Seven short films about The Shining

Day 20: Let’s remake a classic!

If anyone disputes that Stephen King’s novel The Shining is a classic I’ll fight them, right now. No takers? I knew it. The Internet is full of cowards.

Kidding. About the fight. Not the classic status of the novel. Nor the vast collection of cowards on the Intertubes.

Thinking about The Shining—something I do every day, because OCD—it occurred to me that this iconic horror story of writing, alcoholism, and insanity in a snowbound hotel may serve as an interesting example of the many avenues media translations can take. A quick search brought me a small trove of examples, which I’ll share with you here. Most, except for examples #1 and #2, are based on the movie version (example #1), rather than the novel itself.

1.    First, of course, the brilliant, hugely influential Stanley Kubrick 1980 adaptation, an adaptation that routinely appears on lists of top horror films of all time, yet King himself is on the record as not fully appreciating the result. And it’s not hard to see why; in Nick Nunziata’s ongoing favourite films list (on, a movie site I’m fond of), he says of Kubrick’s Shining, “It’s an awful adaptation of a great book and I worship it.” And he’s absolutely correct.

As I cannot place the whole movie here, I’ll present the official trailer, which is definitely in my top ten of freaky movie trailers:

2.    In 1997, King himself wrote the screenplay for a television miniseries adaptation. The end result was far closer in content to the novel. It was also fairly not great. Here’s the trailer:

3.    The fine YouTube channel CineFix has an ongoing series they call 8 Bit Cinema, whereby they present “Your favorite movies retold as old school NES/SNES/arcade games.” While the results pretty much always need a foreknowledge of the source material, they’re pretty fun. Here’s their Nintendo version of The Shining (the movie, ‘natch).

4.    The 30-Second Bunnies is an ongoing parody series known for their concise translations of famous films into animated 30-second pieces starring cartoon rabbits. Yeah. You can waste a lot of time watching these. I didn’t mean waste, I meant wisely spend.

5.     There’s a hearty subset of YouTube devoted to recutting films to alter their substance. I do love this one, which transmogrifies the movie’s dread and violence into a lighthearted family comedy.

6.    The Urban Dictionary defines sweding as: Re-making something from scratch using whatever you can get your hands on. When it comes to film, the results can vary from unsurprisingly bad to ridiculously enjoyable. This sweded version of The Shining leans towards the positive end of the spectrum.

7.    And finally, a segment from the greatest Shining remake ever, The Shinning (from The Simpsons episode Treehouse of Horror V). “No TV and no beer make Homer something something.” Wonderful.

And there you have it.

For the whole month of October I’m talking horror, because obvious.