David Cronenberg thinks the classic horror flick The Shining isn’t a very good film.
Countless fans of the genre seem to think director Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation of the classic Stephen King novel is one of the best flicks to ever hit the silver screen. However, the Eastern Promises director isn’t one of them. In fact, he believes Kubrick didn’t truly understand what horror is all about.
Cronenberg told The Toronto Sun:
“I think I’m a more intimate and personal filmmaker than Kubrick ever was. That’s why I find ‘The Shining’ not to be a great film. I don’t think he understood the [horror] genre. I don’t think he understood what he was doing. There were some striking images in the book and he got that, but I don’t think he really felt it.”
In addition to discussing The Shining, David Cronenberg also touched on Stanley Kubrick as a filmmaker. The Clockwork Orange director certainly has his fans, but Cronenberg doesn’t get the appeal.
“In a weird way, although he’s revered as a high-level cinematic artist, I think he was much more commercial-minded and was looking for stuff that would click and that he could get financed. I think he was very obsessed with that, to an extent that I’m not. Or that Bergman or Fellini were,” the filmmaker said.
One person who would definitely agree with David Cronenberg’s opinion of The Shining is author Stephen King. Since Kubrick took many liberties with the source material, King doesn’t have to same fondness for the flick as others. Even after all of these years, the acclaimed writer still doesn’t like the adaptation.
King explained to the BBC earlier this year:
“[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.”
King said that Shelley Duvall’s portrayal of his character is “one of the most misogynistic characters ever put on film.” The author wasn’t a very big fan of Jack Nicholson’s performance either. In his opinion, the actor makes Jack Torrance look crazy from the start.
Do you agree with David Cronenberg that The Shining isn’t a good horror film?