This one is bound to start a firestorm (I hope): The Shining, the novel by Stephen King or the film by Stanley Kubrick, which do you like better? Why? If you could change or add to either what would you do?
I know we all know the differences between the two but let me just lay them all out clearly (if you see anything I missed or that needs to be said please comment).
Kubrick’s Overlook Hotel is on an Indian burial ground.
Room numbers 217 in the book 237 in the movie.
Kubrick uses a hedge maze instead of hedge animals (I love the maze and find it a metaphor for the labrynth of the mind and the insanity of getting lost within it).
There is a basement in the novel that becomes a metaphor of repressed, subconscious rage and insanity but not in the film (Kubrick actually shot some basement scenes but chose to leave them out, in fact, there are shots of an antiquated broiler he did film that can be found on the internet with a quick google search).
There is an evil scrap-book in the book that is not in the movie.
That awesome scene in the movie where Jack types nothing but “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” – entirely Kubrick.
Holloran dies in the movie, (this one is seriously huge since the novel ends with Holloran and Danny fishing together which affirms the entire positive father figure question).
In the novel the hotel blows up from a faulty furnace (a metaphor throughout the book), killing Jack who has run back to the basement to try and desperately relieve the pressure; while in the film, Jack freezes to death after being out-smarted by his son.
Maybe most importantly, in the book Jack is re-deemed and forgiven, a spiritual presence to his psychic son. In the film he has been absorbed totally into the hotel and become one with it.
Well, I’ll tell you right now, I like Kubrick’s vision better.
King just always gets so cheesy and dark fantasy that he leaves the horror genre behind. The story is about the destruction of the post-nuclear family in the late seventies and early eighties. Divorce has hit a peak, alcohol and drugs are making monsters out of more fathers than ever, and children are wiser, less innocent and more intelligent than ever before. These are the themes, right? Why try to paste a happy ending on those hard facts. Keep it real. Kubrick kept the subject matter dark and bleak. Horror.
Of course this is only my opinion. Please tell me yours. Am I a sinner? Or do you agree?