The Shining is Back!

Posted on September 19, 2013

Because I operate on a plane of stratospheric intellectual arrogance, I like listening to radio 4 in the mornings. Sometimes it gets a bit tedious and “Thought for the day” read by a prominent member of the God bothering society, can sometimes smack of the self-righteous dictating their unrealistic ideals on the thoughtless general public.

However, they have some great interviews on there and this morning it was with none other than Stephen King, the author of a multitude of terrifying novels that I have never read, purely because the one that I did read, The Shining, terrified me witless, putting me off further self-inflicted trauma.

The Shining, of course, went on to become a Stanley Kubrick film starring the brilliant Jack Nicholson as Jack Torrance. Because I had read the book, I was compelled to watch the film as well, though, apparently, King was not (according to the interview this morning) over enthused by Kubrick’s film and in particular, his misogynistic portrayal of Wendy (Shelley Duval).

I watched The Shining on video at house opposite where my uncle lived near Tonbridge Wells in what was at a guess, 1981. My brother (who is six years older) had already seen it at the cinema and had spent the last few years terrifying me with his impersonations of Jack Torrance by waiting until my parents were out, turning the power off and walking around the house shouting things such “Here’s Johnny” or “I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll smash the fucking door down” whilst I was locked in the bathroom, constipated by fear.

“Here’s Johnny” The Shining starring Jack Nicholson

Ah, brotherly love, you just can’t beat it. So, whether it was the version of the book, the film or perhaps live amateur theatre production by G J Lethaby, The Shining traumatised me enough to never again read or watch another horror/thriller, at least until the film release of another King novel, the 1991 movie, Misery, starring Cathy “You dirty birdie” Bates as the crazed maniac, Annie Wilks.

I didn’t cope particularly well during this movie either and as a consequence it became the last film of this kind I have ever seen. However, this morning the interview with Stephen King revealed that we are shortly to be blessed with sequel to The Shining, called Dr Sleep. For some perverted reason, I know it is going to be incredibly hard for me to resist this book that will inevitably become a film.

I say this because The Shining was a great book and despite the obvious egotistical differences between King and Kubrick, a brilliant film as well. However, a great book can’t become a great film without a great actor and it is difficult to imagine anyone who could have been capable of playing the part of someone descending towards madness as well as Jack Nicholson did.

Dr Sleep apparently follows the life of Danny Torrance (the son of Jack Torrance in the Shining) who has become a care worker in a hospice, using his psychic ‘Shining’ ability to help people who are dying to move from this world into the next. He meets a little girl who also has the Shining and is pursued by psychic vampires who live on the essence of children like her.

Sounds fun like fun.

Jack Nicholson is knocking on now…Perhaps they should get Graham Lethaby to play the lead role?


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