“Lisey's Story” Review: Stephen King’s Adaptation for Apple TV+ Blends Horror and Magical Realism

Julianne Moore and Clive Owen in “Lisey’s Story.” Photo Courtesy: Apple TV+

Rating: 6/10

I’ve never been much of a Stephen King reader when it comes to his fiction work. I don’t tend to dig the horror or supernatural elements when it comes to psychological thrillers. But I approached Lisey’s Story — the eight-episode limited series that debuts on Apple TV+ on June 4 — feeling I should have read King’s original novel of the same name. Not for nothing, the author has stated it’s his favorite book of the ones he’s written.

And while adaptations to the screen of the prolific King are hardly news — just take a look at his IMDb page — the author not only executive produces this show, but he’s also written all eight episodes. He’s basically adapted himself from the page to the screen.

Lisey’s Story’s pedigree doesn’t precisely end there. Chilean filmmaker Pablo Larraín (Jackie) directs all the episodes of this horror thriller filled with dreamy flashbacks, eerie oniric sequences and a dusky alternate universe, Boo’ya Moon, in which characters seek refuge.

Then there’s the cast. Julianne Moore plays Lisey. She’s been widowed for two years and when she starts reorganizing her husband’s study, she’s confronted with a lot of memories from their past together. Clive Owen plays Scott Landon, Lisey’s husband and a famous and successful author. Jennifer Jason Leigh and an almost unrecognizable Joan Allen are Darla and Amanda, Lisey’s sisters.