The Shining (1980) - 7/10 - Wow, all these reviews I keep writing based on books that I've read must be getting annoying by now
Well here's another one. I can't believe I waited this long to watch a classic horror movie like this, but I wanted to read the book first. Having done so, I have to agree with Stephen King himself by saying that this movie disappointed me in some ways. Of course I understand that movies based on books will never be exactly the same as the book itself, but it should at least be similar to a certain degree.
First of all, and worst of all, the character of Wendy Torrance has been completely ruined, and Shelley Duvall is maybe one of the worst actresses I've ever seen. In fact, I wasn't too fond of the acting in general in this movie. I literally thought I was watching a comedy at some points with the way Jack talks and behaves. The only characters that I thought were accurate to their book counterparts were Danny Torrance and Dick Hallorann. I also didn't like how so many scenes from the book were cut for the movie, like all the scenes with the hedge animals, which were great in the book. Also, in the book, Jack's descent into madness is much more gradual and realistic, and you really get into his head during the most crucial moments. You don't get that as well in the movie.
Now to talk positively, I loved the cinematography (especially during the opening: BEAUTIFUL mountains!) and the music, and the way that the atmosphere was built up, just like a good horror movie should do. I can definitely see why this movie is so highly regarded, it was very innovative for film making at the time. Many scenes (like the hedge maze scene) felt like they could have been from a movie made today. Still, the acting is really what drags my rating down from being an 8 or 9.
Overall, I definitely enjoyed the book more, but the movie is still pretty good, and way better than a lot of movies based on Stephen King books (cough Dreamcatcher cough).