The debate will continue until the end of time. What are we to make of Stanley Kubrick’s film version of Stephen King’s The Shining? I’m going out on a limb here, but I think it breaks down like this. Those that saw the film but have never read the book loooove the movie. Those that have read the book really don’t think much of the film. King himself didn’t like the movie although his opinion has evolved a bit and he has recently noticed the things that worked very well with the film. Still the criticism exist. In brief, the film flattens out the characters, or turns them into caricatures. Jack Torrance, played by Jack Nicholson, is pretty much a loose cannon throughout the whole film. This is not the case of the character in the book.
I, of course, have seen both the film and read the book. I’ve seen the film several times. I read the book twice. My verdict? I really, really love the film. It comes close to being just as good as the book for its visuals and brilliant camera work and use of space. But the book is better. So I guess not everyone fits into the dichotomy I described in the above paragraph.
The Shining is my favorite book by Stephen King. It is in my list of top ten books. It is my favorite haunted house novel. Yes, I like it even better than The Haunting of Hill House.
For a more thorough comparison, read my article: The Shining Book – Movie- Miniseries