Stephen King, the master of deliriously high concept horror, strikes again with The Night Flier, a gruesome, clever and painfully overlooked HBO midnite movie, starring everyone’s favourite grouchy pants, Miguel Ferrer, or Albert Rosenfield to any good Twin Peaks fans out there. Via a creepy take on tabloid journalism and the insidious obsession it breeds, King and Co. take a look at the way words get twisted from fact to bombastic fiction, the jaded reality one arrives at after working too long in such a field, and the hilarious possibility that such ridiculous, “made up” horrors one fabricates might in fact be a reality. Acid tongued Ferrer plays Richard Dees, a bitter and depressingly cynical trash reporter who is one drink away from the gutter and two lousy stories away from retirement, an acrid soul who lives by the mantra “Don’t believe what you publish, and don’t publish what you believe” (a pearl of wisdom that I imagine is rattling around King’s own skull, when we look at the sacrilege being wrought upon his magnum opus The Dark Tower in its cinematic emergence, particularly in regards to the casting of Roland the Gunslinger). Dees is on the hunt for en elusive serial killer who pilots an unnamed Cessna across the Midwest, slaughtering people in and around remote airports before vanishing into the night. Vampiric in origin and very hard to track down, this fiend uses the dark as his ally and seems to slip uncannily across America’s airspace, leaving a wake of bloody murder in his path that gives any old tabloid yarn a run for its money. Jaded Dees gets more than his usual brand of hoaxes and pranks, and seems oddly, morbidly drawn to this spree of horrific crimes, eerily willing to follow the Night Flier into the very jaws of Cerberus himself, if only to find exodus from his pointless, roundabout existence. All of King’s beloved qualities are at play here; grotesque practical effects, gnawing existential calamity, a light at the end of a tunnel that seems to crush our protagonist before they can reach it, and clever morality plays buried like demonic Easter eggs amidst the corn syrup and latex. An overlooked treat.