Friday, December 13, 2013

The Shining

I just watched The Shining. I've seen it a number of times but was curious to see it again after having read the book.

It's a great, fascinating movie. Of course, since I'm familiar with it, it wasn't as scary as other times I've seen it. But it's intense, visually and emotionally.

Watching it this time around I was most focused on the significant number of changes Kubrick made from King's book. Much less back story and much less character development in the film. There was even less back story to the hotel itself. In the book, the ghosts are all part of a past which Jack Torrence has researched from the "scrapbook". In the book Wendy gets seriously injured by Jack, and the fate of Halloran is changed in the film as well.

Some of the many things that make the movie so powerful are Jack Nicholson's acting, his deranged facial expressions and biting hostility. Shelley Duvall's annoyingness actually adds a lot of tension. And the visuals of the ghosts are striking and dramatic.

The core of the story remains the same, a family isolated in a huge haunted hotel with an angry father going mad and succumbing to its menacing hold, while the small child, Danny, struggles with his powers to see the past and future.

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