Stephen King’s The Shining

February 1st, 2004 DVD Reviews, Film, Filmink

The Film

Stephen King’s answer to Kubrick’s 1980 classic, which altered and omitted things about the book King felt essential to the story — particularly the casting of Jack Torrance. Hence, this is the more authoritative version of a small family of live-in caretakers at a snowed in luxury hotel in the American Rockies, and the descent into madness the father suffers at the hands of the hotel’s resident ghosts.

The Sight & Sound

Originally a TV miniseries, there’s no large-scale effects to appreciate, but it’s surprising what they get away with on TV nowadays, and various scares are given extra punch by crystal clear audio and visual.

The Extras

The three disc set could have contained more extras than just deleted scenes and commentary, but what a commentary! Over three discs, Stephen Webber (Jack Torrance), director Mick Garris and Stephen King himself (who wrote the TV screenplay) explain everything but the kitchen sink. If you’re a King fan, his anecdotes about the reason to remake the story, the original book and Kubrick’s version are worth the price alone.

Among the gems are stories about how the hotel used for the exteriors in the show is the one King and his wife stayed at when he had the idea for the novel, the politics of getting blood, guts and domestic violence past the notoriously puritan American Broadcasting Corporation censorship and how Kubrick came to select his book to make into a film.

The Worth

Purists of Kubrick’s version will consider yet another cheap Stephen King-endorsed mini series a sacrilege, but the show isn’t half bad considering it was made for TV, and the commentaries are a fantastic curiosity piece.

3.5 out of 5

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