Speaking to the BBC (via The Playlist) the author revealed exactly what it was about the 1980 classic horror movie that made him so upset. “[It’s] cold, I’m not a cold guy. I think one of the things people relate to in my books is this warmth, there’s a reaching out and saying to the reader, ‘I want you to be a part of this.’ With Kubrick’s The Shining I felt that it was very cold, very ‘We’re looking at these people, but they’re like ants in an anthill, aren’t they doing interesting things, these little insects.'”
He also felt that Jack Nicholson’s performance was too crazy from the start. In the novel, Jack Torrance is troubled but essentially a good man, trying to understand if he’s losing his mind or if the hotel really is haunted.. “Jack Torrance in the movie seems crazy from the jump,” opined King. “Jack Nicholson, I’d seen all his biker pictures in the ’50s and ’60s and I thought, ‘He’s just channeling The Wild Angels here’.”
Finally, King hates the way Kubrick portrayed the character of Wendy Torrance, as played by a hysterical Shelley Duvall. “Shelley Duvall as Wendy is really one of the most misogynistic characters ever put on film, she’s basically just there to scream and be stupid, and that’s not the woman that I wrote about,” he said.
King got the chance to show audiences what his version of The Shining would have looked like with his 1997 miniseries version, which starred Steven Weber and Rebecca De Mornay as Jack and Wendy. Both characters resemble their counterparts in the novel much more clearly, but is that necessarily a good thing?