Stanley Kubrick was a “commercially minded” film-maker who failed to understand the true nature of horror when he adapted the Stephen King cult classic The Shining, according to director David Cronenberg.
Speaking last week at a retrospective of his own work at the Toronto film festival, the Canadian body horror pioneer became the latest well-known figure to challenge The Shining’s status as one of the 20th century’s most spine-curdling chillers. King himself recently reiterated his negative stance on the 1980 film while carrying out promotion duties for his new novel Doctor Sleep, a sequel to his own 1977 book.
“I think I’m a more intimate and personal film-maker than Kubrick ever was,” Cronenberg told the Toronto Star. “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.”
Cronenberg added: “In a weird way, though 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.”
Last month, King attacked Kubrick’s adaptation for reducing Shelley Duvall’s character, the wife of Nicholson’s struggling writer, to “one of the most misogynistic characters ever put on film … [who is] basically just there to scream and be stupid”.
Nevertheless, the scene in which Jack Torrance smashes his way through a door and shouts “Here’s Johnny!” was last week named as the scariest of all time in a scientific study.
Source: The Guardian