The Shining – movie review 1/5
The Shining is often regarded as one of the greatest horror films of all time. Stephen King, who wrote the novel, famously hated this film. I agree with King. Recently though, I heard a critic say “if a silly little book I wrote was adapted into a masterpiece, I’d be ****ed too.” This made me angry. I am only ¼ of the way through the book yet it’s a hundred times scarier and better than the unintentionally hilarious film.
The Shining’s main problem is the lack of scares. For a movie that will supposedly induces nightmares, it isn’t particularly nightmarish. It offers too little scares and to many moments of Nicholson looking stupid. Also, Tony (the imaginary playmate) is turned from a bad omen as a form of a creepy child into a talking finger. How is that scary? I thought The Shining was supposed to be a black comedy when I watched it. It wasn’t.
The other thing is something every fan of the book points out – the film is pointless. The book is a man holding on to his sanity and he finally let’s go. In the film, you wonder whether he was sane to begin with.
It also lacks the emotional depth of the novel. The novel delves deep into the family’s past, and you can sympathise with Jack. You see it from his point of view, Wendy’s and Danny’s. King is excellent at portraying Danny’s innocence, which leads to sad and funny moments. The most perspective of Danny you get in the film is him constantly cowering in fear. The book, you know what’s gonna happen and you care. It scares you. The film, you don’t care what happens as much. That takes away all the tension. That’s the same with the book and film Carrie. In the book, you care for most of the characters and King constantly reminds you something bad will happen that night. The suspense is unbearable. In the film, that is lost. Carrie is a good film though. The Shining is not, for one reason purely – it may have great camera-work, but it takes the heart of the book and turns it into a money-hungry, greedy and soulless picture.