Nathan Robinson, Snakebite Horror Reviews
I was lucky enough to catch a glimpse of this fine adaptation of Stephen King’s short story Grey Matter, and if you care to petition some film companies, I hope you managed to catch it as well.
Developed as part of Stephen King’s own Dollar Baby scheme in which he sells the rights to his short stories to student filmmakers for $1 (that’s right ONE DOLLAR! It’s how Frank Darabont got started in the film making game.), James Cox updates the story and getting rid of the original narrator, shifting more emphasis on the father/son relationship than the monster behind the door of the original tale. But the tension remains throughout the short running time, leaving me hungry for more, the only way I could have been happier was if they’d run this out to a full length feature and shown the potential apocalyptic aftermath of Issac’s fathers path of destruction as the original story alluded to . Cox has taken the basis for the story and made it his own, for a student film this is a work of great worth, even the minor details of the holes in Issac’s father’s socks and the rusty razor blades on the floor complete the mise-en- scène to an engaging degree, bravely bringing the after effects of today’s war upon the audience. It even feels like a King movie; a sense of despair and simmering contempt between characters bubbles beneath the paranoia and tick tick as the impending doom grows closer.
I literally couldn’t fault this. If you’re a Stephen King fan, (especially his early work) I highly recommend you seek this short little gem out. It’s currently doing the rounds at various film festivals and hopefully it’ll be coming to our shores soon in some form.
As a way to showcase young talents and find the future auteurs of tomorrow, I think Dollar Baby is genius of King, I only wish he wouldn’t be as selfish with the distribution of some of the finer works. The world needs to see these Mister King. Please make it so . . .
Ari Bosi, Founder of King on Screen, Argentina's First Stephen King Festival
James Cox was the first filmmaker who filmed one of the short stories most complicated to adapt, and the final result was beyond any expectation. With an incredible atmosphere, camera management, lights, FXs, soundtrack and PERFECT performances (specially Tyler Chase), Grey Matter is by far one of the best dollar babies ever made. The only thing I complained is that it's a dollar baby and not a feature film. We were more than proud of being able to screen such a great work at King on Screen and we hope James will soon make another adaptation.
Danny Paap, president of Stephen King Fan Club
James Cox has given his own twist to this older King-story: the film is only loosely based on it. The horror in Kings story is ofcourse the fact that the main characters’ father is turning into a blob-like monster . This film has the same basics, (man becomes a monster), but is much more focussed on the special father-son relationship that Isaac and David share. Isaac takes loving care of his father, and hopes - against all odds - that he might stop the change. It also offers an insight into the troubled emotions of a teenager, growing up without his mom. Isaac keeps himself going by bullying and lying, but soon he realizes that this harassment is only restraining him.
James Cox has turned Kings story into a teen drama with an alarming underlayer. The film is vi- sually stunning, filled with beautifully made sets and fine camerawork. The emphasis of this Dollar Baby is clearly on the humane aspect, which ser- ves the story well. Although the ‘monstrous’ form of David is never really shown onscreen, the filmma- kers sufficiently succeed to draw their public into the story. The acting - which is a big issue in most amateurfilms - is amazingly great.
As the Stephen King-fanclub, it’s hard to judge this film. If you only look at the adaptation of Kings story, it’s not that good. But that would not be fair: if you look further than the name ’Stephen King’
and if you’re prepared to go along in this emotional story, you’re in for a real treat. Definately worth watching, especially for fans of non-explicit suspense with a human touch.