Sunday, November 25, 2012

Stephen King's The Shining (1997) review


This version may not be as scary, psychological, or popular as Kubrick's, but it stays to the book more accurately than Kubrick's ever did. However, it's still a typical TV miniseries.

PLOT:Jack Torrance (Steven Weber) is a former drinker with a wife named Wendy (Rebecca De Mornay) and a son named Danny (Courtland Mead). He's referred by his friend Al to a job as winter caretaker of the rich Overlook Hotel. Because he's in need of the money, he takes the job and his family up to the Hotel closing day. While there, they meet the cook, Dick Hallorran (Melvin van Peebles), who discovers that Danny has a certain power, known as the "shine", which can help him see the possible future and things his parents can't. Things start out fine for the Torrances until Danny senses via his imaginary friend, Tony (Wil Horneff), that the hotel has a mind of its own and wants Jack to be its permanent caretaker. Danny must avoid the hotel's tricks and keep his daddy from succumbing into the hotel's whims. It's a great plot executed fairly well.

ACTING:The acting in here was pretty good overall. Steven Weber played an excellent job as Jack Torrance. He wasn't as good as Nicholson in Kubrick's version, but he played a pretty accurate Jack. Rebecca De Mornay also played a pretty great part as Wendy Torrance, playing right off of Weber's lines. Wil Hornef played a supple role as Tony and the older Danny, but his lines and the execution kind of ruined it for him. Melvin van Peebles played an accurate part as the shining cook, Dick Hallorran, but he wasn't anything spectacular. The rest of the roles were hit-or-miss, but the worst performance in the whole miniseries was Courtland Mead as Danny Torrance. His childlike acting got annoying and unrealistic, which nearly ruined it all.

SCORE:The score didn't matter all that much, but it was spooky and intense. It set the mood rather well for this horror miniseries/movie.

EFFECTS:Aside from Mead's acting, this was the worst part of the miniseries. The computer-generated effects used to animate the ghosts appearing and the hedge animals moving was pretty bad and looked cheap and unrealistic. However, the make-up and blood effects weren't all that bad and actually worked pretty well.

OTHER CONTENT:This wasn't actually as bad as you'd expect it to be. It stayed reliable to the book, still was pretty scary, and had a decent emotional impact. This stayed way more reliable to the events in the book than Kubrick's star-studded version ever did. It captured nearly everything that his version missed. This one wasn't as scary as Kubrick's, however. It was still pretty spooky, I'd say, for a TV miniseries. This also had a pretty decent emotional impact toward the couple's marriage, the parental relationship, and the afterwards of the event. The con to this is that it's a TV miniseries; that in itself isn't a bad thing, but it has the feeling of one. The effects are cheap, the actors probably haven't had much work after this, the script was a bit flawed, and the execution had some major problems, especially with Tony's scenes. I believe this was a great attempt at rekindling the relationship between King and his book, but it is still just another TV miniseries/movie.

OVERALL,an ok TV movie with a fairly well-executed plot, pretty good acting, mood-fitting score, working make-up effects, reliability to the book, kept some scare, and had a decent emotional impact, but the lead child actor was annoying, the computer effects were bad, the script was flawed, and it had some major problems with execution.

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