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 Chud.com, 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.