David Martin visits The Overlook Hotel and explores the cult status that Kubrick's film holds. All work and no play makes David a dull boy...
When is a film based on a book not a film based on a book? When it's Stanley Kubrick's version of The Shining. Based on the Stephen King novel of the same name it is famous for Nicholson's seminal performance and the fact that King disowned it. Kubrick co wrote the screen play with Diane Johnson and chose to focus on the portrayal of Torrance rather than the supernatural elements of The Overlook itself. Don't get me wrong they are still very much there but they are the push over the edge for Torrance rather than the insidious force King wrote about. I can think of plenty of films that use dramatic licence that takes them away from their novel origins, not many that actually end up being better than the novels themselves. Released in 1980, The Shining is now considered to be one of the best horror films ever made. In you face King!
|Wiggle that finger once more and I'll snap it off|
|What do you mean you don't like my singing?|
It turns out that Jack stepped out some time back, probably around the time he was staring at Wendy and Danny in the maze, nice juxtaposition from model to actual maze here. His novel consists of the phrase "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy" typed over and over with different font sizes and spacing. Nice, very nice but its a no from me! The scene in which he finally confronts Wendy on the stairs and announces he is going to "bash her brains the fuck in" always makes me giggle. Well come on, shes had that coming since the start of the film! Wendy runs around the hotel like a crazed chicken with its head cut off and is horrified to find that someone has filled the lift with ribena (other blackcurrant fruity drinks are available) and there are some guests doing the naughties with animal masks on.
|What do you mean black isn't my colour|
of, before its time, wifi or tinternet type of deal and Halloran realises that those dastardly Overlooky creeps are up to no good. He gets on a plane from his home in Florida, decorated in wonderful kitch 70's decor and nudey ladies- boom-chicke-wa-wa. He then rents a snow plough and makes his way up to the hotel, fully aware of what he is walking into, where he shouts his arrival very loudly and gets axed in the chest by deranged Torrance. What a dick!
|Yes I'd love to murder Shelley Duvall|
In 1987 The Shining was made into a tv mini series, with Rebecca De Mornay taking the role of Winifred Torrance and Steven Weber playing the role of John Torrance. Whilst it is much more in line with the novel and I do enjoy watching it Kubrick's version will always remain unsurpassed in its genius as a horror film. So, like or not, King this is the version people love and rightly so. Haven't checked into The Overlook for a while? well then I guess you should "go check it out"
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Photos from Wikipedia and IMDB