The Shining (1997)

Directed by Mick Garris.  Written by Stephen King (novel and teleplay).  Starring Steven Weber, Rebecca De Mornay, Courtland Mead, Melvin Van Peebles and Cynthia Garris.

Plot: a recovering alcoholic and his family move into a haunted hotel so he can work as it’s caretaker while in the off-season

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Filmed at the actual hotel the story is based around.  Stephen King even stayed in room #217.  There’s no stupid maze in this one, just the CGI hedge animals, which aren’t that well done and look kind of funny, but we guess you can’t win them all.  It follows rules.  It’s realistic.  And although DJ doesn’t find it incredibly rewatchable (mostly because of the long running time), I do.  I just love to binge watch stuff.

In this version of The Shining, the Torrance family moves into the hotel after meeting Dick (Peebles), the cook at the hotel.  Dick shares a secret with little Danny – they can both “shine”.  They can talk to each other without opening their minds and they can sense when bad things are gong to happen.

When Dick and everyone else finally leave the Torrance’s alone in their new place, strange occurrences start to take place.  Doors start opening and closing by themselves.  A wasps nest Jack smoke bombs is put into Danny’s room sans wasps, but overnight all the wasps miraculously come back and sting Danny.  And of course, there’s the REDRUM scrawled in blood on the walls that only Danny can see at first.

Soon, Wendy begins to hate the hotel.  She can feel it’s evil and speaking to Danny who is scared all the time, is only making it worse.  She begs Jack to leave, but Jack has already gotten caught up in the hotel’s nonsense.  Even when Danny comes downstairs with bruises on his neck, Jack still won’t admit that something else is in the hotel with them.

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Eventually, Jack gets taken over by the hotel completely and he goes after Wendy and Danny.  What can I say, this story just satisfies me a lot more than than the original movie.  This one even makes me cry at the end.

Other good things: I love Steven Weber, inside and out.  Miguel Ferrar, kick ass Miguel Ferrar, is the voice of Jack’s dad on the CB.  And Dick lives in this one, which we find very important.

Bad things: the effects weren’t great when it came to the hedge animals.  And the little boy is annoying.  Courtland Mead is just not who I would have cast for this (or for anything else really).

Still, this mini-series gets a combined 56 points more than the Kubrick movie. My score: 84.  DJ’s score: 67.

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