Stephen King has always been kind of hit-or-miss for me. I know that he is often known as a master of horror but, to me, that is not where his greatest talents are found. Some of his best works are those in the drama category that are strongly character-driven. The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile, Stand By Me. These are all wonderful, wonderful movies. I think the primary reason for this is because they all focus on the characters more than the scary monster or creepy things happening. This is true for his horror films too but just doesn’t happen as much.
Christine is really an excellent movie and as an adult, I found a new respect for it while watching because I realized the story wasn’t so much about the car. It was about Arnie and watching the character change from the beginning to the end and ultimately being consumed (or possessed) by the car. I found the same with the recent Mr. Mercedes series where we really focus on the detective and his shattered life more than the murderer. It’s just more compelling for me personally. This is what I found with the HBO series The Outsider.
The Outsider is a 10-episode series that centers on the death of a child and the apparently obvious murderer. The body is found in a truly gruesome manner and witnesses clearly saw a local man with the boy on the day of the murder. Many even saw him covered in blood around the time of death. For detectives and the district attorney, this is an open and shut case. Unfortunately, there is equally strong evidence the killer was in a totally different city at the time. They were even caught on camera at the time of the killing. A person cannot be in two places at the same time, right? Or can they? As you might guess, Stephen King injects a little bit of the strange and paranormal into the story.
However, it is not the supernatural aspect that really sells this story. It’s the characters that are involved. The primary suspect (played by Jason Bateman) is a pillar of the community and nobody can believe he would do such a thing. We see his life. We see his wife dealing with her husband being accused of such a horrible crime. We see the detective having trouble with his own wife as she believes he is needlessly going after an innocent man. There are so many people involved and we get to see so much of them and that’s what makes it great and, at its heart, believable. We are more invested in the people than I n just getting a scary monster or explanation.
Another reason I think this turned out so well is that the cast itself is great. The actors and actresses do a top-notch job and really make you believe they are going through these things. The cinematography is simply amazing. Every shot is beautiful and, in a way, unsettling given the story that is unraveling. The pacing could be a little more even and gets a little slow in places but overall it leaves you wanting to find out the next thing and slowly lifting the peel of the onion. It’s quite a feat and they do an admirable job.
The Outsider DVD Review Overall
Overall, The Outsider works because it blends Stephen King’s dark sensibilities with a focus on characters which gives us something to connect and hold on to.
The Blu-ray release consist of Extras include six making-of featurettes and “Inside Episodes” in which the cast and crew explore each of the episodes which total up to a running time of about 45 minutes.
The Outsider is available on Blu-Ray and DVD now!