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 Posted:   Nov 14, 2019 - 7:57 AM   
 By:   Kev McGann   (Member)

This is a strange one. (Here There Be Spoylers)
I can see why it's flopped, but there's also lots that I quite liked about it.
While Flanagan is no Darabont when it comes to adapting Stephen King, it's a handsomely mounted production with some good sequences.
It feels like a 5 or 6 hour mini-series that's been edited down to a confusingly drawn-out 2 hr 30 minute film.
It's obvious whole chunks of it have ended up on the cutting room floor. Characters enter and disappear, major characters from the book are mentioned but never seen and if one hasn't read the book, I imagine this film would be very confusing to follow.
Even more strangely, for the first 90 minutes, it's a pretty faithful, if somewhat condensed, adaptation of the novel, but then it suddenly veers off wildly to become a re-tread/re-working of the Kubrick film, which kills the film stone dead.
I always thought the novel was strange in that it's a rare King novel where there is no collateral damage to any of the main characters and there's ALWAYS collateral damage to major characters in his novels, usually. But this film redresses that completely!
The two biggest factors which nailed this films coffin to me were the re-treaded Kubrick finale and the annoying score, which is basically the Barto-recki/Shining stuff redone with/and an incessant heartbeat sound effect which starts to grate after the 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th rendition.
I've never heard anything previously by the Newton Brothers which makes me think they're any good at film scores and this film doesn't help my opinion.
There's absolutely ZERO EMOTION in the scoring, something I feel the film needs desperately.
I could only imagine how much better something by Chris Young or JNH (in their pomp) would aid this film and inject some heart and emotion between the audience and the characters.
Anyway, them's my thoughts for now.
Let's hear yours and we'll chat.


This is the only other thread I could find about this film, but it's just an interview/link with the composers..
https://filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?threadID=138256&forumID=1&archive=0

 
 Posted:   Nov 14, 2019 - 8:34 AM   
 By:   Michael Scorefan   (Member)

Admittedly, I haven't seen the movie. I have, however, read the book, which I found very disappointing. The main reason I have avoided this film is that while I have seen filmmakers turn a good Stephen King book into a bad movie, I have yet to see a filmmaker turn a bad Stephen King book into a good movie.

For me the problem with the book is that it centers on Dan (formerly Danny) Torrance, who was never a particularly interesting character. In the Shining he doesn't need to be. Who wouldn't have sympathy for a kid trapped in a hotel with his own father trying to kill him? But after reading the Shining, I can honestly say I never really wondered what happened to Danny. I just assumed he and Wendy did the best they could trying to pick up the pieces of their lives. Doctor Sleep, after several hundred pages didn't really change that, or give me anybody new to care much about.

Aligning the movie to the Kubrick film seems to make these problems even more apparent. Two things make the Shining the movie a classic: Jack Nicholson and Stanley Kubrick, and Nicholson has nothing to do with the film, and Kubrick is no longer with us. Danny Torrance in the movie is more of a McGuffin than a character, so no surprise that his further adventures isn't much of a draw.

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 14, 2019 - 9:10 AM   
 By:   Kev McGann   (Member)

Yes, while watching this film, while the flashbacks concerning young Danny, Wendy and Doc aren't too bad (they've cast actors who look, more or less, like the original actors), the minute you see Jack Torrance and it's NOT Jack Nicholson, it's just too weird and distracting.

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 14, 2019 - 10:10 AM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

I saw the film yesterday, and was very disappointed. I firmly believe that Mike Flanagan is one of the best horror directors of our time and of his generation. I've basically loved everything he's done up to this point. But in this case, I don't think the source material was good enough to "lift" -- even though he tried his best, with some beautiful dissolves and stagings and whatnot. I'm saying that without having read the book, of course, but the storyline as presented here here feels very weak and silly; it can't possibly be King's shining hour (no pun intended). The "American Gothic" element felt rather stale; Kathryn Bigelow did this kind of ragtag ensemble better in NEAR DARK.

McGregor didn't have much of a presence as Danny Torrance either. They should have gotten Danny Lloyd back, but he retired from acting when he was 10(!). Apparently, he had a cameo as one of the spectactors at the baseball game.

Marginal spoilers follow:

That we get to return to Overlook is very important; the film would have felt like a "robbery" otherwise. I'm just not totally sold on the way they did this; I feel the Overlook sequence in READY PLAYER ONE had far more presence. Also, what the hell was Henry friggin' Thomas -- you know, Elliot from E.T. -- doing in the role as Jack Torrance? In this day and age, with all the CGI tech at their disposal, couldn't they have managed a tasteful insertion of Nicholson in these scenes?

I actually thought the score was very interesting. Not something I'm likely to listen to on its own, but the Newton bros. captured the sounds and styles of the original score; both the classical stuff and the Carlos variations. The "Dies Irae" for the drive up to Overlook gave me the goosebumps. The Bartok material also worked well.

 
 Posted:   Nov 14, 2019 - 10:39 AM   
 By:   Lewis&Clark   (Member)

Me likes the score. A bit too long but totally in "The Shining" mode.

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 14, 2019 - 10:48 AM   
 By:   Kev McGann   (Member)

"That we get to return to Overlook is very important; the film would have felt like a "robbery" otherwise"
-----------------
I disagree here.
The hotel burnt down at the end of the original book and the finale of the 2nd book takes place at a site NEAR the original Overlook Hotel (still full of evil presence).
This film needed to STAY AWAY from the Kubrick film completely, like the Dr Sleep novel does.
It's caught in two worlds and is doomed to fail as a result.

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 14, 2019 - 10:53 AM   
 By:   Kev McGann   (Member)

Totally agree about the Ready Player One shout out though.
Way more effective than anything in the last hour here.
Also, didn't know that was Henry Thomas as Jack Torrance!!
Flanagan must like him after Hill House.

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 14, 2019 - 11:23 AM   
 By:   Kev McGann   (Member)

I did like the way Flanagan used Cronenberg's Dead Zone technique to put the characters in their shining/displaced situation, if only cos it reminded me how great Cronenberg's Dead Zone was.

 
 Posted:   Nov 14, 2019 - 12:09 PM   
 By:   The Mutant   (Member)

I liked it!

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 14, 2019 - 12:35 PM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

I disagree here.
The hotel burnt down at the end of the original book and the finale of the 2nd book takes place at a site NEAR the original Overlook Hotel (still full of evil presence).
This film needed to STAY AWAY from the Kubrick film completely, like the Dr Sleep novel does.
It's caught in two worlds and is doomed to fail as a result.


Well, regardless of that, I think the Overlook is the DNA of this very universe. Omitting it from the film would have been an incredible downer, at least for me. I also disagree that it needs to stay away from the Kubrick film. Ideally, I would have wanted it to stay MUCH closer to that film in style and aesthetic. Have them run through a worndown Overlook, with recast characters and warped memories of scenes from the first film, just felt wrong. It's HERE that it's caught between two worlds.

By the way, why is the office of AA foreman Bruce Greenwood designed EXACTLY like the hotel manager's office in THE SHINING? That put me off.

In short, I agree with you that the film falls between "two chairs", but unlike you, I think it should be MORE Kubrick, not less.

 
 Posted:   Nov 14, 2019 - 2:45 PM   
 By:   spook   (Member)

I just can’t work out if I like the Newton Brothers stuff or not. OCULUS had its moments but wasn’t great by any stretch. BEFORE I WAKE ( a film I loved) had its moments but they were mostly the Danny Elfman stuff. Then we get THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE which I loved. Great combination of atmosphere and theme, the last few tracks being stellar! Now DOCTOR SLEEP which just seems extremely uninspired droning on atmosphere with very minor moments. Like Kev I very quickly find the constant heartbeat effect annoying. Where was the magic they brought to HILL HOUSE? I love a good atmosphere horror score but not when it’s booooring.

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 14, 2019 - 4:44 PM   
 By:   jfallon   (Member)

Liked both the film and book. One of the better King adaptations. Thought the score worked well for the subject matter. Cold and dark. The unsettling heartbeat throb worked.

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 14, 2019 - 11:16 PM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

Liked both the film and book. One of the better King adaptations. Thought the score worked well for the subject matter. Cold and dark. The unsettling heartbeat throb worked.

I agree. Unlike many other traditional horror scores, with tons of generic stingers and tenuto strings, this actually had CHARACTER; both the original material and the nods to the original SHINING score.

 
 Posted:   Nov 15, 2019 - 1:47 AM   
 By:   Spinmeister   (Member)

Amongst the many, many pilferings from Kubrick's The Shining, perhaps the reenactment of the opening aerial tracking shot accompanied by The Newton Bros' adaption of Wendy Carlos' adaption of the Dies Irae triggered me the most, such that I wanted to throw something at the screen.

And then there's the pilfering from "Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta" and "Utrenja" throughout to achieve that Kubrickian je ne sais quoi.

This isn't homage or creative repurposing. It's malpractice.

 
 Posted:   Nov 15, 2019 - 7:03 AM   
 By:   Michael Scorefan   (Member)

Totally agree about the Ready Player One shout out though.
Way more effective than anything in the last hour here.
Also, didn't know that was Henry Thomas as Jack Torrance!!
Flanagan must like him after Hill House.


Henry Thomas also appears in Flanagan's adaptation of Gerald's Game. I didn't recognize him, but found out he was in it afterwards, which considering the role he plays, was really for the best.

 
 Posted:   Nov 15, 2019 - 10:28 AM   
 By:   Mr. Jack   (Member)

Yes, while watching this film, while the flashbacks concerning young Danny, Wendy and Doc aren't too bad (they've cast actors who look, more or less, like the original actors), the minute you see Jack Torrance and it's NOT Jack Nicholson, it's just too weird and distracting.

It would have been just as distracting had they gotten Nicholson and digitally de-aged him.

 
 Posted:   Nov 15, 2019 - 10:30 AM   
 By:   Mr. Jack   (Member)

Henry Thomas also appears in Flanagan's adaptation of Gerald's Game.

As well as Ouija: Origin Of Evil.

 
 Posted:   Nov 28, 2019 - 9:29 AM   
 By:   Lokutus   (Member)

Did anyone get the CD-R version? There doesn't seem to be the tracklist for it listed anywhere... Just the longer shittunes version...

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 28, 2019 - 12:51 PM   
 By:   Randy Watson   (Member)

Did anyone get the CD-R version? There doesn't seem to be the tracklist for it listed anywhere... Just the longer shittunes version...

Shittunes, how clever roll eyes

 
 Posted:   Nov 28, 2019 - 8:22 PM   
 By:   Lewis&Clark   (Member)

Film is kinda weird but not too bad. It's definately more "Stephen King" than "Stanley Kubrik" but I think that is OK. But I expected it to be more scary than it is. I dig the score more with each listening and I don't mind the overabundance of the heartbeat sound.

 
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