31 Days of Horror – Week Three

15th October – The Shining (1980)

Writer Jack Torrence moves with his wife and son to a remote hotel, where he will be acting as caretaker during the winter months while the hotel is closed. The hotel has a violent past, and soon its dark influence starts to take its toll on Jack and his family. I must admit, I haven’t read the book (it’s on my long to-read list!) but Stephen King’s objections to this film do stick in my mind when watching it. It’s his story after all, and if he hates this adaptation, then I’m disinclined to argue against that. As it happens, two of the main problems that King has with the film are exactly my biggest issues with it: ‘In the book, there’s an actual arc where you see this guy, Jack Torrance, trying to be good, and little by little he moves over to this place where he’s crazy. And as far as I was concerned, when I saw the movie, Jack was crazy from the first scene … And it’s so misogynistic. I mean, Wendy Torrance is just presented as this sort of screaming dishrag.’ Rolling Stone, 31st October 2014

16th October – America Werewolf in London (1981)

Two American backpackers are attacked by someone, or something, while lost on the Yorkshire moors. One of the boys is killed, and the other – David – is seriously wounded. As David recovers, and goes to stay with one of the hospital’s nurses while he recoups, he finds himself having increasingly weird dreams and hallucinations in the run up to the next full moon. This is a great film, the special effects were revolutionary for the time, and I don’t think there’s a dull moment in the whole movie. One of my favourite werewolf features!

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