It’s common knowledge among horror buffs that Stephen King wasn’t a fan of Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation of his novel, The Shining. The 1980 film based on King’s 1977 novel is considered one of the best movies of the 80s.
Like many film adaptations, there are some important scenes from the novel missing. In order to grasp the full extent of the Overlook’s malevolence, reading the book is a must, but there is hope for HBO Max’s upcoming adaptation. Here are ten scenes from the books which either didn’t get written into the screenplay or make the final cut into the film.
10 Danny's First Vision Of The Overlook
Danny’s first vision of the hotel in the novel offers a great amount of foreshadowing and sets the tone for the rest of the story. Although Danny doesn’t know exactly what he’s seeing, it heavily hints as to what the outcome of going to the Overlook might be. In the film, viewers don’t get to see what Danny sees, and he states simply his/Tony’s reason for not wanting to go there: “I just don’t.”
9 The Car Accident
In the film, the reason for Jack’s abstinence from alcohol is quoted as being due to him injuring Danny while drunk. While this incident does happen in the book, it isn’t the reason he stops drinking.
In a flashback in the novel, Jack and his drinking buddy are drunkenly driving along the road and hit a child’s bicycle. They search for hours, not finding a body, but it haunts them. This particular scene, omitted from the film entirely, is integral to the plot of the book, as it is the catalyst for Jack quitting drinking.
8 Danny's Vision Inside The Presidential Suite
In the film, Danny’s first encounter with the ghosts of the Overlook is seeing the Grady girls in the games room. In the novel, his encounter is much gorier. While with his parents on the tour of the hotel, he has a troubling vision inside the Presidential Suite: “Great splashes of dried blood, flecked with tiny bits of greyish-white tissue, clotted the wallpaper…”
What he is seeing is the aftermath of a murder that happened years back and something which marks the beginning of his disturbing experiences within the hotel.
7 Jack's Reason For Leaving His Teaching Position
Another scene that didn’t make it into the movie is one that showcases Jack’s anger issues long before he makes it to the Overlook Hotel. In the film, Jack is asked about his former profession as a teacher, and he simply explains that it paid the bills and hinting that his writing career was the motive for leaving teaching. In the novel, the flashback involves Jack beating a student, George Hatfield, nearly to death, this being the reason for his “retirement” from teaching.
6 The Basement
The basement scenes are essential to the plot of the novel, as the basement is where Jack’s obsession with the Overlook begins. In the movie, his obsession with the hotel itself is downplayed.
While in the darkness of the basement, he pores over old newspaper clippings, receipts, and all sorts of information related to the hotel. Here he finds a scrapbook that inspires him to write a novel about the Overlook itself, a fascination which beings to slowly unravel his mind.
5 The Topiary
Something which didn’t make it into the movie is the ominous topiary that stands out in front of the hotel. Consisting of shrubbery clipped into animal forms, it features heavily in the novel as the first “hallucination” Jack has. The animals seem to come to life and menace him.
Jack passes it off, saying “I’m very tired… I’ve been under a strain.” Understandably this scene might have fallen flat in the film, but, in the book, it’s downright creepy.
4 The Playground
One of the creepiest scenes in the novel didn’t make it into the film. Danny heads outside alone to play, as he feels less of the menace of the hotel when he’s outside. While climbing through a cement tunnel in the playground, he is caved in by falling snow.
What happens after is bone-chilling: “There was something in here with him, some awful thing the Overlook had saved for just such a chance as this. Maybe a huge spider had burrowed down under the dead leaves, or a rat… or maybe the corpse of some little kid that had died here on the playground.”
3 Wendy Versus Jack
Something the film left out is the particularly brutal scene of Jack attacking Wendy with a mallet, severely injuring her. The imagery conjured up here is unsettling: "The mallet came down again with whistling, deadly velocity and buried itself in her soft stomach."
Despite broken ribs, a shattered vertebra, and a head injury, she is able to stab him in the back and crawl away from him up the stairs. The scene is horrific, yet it is a crucial reminder of Wendy’s courage and strength.
2 Danny Versus Jack
Danny and his father’s final meeting is another brutal scene that didn’t make it into the movie. Onscreen, Jack chases Danny through the maze, but he never catches up with him. In the novel, after chasing Danny through the hotel, they come face-to-face. Danny tells Jack that he is no longer his father, as he has been taken over by the malevolent hotel. Whatever part of Jack is left takes the mallet and aims it at his own face.
1 The Epilogue
It’s a widely-known fact that the ending of the film is vastly different from that of the novel. The hotel explodes and is destroyed by fire in the book, while, in the film, it is left standing.
The important scene the film is missing is the epilogue in which Danny, Wendy, and Halloran—who actually survived—are happily spending time together at a lodge in the Maine mountains. While the film leaves unanswered questions as to the fate of Wendy and Danny, the novel gives them a feel-good conclusion.
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