Stephen King has never been shy about his dislike of Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining.
Now that King is returning to the story of Danny Torrance with his new novel, Doctor Sleep, the subject of the Kubrick film came up once more. King described the film as the only adaptation of his work he “can remember hating.” Here’s what King had to say:
“[It’s] cold, I’m not a cold guy. I think one of the things people relate to in my books is this warmth, there’s a reaching out and saying to the reader, ‘I want you to be a part of this.’ With Kubrick’s ‘The Shining’ I felt that it was very cold, very ‘We’re looking at these people, but they’re like ants in an anthill, aren’t they doing interesting things, these little insects’…
Shelley Duvall as Wendy is really one of the most misogynistic characters ever put on film, she’s basically just there to scream and be stupid and that’s not the woman that I wrote about.
That last statement is a bold one, though not hard to grasp. And for all of Kubrick’s brilliance as a director (which he undoubtedly had), his films have more than once provided troubling perspectives on women and violence.
In related news: The Shining is going to be an opera.