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The History of Horror Movies: 15 Films that Defined the Horror Genre

The Shining (1980)

I find a great deal of irony in Stephen King’s unwavering disdain for Stanley Kubrick’s rendition of The Shining. This is irrefutably the greatest adaptation of a Stephen King story, and King treats it as though it’s an utter embarrassment and bleeding gash on the man’s legacy.

Mr. King, I love your work and I respect the hell out of your opinion, but you’ve never been so wrong about any project related to your work. Never.

While King may leave you feeling as though The Shining on film sports zero similarity to the novel from which it is based, that’s not even remotely near true. Yes, Nicholson may have been the wrong selection to best represent who Jack Torrance is initially, but Nicholson deserves a lot of credit for creating one of the most amazing lunatics we’ve seen, and the dark place that Nicholson’s character reaches is the very same place that King’s character reaches on page. And, to tell you the truth, the bulk of the other differences between the movie and its source are either minor, or would have been both challenging and likely ridiculously looking on film. There are certain things in the book that just would not have translated well to the screen. Kubrick seemed to know that, and we all owe him a debt of thanks for that knowledge.

Fusing the haunted house angle with a major dose of possession, Kubrick gifted the world a top 10 all-time horror film that still manages to scare the pants off viewers, 36 years after creation. There aren’t many pictures that pass the endurance test, but The Shining not only passes, it passes with flying colors.

Continue the countdown of the 15 films that defined the horror genre on the next page!

About The Overseer (2283 Articles)
Author of Say No to Drugs, writer for Blumhouse, Dread Central, Horror Novel Reviews and Addicted to Horror Movies.

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