After a deadly plague kills most of the world's population, the remaining survivors split into two groups - one led by a benevolent elder and the other by a maleficent being - to face each other in a final battle between good and evil.
Television adaptation of Stephen King novel that follows a recovering alcoholic professor. He ends up taking a job as a winter caretaker for a remote Colorado hotel which he seeks as an opportunity to finish a piece of work. With his wife and son with him, the caretaker settles in, only to see visions of the hotel's long deceased employees and guests. With evil intentions, they manipulate him into his dark side which takes a toll on he and his family. Written by
As one with more than a grudging admiration for Stephen King's work, this thing shocked me. What extraordinary hubris could have prompted King to make this film? Did he really dream it would actually be an improvement? If the rumours are to be believed, he truly felt Kubrick had dropped the ball - had 'failed to understand the horror genre'. King can be granted some license, I suppose, for the fact that Kubrick's version was very different - but here again: had Stephen never seen a Kubrick film? Because this is the Way of Stan, and no author who feels his words are somehow sacred should ever let Kubrick near them: he'll rip your book's beating heart out, take a nice big bite and then build his own new body around it. And it will be *better than yours!* Arthur Clarke couldn't handle it, apparently: his novel 2001 bears only passing resemblance to Kubrick's magnificent film. Had it been Clarke's movie, it would have been just like that wretched, misshapen thing called '2010', and no more important a work than 'Demon Seed'.
Anthony Burgess wisely shut up about Kubrick's leaving out of his wet-noodle of a final chapter, in which Alex decides to become a good citizen. He, at least, could see the improvement Stan had made And so Mr. King decided to rise up in righteous anger and show Kubrick how proper horror movies are made. Is it possible that he learned a lesson from the experience? I had considered King's versions of Von Trier's 'Kingdom' as an honest attempt to bring a remarkable work to a wider audience. Now I'm not sure that it wasn't the same conceit at work - this time showing Trier how horror films are made.
The results are the same in both cases: drawn-out Fisher-Price versions of the original; boring runts that need never have been created. And the characters! OK, look - I'm biased: I loathe chill-dren. Can't stand 'em. I have to admit that the kid carries out his acting tasks remarkably well - he seems entirely accurate in his portrayal of what would be a strenuous role for someone three times his age.
It's just that the character he plays in so accomplished a fashion repels me. I mean, what's with that top lip? It looks as though he's been breastfeeding constantly, 24/7, since he was born. That's not normal, surely? Is it conceivable that some people find it cute? I guess there's something wrong with me: near the end I was seriously hoping the little berk would get a croquet mallet in the face.
Is there anything this version does better than Kubrick's? When I read the novel, I experienced a genuine chill when the topiary beasts first start stalking one of the Torrances. I was slightly disappointed that they didn't appear in Kubrick's film, but with hindsight it's obvious they would be too overt.
And of course King had to put them in. And sure enough, they look tacky.
From the DVD, a quote from the director of this mess, on why he thought Kubrick hadn't done King's book justice: "To me, the book was about parental responsibility, and the guilt of feeling violent feelings about your family; and it's about alcoholism; and it's about that monster within us, and it's been building up and building up, ready to explode." Yeah, right. Whereas Kubrick's film is merely one of the best horror movies ever made.
24 of 37 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?