I heard about the film mainly through its reputation. I avoided the book for a long time for some reason, mainly because I wasn’t keen on Stephen King’s books until recently when I read The Green Mile.
Sure, the film has Jack Nicholson and jump cuts. But the film focuses on the supernatural element of the hotel, in that it is coming alive and destroying the sanity of the Torrence family. Stephen King’s descriptions are always top-class, with the ability to disgust and horrify working hand in hand to create a book filled with the paranormal and toe-curling suspense.
But what the film doesn’t pick up on is the repetition of family history, and when Jack finally (in his depths of madness) sympathizes with his father who he had seen be violent throughout his own childhood, it gave me chills to think that just maybe we’d be seeing a continuous and unending cycle play out over and over.
There is nothing really negative about this book, per se, only that perhaps Stephen King should’ve collaborated in the direction of the film so that more of the paranormal elements from the book made it to the film. Still, the book and film have had a massive effect on popular culture (‘HERE’S JOHNNY!’ etc…)