Book vs. Film vs. Mini Series: The Shining

Stephen King’s third novel, The Shining, was conceived after a late–season visit to The Stanley Hotel in Colorado.  King and his wife found themselves in a near-empty building, the only diners in the dining room, the only footsteps echoing down the corridors, the only ones riding the elevator.  After King took a solo turn around the empty hotel and had a long chat with the bartender, Grady, inspiration wasn’t far from knocking.  Most people experience a resort hotel in peak season, thronged with staff and other holiday-makers.  How would it feel for an already fractured family to pass through the looking glass and spend a winter in such a place in snowbound isolation? By the time King checked out the next day, he said, “I had the bones of the book firmly set in my mind.”

Any comparison between the three is a King vs. Kubrick smackdown, a battle between the gut and the brain. It’s an opportunity to compare supernatural to psychological horror.

The Shining went on to become a bestseller, a Stanley Kubrick movie, a TV mini-series scripted by King, and an indelible reference point in popular culture (REDRUM! REDRUM!).  King famously hated Kubrick’s intellectual approach to the material (castigating it as “a film by a man who thinks too much and feels too little”) and, uniquely, managed to wrest the rights to his own work back from Warner Brothers in order to write and executive produce what he felt was the definitive screen version of the book.  According to King, “Kubrick just couldn't grasp the sheer inhuman evil of The Overlook Hotel. So he looked, instead, for evil in the characters and made the film into a domestic tragedy with only vaguely supernatural overtones... it never gets you by the throat and hangs on the way real horror should.”

Yet Kubrick’s movie has been hailed as a masterpiece, a horror movie that transcends the genre rather than conforming to conventions.  In Kubrick’s hands, the tragedy at The Overlook is most definitely domestic, involving the psychotic breakdown of a husband and father and the terrified flight of his dependents.  It’s an unfortunate coincidence that this happens at The Overlook – the isolation certainly accelerates Jack’s slide into insanity and blocks Danny’s and Wendy’s escape – but the location becomes an aesthetic, rather than a character.  The carpeting, the corridors, the blood-gushing elevators, the hedge maze, the elegant expanse of the lobby or the Lloyd Wright-inspired men’s bathroom exaggerate existing madness, but they don’t cause or control it the way they do in the novel.  The way Kubrick tells it, Jack Torrance’s downward spiral could almost occur behind the closed drapes of a suburban house – but that would be much less fun to watch.

Any comparison between the three is, therefore, a King vs. Kubrick smackdown, a battle between the gut and the brain.  It’s an opportunity to compare supernatural to psychological horror.  It’s also a good vehicle to explore the differences between scares on the page and scares on the screen, and why novelists aren’t automatically the best choice when it comes to adapting their work into another medium.


The Book (1977)

King’s original narrative is a multi-perspective tale that switches between the interior monologues of newly sober Jack, his beleaguered wife Wendy, and their five year-old son, Danny, as they embark on a winter of splendid isolation at The Overlook Hotel. 

King sets the stage for the Torrances’ arrival at The Overlook very carefully, detailing the series of bad choices that a smart, educated and imaginative man like Jack Torrance has to make in order to end up as caretaker in this elaborate last chance saloon.  He writes with (we now know) personal insight into Jack’s drinking binges, and the destructive alcoholic behaviors that continue even after Jack kicks the habit.  It’s very telling that the incident that gets Jack fired from his teaching job (he attacks a student in a bout of rage) occurs after he’s technically sober.  There have been many literary portraits of drunks, but it’s unusual to see a dry drunk in all his glory.  Jack’s a textbook case: full of anger, denial, self-pity, blame, grandiose ideas of his worth to society, and prone to secrecy, self-isolation and blaming others for his failure, all without a drop of liquor having passed his lips in fourteen months.

Wendy bears the brunt of Jack’s mood swings, loyally clinging to the memory of a love that’s long gone.  King suggests she stays with Jack because her only other choice would be to run back to her hated, controlling mother, and even at his most abrasive, Jack is the better option.  Stuck between the two of them is sweet, psychic Danny.  He’s too young to understand much of what he picks up from his parents’ thoughts, but he knows that he wants Mommy to forget about DIVORCE, and that his father is obsessing about the Bad Thing even though he’s no longer permitted to do it.

Just a nice, regular all-American family then - except for the fact that, thanks to the omniscient narrator, we can read their minds and access the frustration, misery, and even naked fear of one another that lies behind their eyes.

Once the Torrances take up residence in their winter quarters, King works the interior monologues of his characters deftly, switching between viewpoints and even looping back in time so the reader can get more than one perspective on an event.  The Overlook gradually takes shape as a malign presence, going to work in different ways on Jack, Danny and Wendy. 

King is deliberately vague about what the evil entity actually is and does.  Although he suggests that The Overlook’s power comes from the negative psychic events that have occurred there in the past (mainly murders and suicides among the hotel guests), he doesn’t foreground the possibility (as Kubrick does) that the hotel was built on bad land.  Instead, The Overlook’s iniquity is the consequence of twentieth century degeneracy, the evil that greedy, wealthy, modern men do.

There are physical, poltergeisty manifestations of its power (for instance, the ‘bombed’ wasps’ nest that buzzes back to life in Danny’s bedroom) experienced by all three Torrances as an actual event that causes tangible damage.  Then there are traditional hauntings, the shades of past guests and staff (the party-goers in the ballroom, the corpse in the bathtub) that again, all the Torrances experience, but they’re just ghostly images.  Beyond that, however, King takes the haunted house trope a stage further, via the character of Delbert Grady who appears to Jack alone, giving him specific instructions on behalf of the hotel which, it transpires, is intelligent enough to want Danny’s shining abilities for itself and is prepared to push Jack over the brink of insanity to achieve its specific ends. 

So far, so good.  The best parts of The Shining deal with Jack’s disintegration, as he crosses over into the psychic briar patch of the hotel’s past.  While Danny and Wendy are able to maintain the distinction between reality and hallucination and scream loud enough to get the specters to vanish, Jack embraces the spirit world.  It’s easy to buy the idea that a supernatural entity might whisper into a man’s ear long enough to get him to attack his wife and child with a roque mallet, especially if that man already exists within a cloud of delusion and lies.  Jack’s inner demons are perfectly capable of taking him down, even without The Overlook’s assistance. 

What’s more problematic – and the main weakness of the novel – is the inconsistent ways in which The Overlook is able to manipulate physical reality.  Early on, Halloran tells Danny that the hotel can’t hurt him, that any bad things he sees are “like pictures in a book… just look the other way and when you look back, it’ll be gone.”  Halloran, who can also shine, has been working there for a while, so he should know.  Yet, from the wasps’ nest onwards, the hotel does more than show the Torrances pictures.   Perhaps the least convincing aspect of the book is the army of topiary animals that the hotel uses to threaten, then attack Danny, Jack and even Halloran on his way back up the mountain.  Halloran ends up with physical scratches as proof they exist.  Then there’s the way Grady frees Jack from behind a locked door.  Can ghosts do that?  If they can, why doesn’t The Overlook just drop a chandelier on Danny’s head?  Job done. 

Then there’s the happy-sappy ending.  Not only does Jack have a moment of clarity long enough to tell Danny “Run away. Quick.  And remember how much I love you” but there’s also the coda, with Halloran and Danny fishing off a dock together in some other tranquil resort, watched by a smiling Wendy (whose smashed vertebra is healing very nicely, thank you).  It’s nice to see an author so emotionally involved in his characters that he wants to give them a HEA, but this is horror, not romance, and the final chapter strikes a false note.

The Movie (1980)

Artistically, Kubrick is at the opposite end of the spectrum to King.  King’s stories are all about instinct and emotion: his characters feel their way in and out of horrifying situations.  Sometimes it seems as though he’s writing with his eyes wide shut.  For Kubrick, if it can’t be seen, it doesn’t exist.  His storytelling turns on visual symbols. Characters are often only a minor part of the elaborate mise en scène, their dialogue sparse and contrapuntal to action or meaning.  He communicates with the audience via symmetry – or the lack of it – rather than sympathy.  Where King is all about the emotional manipulation of the reader, Kubrick likes to mess with his audience’s spatial awareness.  Unsurprisingly, Kubrick’s take on The Shining is wildly different to the novel.

If you take away the compelling emotional and moral commentary that fills the pages of the novel, The Shining is the tale of three people wandering around a deserted building.  That’s what it looks like to an outsider, and that’s the story Kubrick wanted to tell.  The movie is an exploration of the ways in which external space affects state of mind. There’s nothing supernatural about Jack’s mental decline, it comes from staring at the carpet for too long.  The Overlook, as imagined by Kubrick, simultaneously causes claustrophobia and agoraphobia.  His use of steadicam and wide lenses (plus some artful set-building) has the audience floating through corridors that are too wide, at the wrong height and speed.  The large rooms, the ballroom, the lobby are represented as empty expanses bound about by harsh geometrical lines.   Should you run, or hide?  Put your back to the wall or stay out in the open? Accept the nothingness around you or populate it with your own imaginings?  This discombobulation is unique to the audio-visual experience.  It’s almost impossible to achieve this kind of sensory impact via words on a page.

Kubrick (with co-writer Diane Johnson) went for a stripped-down existential narrative: man chooses to be mad.  He rejected King’s carefully constructed backstory almost in its entirety, along with the nuances of Jack’s alcoholism, and the initially strong family ties between the Torrances.  From the opening scene, where he nods and grimaces his way through an interview with the manager, Ullman, Jack Nicholson’s Jack is a man with his thumb already jammed into his self-destruct button.  There’s no chance he’s going to make it out alive.  Therefore, as an audience, we’re neither invited to engage with him, nor to root for his redemption.  Kubrick wants us to watch from a distance as he implodes, and Nicholson plays along, hitting crass, comic notes along with constantly rising levels of aggression that make it impossible to empathize with the man. 

The same distance is created between us and the other characters.  Wendy (Shelley Duvall) is a whiny wreck of a woman, dismissable as a fool for not grabbing her son and running a long, long time ago.  Danny (Danny Lloyd) is one seriously disturbed kid, whose sole coping mechanism seems to be his Tony ‘voice’ (“Danny’s not here, Mrs. Torrance”).  Once isolated within the funhouse expanses of The Overlook, it’s no wonder they start seeing tricks of the light. This kind of derogatory characterization does not make for a good reading experience.  However, Kubrick frames these people on screen so that it’s impossible to look away.

It’s interesting to note that the most memorable aspects of the film – the ones that have become embedded within popular discourse – are not in the book.  It tends to be the brief, wordless shots that resonate most:  Danny’s tricycle navigating rattling wooden floors and silent rugs; tides of blood washing out of the elevator; the twin girls; Jack leering over a model of the maze his wife and son are lost in; Wendy staring in horror at the pile of manuscript pages filled with “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” typed over and over again; the final shot of a young, healthy Jack at a Fourth of July party at The Overlook in 1921.  Kubrick also showcases Native American art within the soft furnishings and stained glass windows, and in some initial dialogue hints that the hotel is built over an ancient burial ground.  This gives the story a more mythic subtext: Jack is the careless white man, riding roughshod over symbols and forces he fails to understand, destroying his family and sanity in the process.

Fans of the book often hate the movie.  This is mainly because Kubrick doesn’t care about the characters.  Kindly Dick Halloran journeys all the way from Florida in the biggest storm in living memory in order to rescue a kid he once met for a half hour and gets an axe through his heart as recompense.  Wendy and Danny endure seven levels of hell to get away from Jack, and all we ever know is that they got the snowmobile to start.  Whether they managed to make it down the mountain alive (with Wendy driving? In said snowstorm?), Kubrick deems of no consequence.  And Jack gets no moment of redemption, no “I love you”, going to his icebound grave in the grip of full-on crazy.  Kubrick’s version is story as spectacle.  Emotional participation not required.

The TV Mini-Series (1997)

Almost twenty years later, after the success of many more novels and the TV mini-series version of The Stand, King was asked what he would like to do next.  He wanted to reclaim The Shining.  One most unusual deal with Warners later (where King agreed never to say anything bad about the movie version again), King set to work on a 3 x 90min adaptation that he felt would tell the story he wanted onscreen.  By 1997, he was as respected and important a figure within the industry as Kubrick had been back in 1979-80, and could have much more control over the transition from page to screen.  He wrote the teleplay, and was a hands-on Executive Producer.  He even appears as one of The Overlook’s ghosts (he’s the band leader in the ballroom scenes).

The result is an adaptation that is faithful to the point of pedestrian.  Even for a TV mini-series, it’s slow moving.  King seems determined to cram in all the bits Kubrick missed out, which means going over Jack’s disgrace at Stovington in mind-numbing detail.  King transposes lengthy expository speeches (and streams of consciousness) from the novel and tells us way too much in dialogue.  When an actor the caliber of Elliott Gould (who appears very briefly as Ullman) starts to chew the scenery in order to get the lines out, there’s too much talking.  It takes most of Episode One for the Torrances to get settled in to The Overlook, they don’t get snowed in until partway through Episode Two, and Jack doesn’t get anything but tetchy until Episode Three.  Proceedings aren’t helped by cheesy 90s special effects (the CGI moving topiary animals are particularly laughable) and low-grade Halloween make up on the ghosts (which looks comic on a modern HDTV).

King wanted to shoot interiors and exteriors at the location that inspired him – The Stanley Hotel.  While it’s interesting to see the original, an actual physical location often has disadvantages over a specially constructed set.  A corridor is just a corridor.  Unfortunately, from the opening moments, the fancy wedding cake architecture of The Stanley is too pretty to be sinister, lacking the low-lying menace of The Timberline Lodge in Oregon used by Kubrick.  And the interiors, while they possess Edwardian grace and style, were never going to live up to Roy Walker’s custom-designed sets.  It’s all too easy to believe the claim on The Stanley’s website, that this hotel only has “happy ghosts”.

There is one new angle: Alcoholism is front and center in this version.  By 1997, King had fought his own demons and won, and wanted that reflected in the story-telling.  He wanted to be much more sympathetic to Jack’s attempts to become sober, not just through stopping drinking, but by working on himself as a person.  Therefore we’re shown Jack attending AA meetings down in Sidewinder before the snows come, and reading from his AA books after The Overlook is cut off.  Jack’s struggles with the dark side of himself are much more up-and-down than they are in either the book or the movie.  Unfortunately, soap star Steven Weber isn’t quite up to the challenge of delineating Jack’s moods, and often comes down on the wrong side of the line between nuanced and inconsistent.

Nasal, bowl-haircutted Courtland Mead is also a disappointment as Danny.  His age has been raised to seven years old, and he spends a lot of time whining to and about his parents.  In both the book and the movie, Danny says very little out loud - always a good strategy for a child character.  We also get to meet Tony, Danny’s imaginary friend, in the flesh, which strips all the mystery from Danny’s visions.  Tony’s an earnest, bespectacled high school senior who delivers most of his lines from a clumsy green screen set that’s meant to represent Danny’s imagination. 

By contrast, Rebecca De Mornay is great as Wendy.  She uses her ice-blonde qualities to great effect to convey a steely core to the character that’s entirely absent from Duvall’s performance.  De Mornay gives us a woman of quiet desperation, acutely aware that this stint at the hotel represents the last chance for her to keep her family together.  If it was The Overlook versus De Mornay, the blonde would come out swinging.  But the hotel uses Jack, the man she once loved dearly, against her, and her keen survival instincts take a fraction too long to kick in.  When she finally fells her deranged husband with a precisely aimed roque ball between his eyes, there’s no triumph, just a painful moment of loss.

The ending is also new.  King goes by the book as far as Jack’s redemption, the boiler exploding, and Halloran (Melvin Van Peebles playing the Magical Negro angle to the max) recovering in time to drive Danny and Wendy away in the snowmobile.  Then we fast-forward ten years to Danny’s high school graduation, where we discover he’s turned into bespectacled Tony, Wendy and Halloran are still friends, and that the spirit of Jack Torrance still loves him and watches over him.  Awwwww!

King was obviously very wounded by the Kubrick version of his book, and much of the TV mini-series feels like formal rebuttal rather than entertainment.  It’s also an excellent illustration of why the more literal adaptations of Stephen King’s work tend not to work onscreen: King is not a visual thinker, he loves to tell, rather than show.  A director like Kubrick (or Frank Darabont or Rob Reiner) can take a King story and distil its meaning into visual symbols, trimming the exposition and glossing over a lot of the emotional fluff whilst still communicating the psychological subtext that gives the story heart.  A lot of people have tried to do that, tied themselves up in plot knots, and failed.  It will be interesting to see how the next round of King adaptations currently in various stages of development all work out.

So, when it boils down to it, which version of The Shining is the best?

This one:

Image of The Shining [Blu-ray]
Director: Stanley Kubrick
Starring: Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd, Scatman Crothers, Joe Turkel
Rating: R (Restricted)
Image of The Shining
Author: Stephen King
Price: $7.15
Publisher: Anchor (2012)
Binding: Mass Market Paperback, 688 pages
Image of Stephen King's The Shining  (Two Disc Special Edition)
Director: Mick Garris
Starring: Steven Weber, Rebecca De Mornay, Courtland Mead, Melvan Van Peebles, Wil Horneff
Rating: R (Restricted)
Karina Wilson

Column by Karina Wilson

Karina Wilson is a British writer based in Los Angeles.  She brings a unique, global perspective to developing screenplays with a range of clients across the movie industry - but if she told you which movies she's worked on the NDA states she has to kill you. She  has many years’ experience as a teacher, both classroom and online, in the UK, Hong Kong and USA. Karina is also a contributor to Planet Fury.

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Comments

Joshua Chaplinsky's picture
Joshua Chaplinsky from New York is reading The Bone Clocks June 26, 2012 - 5:44pm

I'm one of your cold, unemotional types, so Kubrick all the way.

jacks_username's picture
jacks_username from Louisville, Kentucky is reading Games Of Thrones June 26, 2012 - 5:50pm

Kubrick for the win. 

Although I still need to read the book to have a less bias opinion. 

EricMBacon's picture
EricMBacon from Vermont is reading The Autobiography of a Corpse June 26, 2012 - 7:33pm

I always like your articles, but I despair in the use of web acronyms or abbreviations. See: HEA. I knew from context what it meant, but had to look it up anyway which totally removed me from the article. Just consider the pros and cons. It is your writing after all.

EricMBacon's picture
EricMBacon from Vermont is reading The Autobiography of a Corpse June 26, 2012 - 7:36pm

"Sometimes it seems as though he’s writing with his eyes wide shut.  For Kubrick, if it can’t be seen, it doesn’t exist."

On a more positive note, that bit of work there was absolutely beautiful. I'm always grateful for a well placed reference.

SammyB's picture
SammyB from Las Vegas is reading terribly written student essays June 26, 2012 - 11:56pm

Great article. I personally love Kubrick's version, but I live between the two worlds of literature and film. Have a degree in film and one in English. So, I guess my view is sort of invalid! Haha :)

And.... I sort of hate the HEA endings. I like doom and gloom, tragedy and darkness! Maybe I could use more hugs, haha.

Marc Ferris's picture
Marc Ferris from Carmel, California is reading Animal Attraction by Anna David June 27, 2012 - 1:25am

The Shining was the book which inspired me to write. It was also the first full novel I read cover-to -conver. So the book wins hands down.

 

I like Kubrick's movie, but I'm a Kubrick fan. 

The mini-series was a huge mistake except for the scene with the woman in the tub.

JEFFREY GRANT BARR's picture
JEFFREY GRANT BARR from Central OR is reading Nothing but fucking Shakespeare, for the rest of my life June 27, 2012 - 3:31am

Maybe you should read The Shining again--you missed a hell of a lot. Your criticisms of the novel are superficial and unfounded. The hotel began to gain the ability to affect the physical world when Jack began to lose his mind. The more he lost, the more the hotel gained. While that is a very simple explanation, it answers your contention that the hotel acting to harm people is a plot hole. It just isn't.

As far as the HEA ending--horror is not about everything ending badly for everyone. Horror is about the contrast between the dark and the light--a theme King explores again and again in his best work. Your definition of horror is narrow, and that is not the fault of the book.

All that being said, Kubrick was the Alpha and Omega of filmmakers, in my opinion. His version of The Shining is an absolute masterpiece. For anyone who is a Kubrick and a King fanatic, or just a fan of the film, read/see the Rob Ager analysis of The Shining film: "MAZES, MIRRORS, DECEPTION AND DENIAL" for a truly amazing critique. It will blow your mind. 

 

Bret Gammons's picture
Bret Gammons from [I'd prefer it if you didn't know. So would you, only you don't know it.] is reading Whatever he has time for this week. June 27, 2012 - 11:54am

I'm probably the only cinephile I know who does not care for Kubrick's work.

I liked The Shining when I watched it as a child, but I rewatched it recently and found it pretty hollow. Not unsettling, enlightening, or even entertaining. Even The Killing, which I very much enjoyed upon first viewing [I'm a sucker for film noir], now seems stale. And don't get me started on A Clockwork Orange.

Then again, I don't much like King, either, and I haven't read his novel, so...

Just one point: there is a supernatural element to Kubrick's film, though it's much less pronounced than [I'm told] in King's. For example, it's been a bit since I've seen the adaptation, but I'm pretty sure Grady unlocks the door for Jack in it as well as in the book. And you've already mentioned the ending wherein it is revealed that Jack had indeed always been at the Overlook. In light of instances like these, I have a hard time analyzing Kubrick's Shining as a purely psychological film and accepting apparitions as merely "tricks of the light."

avery of the dead's picture
avery of the dead from Kentucky is reading Cipher Sisters June 27, 2012 - 6:26pm

"The more he lost, the more the hotel gained. While that is a very simple explanation, it answers your contention that the hotel acting to harm people is a plot hole. It just isn't."

I was under the impression that, probably in addition to this point, that Danny's extreme psychic abilities fed the house and made it possible for those things to occur. 

 

ReneeAPickup's picture
ReneeAPickup from Joshua Tree, CA is reading A truckload of books. June 28, 2012 - 5:35pm

I agree with the points of Jeffrey and Avery. I loved the book, and I loved Kubrick's film--for different reasons, but loved them the same. The mini-series was shit. Maybe it was shit because Kubrick's version came before it, that's possible.

JEFFREY GRANT BARR's picture
JEFFREY GRANT BARR from Central OR is reading Nothing but fucking Shakespeare, for the rest of my life July 2, 2012 - 3:48pm

Avery - Dann'y ability 'woke' the hotel, the draining of Jack's psyche powered its increasing ability to manifest physically. Of course, that's just my interpretation. I was wrong, once, in 1987, so it's possible I could be wrong again. 

 

... Nah.

Melanie Overturf's picture
Melanie Overturf from The great PNW is reading Asleep by Banana Yoshimoto July 12, 2013 - 3:33am

Ok, I know my reply is a little over a year late. Oh well.

First off, I honestly like all three. In order of most like to least is: book, mini-series, movie. I like the book because I appreciate all the detail, being able to be absorbed by it for a few nights. I thought the story told by the book was the best as well. I don't care that it has a HEA ending, in fact, I thought it was a great ending. I'll admit, Wendy's healing was a bit unrealistic, but oh well. It's fiction, not fact and a small detail in the end. I liked the book as a whole.
I was also really happy with the mini-series. I enjoyed following it along and seeing all the detail as the author had intended the reader to imagine it. Yes, the graphics and make up are cheesy, but you have to keep in mind the technology at hand at the time of filming. It was slow, but I was glad details I consider to be crucial weren't left out. Those details provide the viewer with the motivations and reasonings of the characters instead of letting them wonder, "why is he/she doing that?"
Kubrick's movie is midly entertaining to me, as a weird dark comedy. I can see where Kubrick is going with this, it's just not my idea of a good movie. Then again, I'm not a Kubrick fan. The funniest scene for me is with Jack and Grady in the bathroom. If anything of the three is slow, it's this one.

Jeff Hames's picture
Jeff Hames October 30, 2013 - 1:57am

Kubrick did something very interesting with The Shinning. Notice that in the movie that the TV in the hotel had no visable cord? That the office in the center of the hotel somehow had a window showing outside? If you're a fan of the movie you've got to watch the documentry Room 237. It's currenlty Netflix.

Jon Tenace's picture
Jon Tenace October 29, 2013 - 4:04pm

This is the worst analysis of Kubricks work I've ever read, and given the crap that floats around the internet I'm not sure if thats a compliment or insult. Either way this article seems to have been written by someone who saw the movie once and thought they figured it out in one sitting. At least, that's how it comes across.

 

You say "It’s an unfortunate coincidence that this happens at The Overlook – the isolation certainly accelerates Jack’s slide into insanity and blocks Danny’s and Wendy’s escape – but the location becomes an aesthetic, rather than a character."

Are you serious? Do you not pick up on how much the hotel changes it's structure and dimensions throughout the movie? What about the window in Ullmans office? Figure that out. The Hotel is very much the main character of this movie. You also condescendingly mention the Native American background and features of the hotel. Any true fan of this movie will tell you this isn't meant to be mystical or structuring of the supernatural but rather setting the subtext for the movie. The film is about genocide (specifically the Holocaust and that of the native americans) and our tendency to neglect it. What happens when you are forced to live with that genocide?

 

There are so many other things we can discuss about the movie and how superior it is to the book as an art piece.  

Boomstick's picture
Boomstick January 7, 2014 - 1:54am

"You also condescendingly mention the Native American background and features of the hotel. Any true fan of this movie will tell you this isn't meant to be mystical or structuring of the supernatural but rather setting the subtext for the movie. The film is about genocide (specifically the Holocaust and that of the native americans) and our tendency to neglect it. What happens when you are forced to live with that genocide?"

-Jon Tenace

 

Oh boy. So I see you're one of the "grassy knoll" conspiracy theory nuts who actually bought into that ridiculous 2012 documentary, Room 237. I suppose you also thought the film was about the Minotaur since it involved Danny being chased in a hedge maze.

 

jshiman's picture
jshiman March 19, 2014 - 8:12pm

I must concur, the bunny version is my favorite! But then again, I am biased :D