The Shining is the source of some of the most iconic lines and scenes in history, from “Here’s Johnny!” to creepy hallways with even creepier twins. The timeless success of The Shining is not at all surprising when it is coming from Stephen King, who has over 80 horror film and tv credits under his belt from his novel and short story adaptations. What might be surprising is that Stephen King openly takes major issue with the famous film The Shining, even going as far as saying he flat out doesn't like it.
If we could be even more shell shocked by the king of horror, Stephen King tells The New York Times during a phone interview that his aversion to The Shining is because of a creative direction taken by Stanley Kubrick, arguably one of the greatest filmmakers in history. In King’s own words:
Let’s put it this way, I dislike the film. I always have. I admire the film, and I admire Kubrick as a director, which sometimes gets lost in the mix when people who absolutely love that film take me to task. I love Kubrick as a filmmaker, but I just felt that he didn’t have the chops for this particular thing. I don’t like the arc that Jack Nicholson runs as Jack Torrance. Because it isn’t really an arc — it’s a flat line. He’s crazy from the jump.
Count on Stephen King to disassemble and dump on one of the most iconic films directed and written by the legendary Stanley Kubrick. Although his comments do help it make sense. After he breaks it down, we get where King is coming from; the slow build of insanity from being snowed into a huge, haunted hotel is just not there in the film. And honestly the movie might have benefitted from its inclusion
The one thing that we are missing in the film that is prevalent in Stephen King’s novel The Shining is Jack Torrance as a family man. Yes, we love him as crazy. He’s terrifying and he’s real, but we never really see who he is without the influence of the Overlook Hotel. Without that base line, it’s impossible to see just how horrific the hotel is and, in turn, experience the trauma Wendy and Danny went through seeing the transformation of their loved one.
So thank you, Stephen King. Thank you for ruining one of the most influential movies to the horror genre for us. He giveth and he taketh away.
On the plus side (and it’s a huge plus), we may never run out of King inspired horror flicks or shows. For one thing, he is still writing A+ horror. For another, filmmakers and producers are still making new adaptations of both his new and older works. Check back with CinemaBlend to keep up to date with the numerous ongoing and future Stephen King related projects.