The Shining (1997) DVD Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Feature 9.0
Video 8.0
Audio 8.0
Special Features 9.0
Total 8.5
Distributor: Warner Bros
Running Time:
259 minutes
Classification:
 M15+
Reviewer:
Felix Staica

8.5


The Shining (1997)

Running at 273 minutes (thatís four hours and 33 minutes!) and with a teleplay written by Stephen King after his own novel, we can say that this production from director Mick Garris presents the definitive vision of the famous horror writer. There is so much time devoted to explanations and background that the nexus of alcoholism and the supernatural makes much more sense in this than in Stanley Kubrickís celebrated 1980 adaptation. 

And of course we canít help but make comparisons. Cinematically, the earlier version is by far the superior. Various innovations, like the blood at the elevator and hallway and the hedge maze chase are pure Kubrick and hence lacking in this one. I was quite surprised to learn (not having read the book) that King envisioned a croquet mallet and not an axe as the principal kill weapon. This immediately feminised Jack Torrance (and it was not reversed by the actor playing him, Steven Weber) and cut away from his menacing madness. 

The casting is also a bit off in the case of Wendy, with Rebecca De Mornay bringing much muscular resistance to her husbandís spooky rage. But perhaps this is what King intended all along. Dramatically, there is less of a contrast this way however. The boy, with the gift of seeing the future and communicating with other Ďshinersí is Danny (Courtland Mead) and he is innocence personified. He is without his famous tricycle unfortunately. 

I quite liked this telemovie, even with its dodgy computer-graphic killer hedges. It provides much of the meaty background so lacking in the Kubrick version. However, it requires dedication, running a very hefty 4.5 hours and offers nothing rewarding in the way of editing, shooting or performance. It is a chilling and exciting story so that should keep people hooked. 

There are various commentaries on it so hours and hours of entertainment.

Felix Staica






 
 



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