Most Stephen King films that Stephen King himself likes are, mostly, terrible.
King hates this version of The Shining.
Everyone else thinks it’s one of the greatest horror films ever made.
Stanley Kubrick’s meticulously shot ghost story permeated popular culture so much that I suppose it’s hard to imagine the world without it. Jack Torrance, a former teacher with a history of alcohol abuse and domestic violence takes the winter caretaker job at the Overlook Hotel. His psychic son Danny and beleaguered wife Wendy go with him, with Jack planning to use the solitude to write. Unfortunately for Jack, the evil spirits that reside in the Overlook have different plans for him.
Let’s not beat around the bush here, The Shining is a masterpiece. Sure, Jack Nicholson plays Jack a little bit crazy before they ever reach the hotel, but, I’m splitting hairs. The atmosphere, the music, the cinematography all just stand head and shoulders above any other horrors of the time. A genius auteur like Kubrick turning his hand to horror just doesn’t seem to happen these days. You never see the likes of Chris Nolan or Tarantino doing big horror films really. I’m not counting David Fincher as most of his work has at least a dash of horror.
The movie follows the plot of King’s original novel but does take it’s own direction towards the end. I actually preferred the movie to the book, but I love both. King’s 2013 sequel novel Doctor Sleep followed on from the book of course, but I’d imagine the forthcoming adaption by Mike Flanagan would at least acknowledge the Kubrick film.
Over the years there’s been many interpretations of the film with people even seeing it as Kubrick’s admission he helped fake the moon landings. Seriously. There definitely are many layers to The Shining, the documentary Room 237 is worth checking out if you’re interested in diving deeper into these wild theories.
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