You don't have to have read the Stephen King source material to know that the four friends who share a boyhood secret are in trouble when they reunite for a weekend in the woods. But nothing prepares you for this garbled adaptation, full of sluglike alien thingies coming out of people's butts, Army covert ops led by a rogue colonel (Freeman), and childhood flashbacks that shamelessly echo ''Stand By Me''. Knowing that director Lawrence Kasdan collaborated with dean-of-screenwriters William Goldman, you want to assume it's a thuddingly failed genre satire. But they appear to have been playing it straight. God help them.
EXTRAS In various making-of features, King calls this a good adaptation, Kasdan considers it his most fun shoot, and various effects guys discuss the challenge of creating the derivative critters.