The Shining

The Shining ★★½

Not as bad as some make it out to be, but not good either. A lot of the family drama stuff works because Weber and De Mornay are giving great performances, and have real chemistry. As a horror story on the other hand........

What I don't understand is why you would ever attempt to do this story on broadcast television to begin with? Forget standards and practices, the commercial breaks alone are violence to tension-building. And the choices King made in adapting his own work are often head-scratchers, especially since his involvement in a more faithful adaptation was the miniseries's main selling point. The decisions regarding when to show a flashback, and when to just have someone talk about the past event, feel haphazard. Dick Halloran is for some reason very Christian (??), and the lack of any presentiments of his death rob that whole plotline of weight. There's a new ending that is so sentimental it makes me sick. The re-shifting of parts of the hotel tour between Ullmann, Watson, and Halloran makes zero sense; I'm sure it was done due to Elliott Gould's availability but they surely could have found a better way to work around that.

There's some shoddy makeup and effects work that wasn't even necessary. I mean, my god, why is Tommy levitating? And the ghosts looking monstrous is far less important than them feeling monstrous. Giving them sunken eyes when Jack is partying with them makes no sense! Wish some of that energy had gone towards establishing atmosphere and a foreboding tone instead.

(Oh, and the kid is so annoying. Why is his mouth always hanging open?)

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