The Shining: Which Truly Shines – Movie or Book?

I thought that soliloquy might have just managed to save my blog. But looks like the ‘saving’ is still under way.

Last day, I wrote in my diary, after quite a long time. And, I don’t know if it was the myriad thoughts already in my mind, bursting to be freed, or the way the pen floated so smoothly over the paper (LOVED the feel of it) or even the mere act of writing…but I ended up writing a lot. Like, a lot. And not just normal diary entries; the ‘lot’ included random thoughts, some crazy, some profound. At the end of it, the process of emptying all those thoughts onto paper felt so great, so relieving…so much that I couldn’t stop smiling and feeling happy. And that also gave me  this longing to blog. Which is why I’m back here, nearly one month after I promised myself I would try not to neglect my blog!

The book I’m currently reading is ‘The Shining‘ by Stephen King. I saw the movie a few months ago. I kept seeing it in all the ‘Top the-shiningHorror Movies’ lists and decided to watch it (being the horror-movie-fan I am). Unfortunately, I didn’t like it much. I was disappointed, to be honest. Yes, it might probably be because I was expecting a real horror movie. By the end of the movie, I couldn’t figure out if there were actual horror incidents in the movie or if they were all just the characters’ imaginations. I’d call it more of a psycho-thriller than a horror movie.

But the book is an entirely different case! There were quite a few instances in the book which gave me the chills (and I’m only halfway into it!). It pulls you pulled me into the life of the Torrance family in a way the movie didn’t. The characters have a depth that they lacked in the movie (in the movie, I couldn’t figure out if Jack Torrance had a streak of insanity right from the beginning or if the hotel/the ghosts did it to him)…a depth that makes you understand why they act/react the way they do, that makes you see sense in what happens to them. It’s a lot different from the movie in terms of situations, characters and plot. Jack Torrance seems to be a much more emotional person, deeply attached to his wife and son, more than I remember him to be in the movie.

Well, I did some googling, and, turns out I’m not the only one who didn’t like the movie so much.

Stephen King has been quoted as saying that although Kubrick made a film with memorable imagery, it was not a good adaptation of his novel and is the only adaptation of his novels that he could “remember hating”. 

… King suggested that he disliked the downplaying of the supernatural element of the film, which he felt took the “bite” out of the story and made Jack a less sympathetic character. According to King, he viewed Jack as being victimized by the genuinely external supernatural forces haunting the hotel, whereas Kubrick’s take viewed the haunting and its resulting malignancy as coming from within Jack himself.” 

Sometimes, I wonder why exactly books turn out to be much better than their movie adaptations. The experience with ‘The Shining’ offers one possible explanation. A book can delve deeper into characters than a movie, giving you a lot of background with which to understand more about a person – his traits, behaviour, idiosyncrasies. This is particularly true in the case of books made into movies. The book would have drawn out a complete portrayal of the characters, giving you a perfect grasp of why they acted in the way they did. The movie can hardly achieve this kind of detail, considering the limitations the medium has, as compared to a book. So, when someone who has read the book watches the movie, they see semi-detailed characters, interesting situations omitted/altered, less sense in the way the plot pans out.

 

Whatever reviews might say, I’d skip the movie and go for the book any day! 🙂

Care to mention the movie-adaptations which, you felt, lacked the depth of the book?   

5 Things I Hate About Horror Movies

 

After watching Amusement (refer an earlier post to know what I’m talking about!),  there were a lot of things that struck me as weird in horror movies. Thoughts that I had in my head for quite sometime but never paid much attention to. So, after the irritating experience with this particular movie, I thought I’d put up a post about it. And here I am!

I’m going to list out 5 things I hate about horror movies. I might be able to come up with more than 5 but I think I’ll stick to 5 for now. 🙂 This is totally my personal perceptions; you might think different, of course. These are things that I have found irritating about horror movies. Most horror movies. Even though there maybe exceptions, I can’t think of many, to be honest. So, now that the disclaimer part is over, let’s get on.

1. They do not scare me – I guess there might be a lot of people out

there who get shit scared by horror movies; even by those slight, sudden movements in them. I love horror movies and watch a lot of it. But, frankly, I haven’t yet seen a movie that can truly scare me. There might be certain instances (not many of them, though) that make me start or shudder…but nothing that will actually give me the chills. Maybe it’s kinda wrong of me to blame horror movies for not scaring me, since almost everyone else seems to find it scary enough. Anyhow, I’m talking about what I hate in them, and I cannot NOT say this. When I sit down to watch a horror movie, I want to get scared. That’s what such movies are meant for. It gets a little frustrating and ummm…unsatisfying, when nothing much seems to be happening each time. Come on… you watch a comedy and, throughout the movie, if you don’t find anything much to laugh about, wouldn’t you feel the same?

2. Unnecessary background music – Sometimes, while watching a horror movie, I’ve noticed that the background music can get a little too jarring. And I hate the fact that the music is kinda like a warning… For example: Imagine this usual scene from a movie – “a silent house, girl walking in…music starts, warning you something is about to happen (as if you can’t already guess!), increases tempo…and BAM! Girl sees a figure/whatever.” I’ve felt that even though the music is supposed to enhance the spooky effect, it only serves to spoil the actual sudden gasp that could have come if the music hadn’t been there. This is my personal opinion, though. I’ve noticed that you can actually ‘watch’ a horror movie and predict the scenes/moves with your eyes closed, just listening to the music. And my friend does that. So, I know!

3. Unrealistic moves – What I mean by this point is – in most horror movies, the characters make some really unrealistic moves. Like, when you’re alone in a house and you hear a very scary noise, would you  actually go towards the noise and check out what it is? Or would you just stay in your bed, eyes closed,  hiding under the blanket? I would do the latter, any day! At night, if I happen to wake up, and I hear some weird noise, I DO NOT get up to go check on it. Then, how come all  characters in  all horror movies do it? Even the small kids seem to have quite a lot of guts! I know the movie wouldn’t progress if the person didn’t go towards the sound/whatever. But I’m just too tired of watching the same stuff in every horror movie!

4. They aren’t exactly ‘horror‘ movies – Most of the movies that were supposedly horror were more like slasher movies. Just a lot of creative killing.  That isn’t horror. That can’t really scare you (not me, atleast).

Horror for me would mean supernatural stuff… A crazy guy going around killing people in crazy ways is not my idea of horror.  Movies like Saw, Final Destination, Sorority Row and Nightmare on Elm Street do not scare me. More than half of the movies that are labelled as horror aren’t really that. And, sometimes, the killings are too gruesome, like they have been made gruesome to make it seem scary.

5. Story-line is the same – Almost all horror movies have the same story line. It’s so predictable. One fine morning, something starts happening, people start getting killed, a main character starts thinking there’s something odd,  goes around trying to find out, finally finds out that some long-dead person or someone with a past vengeance is doing the whole thing. And in so many cases, the ultimate reason/story behind the killer’s vengeance isn’t all that great. You’re left with the thought: “WTF? That’s it? I mean, did he go around killing all those people for this stupid reason?” I hate that!

So…guess that’s it. 🙂 Let me stress the point, again, that these are my personal opinions and I’m sure so many out there will disagree. Anyway, this is what I’ve felt. And these are elements I hate in horror movies! Tadaaa… 🙂 Have a Horrific Weekend ahead!