Stephen King was never one to keep his thoughts on Stanley Kubrick's 1980 adaptation of King's THE SHINING to himself, with his distaste for the now classic film well-documented throughout the years. Now the Master of Horror has gone on to explain further issues he has with the film in an interview with BBC while promoting his upcoming novel and THE SHINING sequel "Doctor Sleep" (which you can pre-order in hardcover HERE or grab for your Kindle HERE).
As to why King didn't take to Kubrick's take on THE SHINING, King had this to say...
[It's] cold, I’m not a cold guy. I think one of the things people relate to in my books is this warmth, there’s a reaching out and saying to the reader, ‘I want you to be a part of this.’ With Kubrick’s The Shining I felt that it was very cold, very ‘We’re looking at these people, but they’re like ants in an anthill, aren’t they doing interesting things, these little insects.’
Getting more specific, he complained that Jack Nicholson‘s performance made Jack Torrance’s madness too obvious from the get-go.
Jack Torrance in the movie, seems crazy from the jump. Jack Nicholson, I’d seen all his biker pictures in the ’50s and ’60s and I thought, he’s just channeling The Wild Angels here.
King was even less impressed with Kubrick’s depiction of Jack’s wife Wendy, as played by Shelley Duvall, saving his greatest criticism of the film for that character, stating...
Shelley Duvall as Wendy is really one of the most misogynistic characters ever put on film, she’s basically just there to scream and be stupid and that’s not the woman that I wrote about.
While I think that King certainly has a point, I just can't seem to wrap my head around why, of all the adaptations of his work, he seems to hate THE SHINING the most. Let's just be honest here: there have been some truly horrible films made from King's work, and in the opinion of many THE SHINING is not one of them. And sorry, King, but methinks Kubrick's take on the story was much more entertaining than the 1997 mini-series that, while closer in tone with the book, just wasn't very good. Just my opinion. Spit back with yours below.