It's a fairly well known fact that Stephen King is really not a fan of Stanley Kubrick's 1980 film interpretation of his book 'The Shining', and it's blatantly obvious why. There have been several times in the past that he has slammed the critically acclaimed horror flick, for reasons such as the film being very misogynistic, and frankly, I don't blame him!
Recently in an interview with 'Rollingstone', King had a few more things to add regarding his opinion of the classic film.
“I don’t get it. But there are a lot of things that I don’t get. But obviously people absolutely love it, and they don’t understand why I don’t. The book is hot, and the movie is cold; the book ends in fire, and the movie in ice. In the book, there’s an actual arc where you see this guy, Jack Torrance, trying to be good, and little by little he moves over to this place where he’s crazy. And as far as I was concerned, when I saw the movie, Jack was crazy from the first scene. I had to keep my mouth shut at the time. It was a screening, and Nicholson was there. But I’m thinking to myself the minute he’s on the screen, “Oh, I know this guy. I've seen him in five motorcycle movies, where Jack Nicholson played the same part.” And it’s so misogynistic. I mean, Wendy Torrance is just presented as this sort of screaming dishrag. But that’s just me, that’s the way I am.”
I'm so glad that Mr King isn't afraid of speaking out about his views on the film, because being an avid King fan myself, I couldn't agree with him more. After reading the book, I was massively disappointed with the 1980 film, because it's an absolute disgrace to King's work (sorry, but it's true).
Saying this, I do appreciate that it is indeed a very well made film, and certainly an enjoyable watch - it just doesn't deserve to be titled 'The Shining'. For any King fans who have read the book and want to see the film, I would highly suggest you instead check out the 1997 miniseries directed by King himself, because it is more or less exactly like the book.
As you can imagine, King wasn't too pleased about the release of 'Room 237' either - (originally 217 in the book), and completely slammed the documentary.
…Well, let me put it this way – I watched about half of it and got sort of impatient with it and turned it off.
These guys were reaching. I’ve never had much patience for academic bullshit. It’s like Dylan says, “You give people a lot of knives and forks, they’ve gotta cut something.” And that was what was going on in that movie.
Good on you Stephen King, I just love his honesty!