1922 (2017) Movie Review (2017) with Ending Explained


The Review (Spoiler Free)

“1922” (2017) emerges as a haunting adaptation of Stephen King’s novella, a story that delves deep into the psyche of its protagonist, Wilfred James. Directed by Zak Hilditch, the film is a slow-burning narrative that explores themes of guilt, regret, and the consequences of one’s actions.

Thomas Jane delivers a compelling performance as Wilfred, a farmer who conspires with his teenage son to murder his wife for financial gain. The film’s strength lies in its ability to maintain a creeping sense of dread, as Wilfred’s life unravels following the murder. The cinematography captures the bleakness of the rural setting, complementing the story’s dark tone.

Critics have noted that “1922” stands out among the year’s Stephen King adaptations for its patient storytelling and strong lead performance. The film’s pacing has been a point of contention, with some finding it too slow, suggesting it may not satisfy viewers looking for constant thrills. However, the film’s atmospheric tension and psychological depth have been praised, with Jane’s portrayal of Wilfred’s descent into madness being a highlight.

Spoiler Ending (Spoiler Alert!)

The movie starts as Wilfred writing a confession letter for murder of his wife in the year 1930 which is 8 years after the murder.  In his confession, he tells his story of how he murdered his wife and how he completely lost will to live and his sanity thereafter.  At the end of the movie, he takes his life.

So the big question is, is the ghost of his dead wife real or just his imagination?  The director left this up to the viewers.  But either way, it doesn’t change the story.  In my opinion, the ghost is just his imagination.  After the murder, he was plagued with guilt and started losing his sanity.  I could see how simple and uneducated farmer starts to blame all the bad luck to the curse from his dead wife.

As you noticed, we see lots of rats in the movie.  I believe the rats are something that is very symbolic in this movie.  Rats seem to associated with dead wife.  As you remember, after he borrowed $750 to fix up his house, he got bitten by a rat and started to get sick.  He ended up not fixing the house and he suffered greatly through cold winter.  He ended up using the money on his son’s funeral.  I believe rats symbolize his guilt.  So you might say, his guilt eventually killed him.

Irony of the story is that after murder of his wife, he ended up losing everything he was fighting for which was his land, and his son.  Then he ended up moving to the city which he detested.  You might say, it would be easier if he just listen to his wife.

He was able to live another 8 years after the murder because the murder case was closed after sheriff found a body that is similar to his wife’s which was just some random person. But then again, no one was really trying to investigate the murder anyway.

The movie is very true to the novel except for one thing.  In the novel, Wilfred’s wife Arlette is extremely abusive, and just an all-around nasty person, so we have some sympathy towards Wilf.  But in the movie, we see none of that.  Arlette, seems bit stubborn but not a nasty and evil woman like in the novel.  This makes Wilf very selfish and evil person.

In the Nutshell

“1922” may not be the most action-packed or terrifying of King’s adaptations, but it offers a compelling look at the darker aspects of human nature. It’s a film that burrows under the skin, leaving a lasting impression long after the credits roll. For those who appreciate a more thoughtful and introspective approach to horror, “1922” is a film worth watching. I give 3 out of 5 stars.

If you already saw this movie, help us rate the movie by click on the Star Rating. 


Genre: Ghost story

You can watch on: 



  1. Classic case of good karma- bad karma. Personally never gained satisfaction or pleasure from taking something that is not mine. Of course, never considered killing someone for any reason. No love for money or possessions. Money can’t buy you happiness or love ( maybe sex) but ,it does provide you with options.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.