Oscar-winner Charlie Kaufman -- the mad genius behind Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Adaptation, and Being John Malkovich -- is now tackling horror for Netflix. And of course, because it’s Kaufman, things are looking pretty complicated.
The mind-bending screenwriter will write and direct an adaptation of Iain Reid’s debut novel, I’m Thinking of Ending Things, which is a Stephen King-esque story of realistic psychological horror with an ending redolent of The Usual Suspects. The book landed NPR’s Best Book of the Year award in 2016, and has become legendary in horror circles.
The story starts off on relatively familiar grounds: There’s a guy and a girl who are dating, and something goes wrong. They go on a road trip to meet the guy’s parents in a secluded farm, which should already give you serious Get Out vibes. Things only get more creepy and strangely skewed after he takes an unexpected detour, which leaves his girlfriend stranded.
The twisty story is a trip through a reality that’s spooky -- even terrifying -- but never quite feels real, a la David Lynch. It’s like being in a near-sane mind, which might have something to do with the story’s title. If ever there was someone to tackle psychological horror, it’d be the man that wrote a whole movie about controlling actor John Malkovich from the inside.
This film coming to Netflix is another step in a series of moves the streaming service has made to attract and commission leading, respected auteurs into making original content -- which further and further increases their legitimacy as a studio rather than simply a binge machine.