stop.
  • One by one characters are succumbing to the vampire get it feels like we’re getting further away from how it will all end.
  • Oh.My.God. Talk about creepy and horrifying. King puts all he’s got into finding Barlow and watching him succumb to Ben’s spear. It’s definitely stuff of nightmares. Now, the reader is curious how the last two surviving humans make it out alive.

Final thoughts: The ending was a little anticlimactic to its previous plot point, but at the same time worked well as it tied up lose ends and left the reader satisfied. This was spooky, creepy and horrifying at its best and slow and tedious with minor details at its worst but overall was engaging and when brought all together made for quite a story.

Movie (1979):

Image result for salem's lot 1979 poster

  • The film is kinda hokey but it was still really enjoyable. If you’ve read the book this film does an amazing job of capturing the essence of it and turning it to film.
  • They didn’t take any liberties with the film adaptation. This film was 3 hours long because it included everything, even weird minor plots from the book. That’s what made this kinda slow, but it was still so intriguing. Even though, if you’ve read the book you know what happens, you don’t know how the film was going to show it. That was exciting.
  • The first half of the film felt like a lot of set up, as was the case in the book, but showing it was slightly boring to watch, where reading it helped bring the story life.
  • They decided to make Barlow blue and that made him look so fake and the special effects used where just so cheesy, granted yes this is 1979, but it just looked comical. What made it truly scary was the music queues. They were loud and obnoxious that made the viewer jump.
  • The last hour definitely had the most scary and spooky scenes. Sometimes it was the smallest things that were the creepiest.
  • One of the final scenes with the fire and the screaming, now that was nightmare inducing.

A Return to Salem’s Lot (1987):

  • This was an interesting sequel, we return back to Salem’s Lot where most, if not all, of the population are vampires.

  • The fact that this film focuses on children and children vampires is eerie yet engrossing.

  • The acting is alright it’s not over the top but it’s not completely wooden either, it’s watchable but it’s not the best.

  • There are some weird shots throughout the film that really don’t serve a purpose.

  • Not really sure what the whole gremlin in the woods plot is about, it’s weird and funny rather than scary. It seems like it was just an added scary scene because it didn’t really play into the whole overall plot.

  • The story was easy to follow, but there was nothing really substantial that kept the viewer hooked and really invested in the whole story.

  • This was really just a bad sequel to a story that was already told well.

‘Salem’s Lot (2004):

*here are my incohrent thoughts on this film because I really didn’t care for it. Everything from the acting to the set production, to following the plot of the book I just didn’t care for*

Image result for salems lot 2004 poster

  • This adaption takes an interesting take on the book. The prologue was never in the book, and leaves the viewer kinda confused; it did touch on the prologue throughout the film, more so near the end, but it didn’t really add anything to the overall story.

  • This is a more modern day take on the book, and it works okay, nothing like the original though.

  • The amount of narration by Rob Lowe or his character Ben Mears, is annoying. It’s trying to set up what the previous adaption did by just showing the viewer, and it’s a little tiresome to hear all this exposition.

  • In the three hours of the past adaption it didn’t go into much detail about Ben as a character, but this one is definitely pulling up his back history and that he’s been to Salem’s Lot before.

  • This also had little Easter eggs from other King works that otherwise hadn’t existed before. There was a dog named Cujo, they sang ‘Stand by Me’ for karaoke.

  • The film was gory and that made it scary.

  • Andre Braugher is an amazing actor, his facial expressions are what really sell it. He was the only good acting in this film.

  • This film took different elements from the book and really highlighted them. Why they chose to make Father as more of the bad guy was an odd choice. He was supposed to be a saving grace.

  • All in all, this was a lot more dramatic than it needed to be, and just didn’t follow the book; even off script it just didn’t do anything for the viewer.

Up Next: The Shining

13 thoughts on “The Stephen King Project: ‘Salem’s Lot

    1. Thanks!! I’m really glad to hear it! ☺️☺️
      Oh haha, I feel you. My brain is on vacation mode but I do know that 11/22/63 wasn’t scary, maybe start with that? If you want to read King. Most of his classics all have some sort of scary aspect!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Actually, I think I read Carrie when I was still in school, and I was horrified by it. Don’t really remember if I was able to finish it or not. Lol
        But I really would love to read some of his books.

        I think I probably was too young for my first Stephen King experience.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Oh wow, this sounds really interesting! For someone who never felt the slightest inclination to read Stephen King, you really made a hard case for me to refuse it again now xD
    This sure is an ambitious project but I’m glad it’s going so well! You’re killing it, Meghan (no pun intended :P)
    Amazing post, hon ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh haha! Thank you, I’m glad to see I’ve made you consider reading Stephen King!! That makes me so happy! ☺️☺️
      Ha! Thanks! Going strong so far! I’m really enjoying it because I get to read a little bit of his work every week! Glad to know people are enjoying this as much as I am! 😁😁💞

      Liked by 1 person

  2. ‘Salem’s Lot is actually the first Stephen King book that I ever read. I remember enjoying this book a lot and it really creeped me out, in the best way possible. I haven’t actually watched any adaptations of this book. I didn’t think there were any? I might check out some of them in the future, but who knows since I’m not an avid movie watcher. 🙂
    I love this project of yours and I’m looking forward to reading your thoughts on The Shining, as that is probably my favourite Stephen King book. 😀 Amazing post! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh really?! That’s a great way to be introduced to his work… then again my first of his was the shinning (which I’m now re-reading) so I get it!
      You should definitely watch the adaptions! I’d recommend the first one because the 2004 was weird to me… but that’s my opinion.

      It warms my heart to know that you, and others, are enjoying this crazy project I’ve set out for myself! It makes it feel worth doing! ☺️☺️💞💞🥰🥰
      Thanks, I’d say look for that post late 2019 early 2020! 😂😅

      Liked by 1 person

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