Stephen King’s story, “The Rainy Season,” can be found in his 1993 short story collection, Nightmares and Dreamscapes. It’s not one of King’s better-known stories, but the 2017 short film of the same name, written and directed by Vanessa Ionta Wright, does an excellent job of taking what seemed like a slight variation on Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery,” and making it something more.
Setting the short film in 1976, director Wright takes a couple liberties with the original story. The Grahams, the couple come to the small Maine town to work on a book, are an interracial couple, lending a lot more tension to their initial interaction with the townsfolk, and certainly changing the tenor of the warnings to go stay somewhere else for the night.
Additionally, Wright leaves out all mention of what exactly the rainy season brings. In King’s original short story, the Grahams are told quite clearly that it’s going to rain toads and no two bones about it. In Wright’s film, it’s never made quite clear as to what the rainy season brings, other than blood and death.
Suffice it to say, the couple comes to town, is warned off, they stay anyway, and things go predictably wrong in bloody ways. The couple begins to piece a few things together, thanks to clues such as the guest book in the house, but it’s not until it’s far too late that they connect all the dots.
Wright’s Rainy Season does an able job of conveying the strange mystery of King’s original story, even to the point of furthering the terror more.