Stephen King’s 1977 novel, The Shining, and Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 film adaptation of the same name are both masterpieces of horror in their own right. But there are lots of bone-chilling moments that didn’t make their way from the page to the big-screen. This is the case with almost every film based on a novel, especially a novel topping off at 650-plus pages (and at two-and-a-half hours in length, Kubrick’s film is no quick watch). But dissecting the elements of the novel that Kubrick toned down, expanded upon, or ignored entirely gives us a glimpse into the clockwork of our favorite horror pieces that unnerve us more and more with each maddening tick.
Stephen King has been famously critical of the film, which he once said is “like a big beautiful Cadillac with no engine inside.” All spectacle, no substance. Here are some terrifying moments from The Shining novel that weren’t in Kubrick’s film, and vice versa.
It’s also worth mentioning that in 1997, King closely oversaw a TV miniseries titled Stephen King’s The Shining, which is largely considered inferior to Kubrick’s adaptation. That’s where I got most of the screenshots below.