Cujo (1983)

As I prepare to finally break down and head out to see IT in a couple days, I figured that it was time to immerse myself in a mini Stephen King marathon. My first selection in this endeavor is the 1983 thriller Cujo.

Plot/ Cujo, a friendly St. Bernard, contracts rabies and conducts a reign of terror on a small American town.

Movies based on Stephen King novels are often hit or miss and unfortunately more seem to miss. I was a huge King fan growing up and read all of the books he put out, so maybe, that is why I find the adaptations uneven at best. Most of the movies never seem to capture the characters as well as they were written. This one was a movie that when I first saw it in the 1980s didn’t meet my expectations. Watching it today, while I still find it a touch uneven, it does have a tension that I didn’t remember existing when I first watched it. The cinematography was solid, the cast and performances worked, the storyline was believable, and this was much better than the majority of animal attack films that came out during that general era. I have to admit that the realistic feel and the tone definitely took me back to my youth and the grainy look of the drive-in classics. Sure, some of the movie feels a touch dated, but that is somewhat expected after all these years. In the end, this may not be the best adaptation of his work, but it does rank in the top half. If you have not seen it, you should check it out.


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