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1922 (2017 film)

1922 is a 2017 American horror drama film written and directed by Zak Hilditch, based on Stephen King's novella of the same name. The film was released on Netflix on October 20, 2017.

Plot

Wilfred "Wilf" James (Thomas Jane) goes to a hotel in Omaha, Nebraska to write his confession to a crime he committed on the family farm in 1922.

In 1922, Wilf is a farmer living in Hemingford Home, Nebraska with his wife, Arlette (Molly Parker) and their 14-year-old son Henry (Dylan Schmid). Wilf and Arlette have been arguing over whether to sell land Arlette recently inherited. Arlette wants to sell out completely and move to Omaha to open up a dress shop. They discuss divorce, and Arlette is adamant that Henry will be coming with her. Wilf decides to convince Henry to help him murder his mother to prevent him from being taken away, holding Henry's love interest Shannon (Kaitlyn Bernard) at stake. Henry reluctantly agrees to assist his father in carrying out the murder.

Wilf pretends to agree to the sale, appeasing Arlette. She decides to celebrate, and becomes inebriated. After carrying her to bed in a drunken stupor, Henry covers her face while Wilf cuts her throat with a butcher's knife. Wilf intends to bury Arlette in one of his corn fields; however Henry collapses from the ordeal, prompting Wilf to dump her body into a dry well where her corpse is soon fed upon by rats. The next day, they drop a cow into the well to hide Arlette's body as well as provide a reason for filling in the well. However, Sheriff Jones (Brian d'Arcy James) is suspicious following her sudden disappearance. While searching the house, he questions Wilf about Arlette, with Wilf stating she left them on her own accord. Finding no proof of a crime, Sheriff Jones leaves Wilf's farm, tentatively believing Wilf's details of his wife's departure.

Henry becomes brooding and isolated, causing his girlfriend Shannon to grow increasingly concerned. He starts to regret the crime he and his father have committed. Shannon is subsequently discovered to be several months pregnant with their unborn child. Her parents decide she is to be sent away to a Catholic institution in Omaha until the baby is born and can be given up for adoption. However, Henry steals Wilf's car, arrives in Omaha and runs away with Shannon.

As winter passes by, Wilf's house becomes infested with rats and his hand becomes infected after a vicious rat bite. He sees an apparition of his dead wife who regales him with details of Henry's series of robberies he commits with Shannon, calling themselves "The Sweetheart Bandits." During one of their heists, Shannon is shot in the abdomen, causing her to lose the baby and ultimately dying shortly after from massive blood loss. After finding his girlfriend dead, Henry lies down next to her and, full of grief, kills himself with the handgun he used to rob his victims.

Wilf's hand, by this point severely infected from the rat bite, is amputated in hospital. Later, an unidentified woman's body is found on the side of the road which the sheriff reckons might be that of Arlette. Henry's body is delivered to Wilf, where, like his mother's body, has been chewed through by rats. Wilf attempts to sell his land to Shannon's father (Neal McDonough), who bluntly tells Wilf to leave his property and never come back. Wilf moves to Omaha to find work, but cannot escape being followed by rats.

Eight years later, in 1930, Wilf writes his confession, stating, "In the end, we all get caught." By this point, dozens of rats have swarmed his room. Arlette, Henry, and Shannon's corpses have appeared in front of the frightened Wilf. Brandishing the same butcher's knife used to kill his mother, Henry tells Wilf that his death will be quick.

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