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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quite near to Stephen King's brilliant book...........................
but I have to confess although I enjoyed this version for me it has to be David Soul and the excellent and exceedingly creepy, late, great James Mason. Don't get me wrong Rob Lowe does a really great job but what kind of let it down for me was the way Donald Sutherland played his part, to my mind it had a more comic feel to the performance that was not required and James...
Published 10 months ago by Bellebookandcandle

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars In a small town, evil spreads quickly.
As far as remakes go, I found this to be a very good effort. I won't go into the plot as I'm sure if you're thinking of getting this, then you've probably seen the original.

Rob Lowe plays Ben Mears, the role played by David Soul in the original. I actually liked Lowe slightly more than I did Soul, but felt some of the other actors were wasted a little. Donald...
Published on 6 Jun 2011 by West25


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars In a small town, evil spreads quickly., 6 Jun 2011
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This review is from: Salem's Lot [DVD] (DVD)
As far as remakes go, I found this to be a very good effort. I won't go into the plot as I'm sure if you're thinking of getting this, then you've probably seen the original.

Rob Lowe plays Ben Mears, the role played by David Soul in the original. I actually liked Lowe slightly more than I did Soul, but felt some of the other actors were wasted a little. Donald Sutherland, James Cromwell and Rutger Hauer are fine actors, but I doubt any had more than 25 minutes screen time. Sutherland seems a little crazy as Straker, I absolutely loved James Mason's subtle, creepy performance a lot more back in the 1979 effort. Samantha Mathis was decent, as was Andre Braugher who always seems to play the same character but does it reasonably well.

For some reason it's implied that there's an incestuous relationship between a father and daughter, not needed at all in my opinion, and only seemed to be there to shock. The effects are better than in the original, even if I did prefer the vampires eyes in the old version. I liked how Barlow now looked like a man instead of Orlok from Nosferatu. There's some good deaths, but it doesn't have the same sense of foreboding as the original.

This version was also made for TV, but it doesn't feel cheap with it having a $25 million budget. I rate this like I do The Shining remake, also a story by Stephen King. It wasn't necessary as the original is great anyway and it's a little long. Not as good as the original, but a very good effort. The DVD has no extra features, but that's not too suprising with the main feature itself lasting roughly 3 hours.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quite near to Stephen King's brilliant book..........................., 28 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Salem's Lot [DVD] (DVD)
but I have to confess although I enjoyed this version for me it has to be David Soul and the excellent and exceedingly creepy, late, great James Mason. Don't get me wrong Rob Lowe does a really great job but what kind of let it down for me was the way Donald Sutherland played his part, to my mind it had a more comic feel to the performance that was not required and James Mason is much more superior in this part BUT judge for yourselves. It is a DVD still worth a watch and enjoyable in itself.
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pleasantly surprised., 31 Oct 2007
This review is from: Salem's Lot [DVD] (DVD)
I was a real fan of the original movie and then the book. The wrong way round, I know, but I was only ten and then along came this. Now I really hoped for something brilliant but didn't quite get that. I expected absolute trash but didn't get that either. What I thought we got was a fairly faithful take on the book and a stand up good try at re-making what I think is the best horror flick of all time. I quite like modern re-makes because they give you something new even if it is just a change of cast - I watch stage plays with different casts all the time. Some are better than others but we don't suggest there should only ever be one version. So I was pleasantly surprised to enjoy Rob Lowe and his mates running around The Lot and giving me the chance to hide behind the furniture all over again. Go on, give it a chance.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A modern vision of a classic King story, 27 May 2009
By 
Dr Evil (England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Salem's Lot [DVD] (DVD)
`SALEMS LOT is 2004 TV mini-series based on the book by Stephen King and is the second adaptation for TV, the first being in 1975. Rob Lowe plays Ben Mears, a author who returns to his home town of Jerusalem's Lot to write a book about the Masterson House where he witnessed a horrific scene when he was a child. Only now the friendly little town is also occupied by vampires.

This has always been one of my favourite books and I also really like the 70's adaptation too, so I was quite interested in how it would work with this remake of sorts. Surprisingly it works very well. Rob Lowe is excellent and plays the part of Ben Mears exactly as I'd pictured him in the book when I read it a few years back. The story is very gripping, beginning with Ben Mears chasing the priest through New York and then goes back to tell us what happens, leading up to then, so it doesn't take too long to get into. The vampires aren't too scary as it has all been seen before but the film itself is very eerie and atmospheric. It perhaps isn't as close to the book as the original adaptation but is definitely a better and more enjoyable film, mainly because it is a lot faster paced and exciting. The setting of the small town is captured perfectly with a proper close-knit community feel to it. There's a couple of differences to the book and the original mini-series such as It having a more modern approach to it such as the use of mobile phones. Also the priest's character has been changed quite a lot. There's a few references to other Stephen King books/films too such as a dog named Cujo and "Stand by Me" being sung on the karaoke, which I thought was a cool touch.

Overall this is a good adaptation and one of the better more recent mini-series based on Stephen King novels, that I'd recommend to fans of the book and the first adaptation as well as horror fans in general too.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Terrible cant even call it a remake, 21 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Salem's Lot [DVD] (DVD)
Any Stephen King fans will want to throw this straight into the bin which is exactly what I did. The characters names are the same in the book and its called salems lot but apart from that in every other way it deviates from the book - which is a classic. Even david soul version wasnt as good as the book but its a thousand times better than this awful remake. Just plain awful. The only shock in this remake is in how bad it is and they made the vampires into some kind of zombie creatures like the walking dead its is just awful.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Salem's Lot (DVD) with Rob Lowe, 11 May 2013
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This review is from: Salem's Lot [DVD] (DVD)
An excellent remake of the original with David Soul And James Mason.
This version is closer to the book by Stephen King.
A very watch-able film...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A failed remake of 1979 version, with the original story greatly changed - or rather gravely injured..., 22 May 2012
By 
Darth Maciek "Darth Maciek" (Darth Maciek is out there...) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Salem's Lot [DVD] (DVD)
This adaptation of excellent Stephen King's book is mostly a failure and it is definitely inferior to the 1979 version.

It's a pity, because the casting is rather impressive. Rob Lowe as Ben Mears, Donald Sutherland as Straker, Rutger Hauer as Barlow and James Cromwell as Father Callahan - all are excellent actors, but here their talents are wasted.

So what went wrong? The biggest weakness of the film is the number of differences with the book, some of which change COMPLETELY the personality and the destiny of many important characters. It is always a risky thing to correct works of a great master although it is not exactly forbidden - but, as they say, if you take a shot at the King (sorry, I couldn't resist) you better not miss. Well, here, all the shots missed...

The character of Ben Mears, the main hero, was messed up. Instead of a writer, he is an investigative journalist, who wrote a book about some ugly incidents during war in Afghanistan - and for that reason some "rednecks" in Salem's Lot resent him... It ultimately doesn't have any more consequences, but it gives the director the occasion to say "Hey, did you see it? I am against the war and I said it in my film!"

A more serious difference is in Ben's background, in everything which concerns his relation to the Marsten House - but here I can not say more, except that I found this new thing completely unnecessary.

The character of Matt Burke was changed from white to black, which is finally not so important - but what is already more serious, is that this old teacher was also changed from straight to closeted gay, secretely obsessing on his under age pupils... As not such thing figured in King's book, I found this change a really bad idea.

Young Mark Petrie was in the book a very clever and precociously adult young boy, who forced respect by standing up to the schoolyard bullys - in this version he is a kind of a young delinquent and a bully himself!

Susan Norton was a delicious, brilliant, ambitious and educated young girl in the book - here she is already a woman in her 30s, working as a barmaid. Which is more, Samantha Mathis was clearly an error in the casting as she plays with all the talent of a block of timber and she clearly doesn't give two hoots about this role, this film or anything else for that matter. And which is even worse, her character was made in a total idiot!

Donald Sutherland was a great choice to play Straker, the somehow creepy aged antiquarian, but this character was also changed - rather than a distant, arrogant and a little bit scary but always well mannered British gentleman, here he is an extraverted crazy weirdo, wagging his tongue at people and whispering dirty things to the ears of old ladies...

Dr Cody was in the book a young, happy, brilliant, optimistic and generous doctor who still believed that his mission was to save the world rather than enjoy the life and get rich - here he is a moron who can not keep it in his pants and sleeps with his patients...

Lawrence Crockett was in the book a weasely but very clever real estate agent, who made a fortune out of nothing, who was feared but also respected in the town and also a rather good husband and a doting father, spoiling silly his only child - here he is a slimy creep and a pedophile, who regularly rapes his daughter...

But the WORSE thing was made to Father Callahan, who is such a complex, tragic and important character not only in "Salem's Lot" but also in some of the much later Stephen King's books belonging to the "Dark Tower" cycle. I can not really get into details to avoid spoilers, but the changes made in this version completely RUINED this whole character. My only guess is that the director simply couldn't resist the pleasure of some Catholic bashing, which seems to be presently the last still respectable form of bigotry...

And finally, there is one more change, concerning the city of Salem's Lot as a whole. In the book, Stephen King described the life in a little provincial town with realism, digging without mercy into some of the dirty little (and not so little) secrets, but as a whole his vision was one of comprehension, teinted with some humour. In this adaptation, Ben Mears who is the narrator, describes the town and its inhabitants with deep contempt and in some moments with real hatred. And in fact towards the end it seems that Salem's Lot was not the victim of an evil monster but was simply punished for the deadly and ugly sin of being a small town populated by simple people who just wanted to live their lives and be left in peace... This contempt towards Salem's Lot inhabitants (absent from the book), which appears in the fullest in the scene when a group of "vampirised" townspeople gather in the dump and eat garbage, completely changes the whole sense of the story.

And finally, there is the ending which is COMPLETELY different from the one in the book and which is probably one of the most ludicrous things I ever saw on TV...

For all those reasons, I personally found this adaptation very, very disappointing and I advise against buying it. And if you really want to watch it, it is more reasonable to rent it or even look it up on "you tube", because otherwise it would be a waste of money and shelf space.
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16 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars love it, 20 May 2007
By 
Stephen Sams - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Salem's Lot [DVD] (DVD)
i simply love this version of salem's lot.i was a big fan of the 79 version,but i was always disappointed with how they made the character of barlow into a nosferatu,when in fact in the novel he was a charming but utterly evil humanesque vampire.true,it's still not exactly like the novel,i would've preferred to see the vampire baby etc,and more use of the danny glick character,and the eva and weasel storyline was a bit sugary and the larry crocket incest thing was totally uncalled for,and i didn't like the way they handled the father callahan character,but it's still better than tobe hooper's version,as far as being faithful to the novel goes.i also wish that they'd made better use of rutger hauer as barlow.they could've kept the bonnie sawyer/corey affair in there,instead of changing it to the cody/Mcdougal affair,then we would've seen more of barlow.even though the hooper version had a sense of dread throughout the movie,this one is even darker in my opinion,and i love the soundtrack,especialy when ben is walking to the soup kitchen during the opening scenes.

i have to say that i think that the guy who plays floyd tibbets is great,as well as rob lowe.rob lowe IS ben mears.

anyway,i love this,despite it's faults,so i recommend it to anyone who's read the book and who's a fan of king.

thanks for reading this and i hope it helps.

Stephen.
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5.0 out of 5 stars love it, 2 May 2014
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This review is from: Salem's Lot [DVD] (DVD)
I'm a big fan of stephen king and I love this film more then the original, so when I found it cheap on amazon I was so happy another great film to add to my collection
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3.0 out of 5 stars Its good but the original is better, 10 May 2010
By 
Lauranna (Northern Ireland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Salem's Lot [DVD] (DVD)
I'm a big Stephan King book fan and have read many of his novels and I always approach the film adaptations with caution. Some adaptations are good such as the TommyKnockers and the original Salems Lott film but many are bad such as The Mist, Christine and The Shining. As I already loved the first Salems Lott film I was wary about it being remade. Overall I enjoyed it but being a big fan of the book I couldn't help point out every change that the film made compared to the novel which seriously annoyed my friend who watched it with me. I liked that this adaptation brought attention to more minor characters of the novel such as Ruth (Ruthie in the novel) and Eva but after awhile I wished they would just skip from the side characters and focus more on the main characters. What really annoyed me though was Ben's back story with the Marsten house. In the novel Ben was scared of the house because he thought he saw Hubie Marsten hanged in one of the upstairs rooms and he wasn't sure if this was a ghost or just a childish trick of the mind. In this adaption however Hubie Marsten was still alive when Ben was a boy even though in the novel he had been dead for years and Ben was in the house when Marsten killed himself with the body of one of his child victims in the same room. No doubt it added drama and linked Ben to the house in a more sinister way than the original novel but like other fans I believe major plot differences such as this should not be made. Another annoyance was that the vampires weren't the least bit scary. The contacts just gave them a cool factor but to be fair this isn't Twilight. These vampire aren't meant to look cool! They should have stuck to the seem idea the orginal had cause those vampires scared the hell out of me. Especially Mrs Glick in the morgue. The Mrs Glick scene in the new adaptation was just plain funny. Despite this annoyances I was impressed with the new Barlow as they gave him the appearance that he was portrayed as in the novel. Overall once you get over all the changes its pretty enjoyable and its by far one of the best more recent adaptations made.
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Salem's Lot [DVD]
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