Stephen King’s The Shining (1997) Miniseries Review

Of course, The Shining was written by the King of Horror back in the 70s. The film adaptation came out in 1980 and it became one of the biggest horror films of all time. But, Stephen King wasn’t a huge fan. He has went on about for years. Attacking the film for its lack of sympathy for the characters and how the characters were in general. While he admits the 80 film was visually a good movie.

So, when the 20th anniversary of his novel came around, he decided that this time around, he’d have full control of it. So, ABC had a deal with King to make some miniseries, and The Shining was set to air in 1997.

The film stars Steven Webber as Jack Torrance an aspiring writer who is a recovering alcoholic. He’s interviewed to be the winter caretaker at the Overlook Hotel. His son, Danny (Courtland Mead) has powers of telepathy and uses it quite a bit. Jack once abused his son while on a drunk. Danny’s mom (Rebecca De Mornay) loves her husband but believes he’ll relapse and hurt them.

So, Jack gets the job at the hotel, his family moves in. A cook named Dick Hallorann (Melvin Van Peebles) knows of Danny’s special ability. He warns Danny that the hotel will try to use his power for itself or whatever. But, he leaves. Winter comes and Jack begins to see spirits. He is tasked with going after his family and junk.


For years, I didn’t like the 1980 Shining but it grew on me. Watching this, I was kinda turned off by it. It would be hard to redo something that was already great. While King believes the 80 film to be awful, there’s just something about that I liked more about it. ┬áBut, I’m not going to compare the two.

Let’s chat about the performances first. Steven Webber as Jack was good. He didn’t blow my mind or anything. I certainly feel more for his Jack than with Nicholson’s (Still liked Nicholson’s better though). I’m sure he’s more in line with King’s vision. De Mornay really improved on the character of Wendy, she stood out. A strong woman who cares about her kid. Peebles also did well, but again, didn’t have much of a presence. Mead as Danny was the worst. He’s just a child actor, but damn…give that boy some Vick’s vaporub.

There were moments that were, I guess suppose to be scary but with dated effects, I just chuckled. Nothing about this one gave me chills. It was interesting to see a different take on the story, especially from the Authors point of view. To me, it was just dull and very forgettable. Not exactly the worst miniseries, but very pointless.


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