Stephen King is often regarded as one of the greatest horror authors of all time with one of his most successful books being The Shining. The story was adapted into a film by Stanley Kubrick in 1980, though King is one of the film's biggest detractors. In his latest novel, The Outsider, King slipped a subtle dig at the film.
As revealed by IndieWire, at one point in the novel, a character is watching Kubrick's Paths of Glory. When asked why they were watching this film, the character confirms that it was because it's "better than The Shining."
Taking the comments on their own doesn't necessarily reveal King's distaste for The Shining adaptation, yet his vocal criticisms of the adaptation combined with this line in the new story offers another opportunity for the author to slight the film while also praising another one of the filmmaker's endeavors.
King has shared his complaints about the film since it was released, with the author detailing some of his issues with it to Rolling Stone in 2014.
"The book is hot, and the movie is cold; the book ends in fire, and the movie in ice. In the book, there's an actual arc where you see this guy, Jack Torrance, trying to be good, and little by little he moves over to this place where he's crazy," King detailed. "And as far as I was concerned, when I saw the movie, Jack was crazy from the first scene. I had to keep my mouth shut at the time. It was a screening, and Nicholson was there. But I'm thinking to myself the minute he's on the screen, 'Oh, I know this guy. I've seen him in five motorcycle movies, where Jack Nicholson played the same part.'"
Kubrick might be regarded as a cinematic genius, though many have taken issue with how far he pushed star Shelley Duvall in hopes of getting the frantic performance he was seeking.
"And it's so misogynistic. I mean, Wendy Torrance is just presented as this sort of screaming dishrag," King noted. "But that's just me, that's the way I am."
The author might not be the biggest fan of the film, yet many critics have considered it one of the greatest horror films of all time.
The Outsider is out now.
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