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The Shining - Find out which Stephen King film adaptations are a must see!

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ranked #8 out of 11 movies rated 3.91 out of 5 total 111 votes

The Shining

Some places are like people: some shine and some don’t. (Dick Hallorann)


Year: 1980
Director: Stanely Kubrick
Screenplay: Stanely Kubrick
Actors: Jack Nicholson,Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd, Phillip Stone, …
Runtime: 119 min (146 min original version)


Buy the DVD “The Shining” or the book “The Shining” at amazon.com now!

Summary of The Shining film plot

Jack Torrance, a fomer alcoholic, becomes the winter caretaker of an isolated hotel called Overlook in the Colorado mountains. He takes his wife Wendy and son Danny with him. Jack plans to start a whole new life using the time in the hotel to write a book. Danny who is clairvoyant and has some telepathic powers sees strange things in the haunted hotel. The hotel seems to be sentinent and influences people in a bad way. Slowly the hotel lures Jack in and he slips into insanity. Jack starts to see ghosts. Under them is the former caretaker of the hotel who murdered his wife and daughters. The ghost convinces Jack that his family needs to be “corrected”. Finally Jack looses totally his mind and tries to kill Wendy and Danny.

Main differences between Stephen King’s The Shining book and the film

  • In the end of the book, Jack overcomes his madness for a brief period of time and kills himself so that he can’t harm Danny. In the film there is no glimpse of remorse in Jack.
  • In the movie the caretaker has two different names, Charles Grady and Delbert Grady. In the book there is only one name. The use of two different names in the film is used to show that Grady has been at the Overlook Hotel in two different time periods.
  • The bathtub scene is in the book in room 217, but in the movie in room 237. This is due to the fact that the hotel management of the hotel, in which parts of the movie was made, wanted a different number, so that people don’t get scared in room 217.

What TheDarkKing thinks about The Shining

Kubrick’s The Shining is again not really a horror movie, but a very intense and suspensful thriller. It deals with isolation, alcoholism and the question if someone can overcome a violent past. Obviously Kubrick doesn’t believe that.

The movie isn’t very loyal to the book, it’s more a thing of its own. In the book the character of Jack Torrance appears as an average clerk type of guy with temper and alcohol problems who slowly gets possessed by the Overlook hotel and finally gives in to violence and madness. Whereas Jack Nicholson seems to be insane right from the first scene of the movie. But hey, this is Jack Nicholson after all! His transformation to total madness is quite foreseeable.

Jack Nicholson’s performance as a mad husband and father is still very convincing and thrilling. The movie itself doesn’t rely on many gross images, although the dead woman in room 237 and the blood running down the stairways are quite impressive, but on extremly scary and tension building music. The music - mostly orchestral - increases the terrifying mood and athmosphere of the movie a lot. The film also features the first extensive use of the Steadicam to create long tracking shots which creates even more tension.

Believe it or not - for me the most scary scenes were the shots with the two twin girls. I don’t know why, but they give me the creeps!

Although the film is quite different from the book, and Stephen King is said to dislike Kubrick’s adaptation of his novel, the film The Shining is one of the scariest movies I’ve ever seen. Everytime I’m in a house that is quite isolated, e.g. in the mountains when I’m on skiing holidays, I have to think of The Shining and I expect Jack Nicholson is coming through the snow with an axe trying to kill me.

The Shining is surely a movie you won’t ever forget and it doesn’t really get less scary when you watch it a second or third time.

If you’re now interested in watching the movie or reading the book, click on the following link to buy the DVD “The Shining” or the book “The Shining” at amazon.com!

Rate this movie…

  •  poor, don’t watch it
  •  well done, good work

 

9 Comments »

  1. November 8, 2008 @ 4:01 am

    Laura said,

    The Shining is one of my all time best loved Stephen King creations… A powerful gripping movie and book..He does it every time.. King is one of those fabulously rare writers that never becomes repetitive and boring,a genius by all accounts..I was born long after King started writing so he is still successfully gripping the audience.

  2. February 16, 2010 @ 4:35 pm

    Kitty Synthetica said,

    I actually can’t stand this film! The book totally engrossed me, but I don’t think this interpretation does it justice. It just seems really over acted to the point where I couldn’t take it seriously. :(

  3. December 4, 2010 @ 7:18 pm

    Missi said,

    I loved this movie. Loved Jack Nicholson, but hated Shelly Duvall (I think that was her name). She was just so whiny all the time. However I read somewhere that Stephen King had the very opposite opinion. He hated Jack in his role and loved her in hers.

  4. March 26, 2011 @ 5:19 pm

    Erika said,

    I saw the movie before reading the book, and I thought it was pretty good. Then I read the book, which I highly recommend, and watched the movie again. Sorry for all of you who loved the movie, but I’ll have to agree with Stephen King that they didn’t do a good job turning the book into a movie. I mean, what’s up with the ending? The hotel is still standing, so doesn’t that just make the entire movie pointless? The movie was too predictable, and they left out a lot of foreshadowing and symbolism. If you’re one of those people who have watched the movie six times without reading the book, you really should have used that time to read the book instead. Also, I think people should go easier on King about his review of the movie. When he wrote the book, he had an idea about what it would make […] more

  5. May 25, 2011 @ 6:19 pm

    Aishah Bowron said,

    This is my all time favorite horror movie, the scenes are well played and especially Jack Nicholson plays his role very well.

  6. June 23, 2012 @ 11:07 pm

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  7. August 4, 2012 @ 4:19 pm

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