The Life of Chuck, Mike Flanagan’s upcoming horror fiction adaptation, will once again highlight one of the filmmaker’s greatest strengths. Flanagan is rapidly making a name for himself as the biggest name in horror literary adaptations. While the writer-director has plenty of clout from original screenplays such as Hush and Oculus, his unique talent for adapting the works of iconic horror authors has rocketed him to even greater heights. Hot on the tails of The Fall of The House of Usher, the latest of Flanagan’s hit Netflix horror projects, the director will be returning to the works of Stephen King.

The upcoming Life of Chuck will be Flanagan’s third collaboration with King, after Gerald’s Game and Doctor Sleep. The Life of Chuck, adapted from a novella found in King’s If It Bleeds collection, tells three separate stories chronicling different phases of life for the titular Chuck. One such phase, which follows a young Chuck growing up in a haunted house, will see the return of substantial child characters for the first time since The Haunting of Bly Manor, Flanagan’s spiritual sequel to The Haunting of Hill House.

Too often, fictional children are written as miniature adults or sidelined out of the writer’s lack of confidence, but Mike Flanagan embraces the perspectives of children in his work. It’s this firm grasp of characterization and the great horror it can produce that makes Flanagan such a great literary collaborator. In embracing the child-focused stories of literary works such as Doctor Sleep, The Haunting of Hill House, and The Turn of The Screw (which became The Haunting of Bly Manor), Flanagan has produced some of the best horror adaptations in recent memory.

Horror works particularly well when it’s tied to the searching and powerless perspective of a child. Thus, it’s a rewarding experience to see children so thoughtfully and compellingly rendered in Flanagan’s adaptations, as well as in his original works like Before I Wake, Oculus, and Ouija: Origin of Evil. It’s a shame that Midnight Mass, The Midnight Club, and The Fall of The House of Usher don’t prominently feature children. However, this absence will be corrected with Flanagan’s upcoming Stephen King adaptation, The Life of Chuck. A key section of the King tale follows kids, and The Life of Chuck’s cast is packed with child actors.

Of course, Flanagan’s ably written child roles are only as good as their performers. Thankfully, Mike Flanagan’s penchant for reusing actors extends to child actors as well; the filmmaker will reenlist some of the young actors who have turned in great performances in earlier Flanagan projects. The project is Mike Flanagan’s third project with Jacob Tremblay, after Before I Wake and Doctor Sleep, and with Violet McGraw, after The Haunting of Hill House and Doctor Sleep. The Life of Chuck is likewise Flanagan’s third collaboration with Oculus and Ouija: Origin of Evil star Annalise Basso, who, at 24, no longer qualifies as a child actress.

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