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“Bag of Bones” reviews hit ahead of Sunday’s airing

By Adam Frazier
Hollywoodnews.com: The A&E Network is getting ready to dig up “Stephen King’s Bag of Bones,” a four-hour epic miniseries based on The New York Times #1 bestselling novel, which features Pierce Brosnan’s return to television. The two-night event premieres on Sunday, December 11 and concludes on Monday, December 12, airing at 9PM ET/PT on both nights. The miniseries is directed by Mick Garris, who has previously adapted King’s work (“The Stand,” “The Shining”) for television.

Brosnan plays bestselling novelist Mike Noonan, who is unable to stop grieving after the tragic death of his wife Jo (Annabeth Gish). Suffering from writer’s block, a dream inspires Noonan to return to the couple’s lakeside retreat where he is plagued by nightmares and mysterious ghostly visitations from Sara Tidwell (Rose), a blues singer whose spirit lingers in the house.

Here are some early reviews of A&E’s miniseries, which describe Mick Garris’ adaptation as terrifying in all the wrong ways.

“The explanations, when they come, are violent, sordid and anticlimactic. Mr. King’s original, ambiguous ending is eliminated so that things can end on a more affirmative note.

The King veteran Mick Garris (‘Sleepwalkers,’ the TV version of ‘The Shining’), directing from a screenplay by Matt Venne, delivers some effective jolts of horror early on but seems to lose his touch as the story makes progressively less sense. The final ghostly appearance, which takes place in a bathtub, is more giggly than scary.” — Mike Hale, New York Times.

“Try as Brosnan does, he cannot overcome the dutifully chock full story (adapted by Mike Venne, directed by King regular Mick Garris), which quickly feels like a Stephen King theme park ride.

The original sin at the heart of ‘Bag of Bones’ is a powerful one, but by the time it is revealed, in a shamefully Scooby-Doo-like way, you’re more than ready to get off the ride.” — Mary McNamara, Los Angeles Times.

“Barely intrigued viewers — including anyone who has ever seen half an episode of ‘Ghost Whisperer’ — will make quick work of ‘Bag of Bones’ on the first night. This leaves the question of who will come back for a second night of this drivel, especially given the terrifying number of commercial breaks. Perhaps there’s a King novella to be written about the nightmare of watching ‘Bag of Bones,’ in which a ghost who can’t reach the clicker must watch all those ads for Christmas sales. Her torment is eternal.” — Hank Stuever, The Washington Post.

“‘Bag of Bones,’ especially this adaptation of it, doesn’t have the benefit of the great start. It’s never clear what the story is really about, or how its many pieces fit together. It’s just a collection of creepy imagery, lots of screaming and the occasional musical number for Anika Noni Rose. Not that I mind getting to hear her sing; I’d just rather it was in the middle of a much more interesting story.” — Alan Sepinwall, HitFix

The two-night event premieres on Sunday, December 11 and concludes on Monday, December 12, airing at 9PM ET/PT.

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