photo cred: Know Your Meme

A good portion of people have most likely seen the iconic “Here’s Johnny” scene from Stanly Kubrick’s 1980 film The Shining, a film adaptation of Stephen King’s 1977 classic book of the same name. That line, however, was never in king’s book.

The main plot of the Shining involves a man named Jack Torrance who takes on a job as a winter caretaker for a hotel called The Overlook. Jack Torrance, his wife Wendy and their 5-year-old son Danny are staying in the hotel during its off season, the winter period when no guests will be staying there. The hotel has a long and gruesome history that makes it a nest of paranormal happenings.

There are many differences between the book and movie that are more subtle. Adapting books to movies is a tricky business and sometimes causes a lot of subplot or backstory to get lost in transition, yet in Kubrick’s adaptation it takes a left hand turn.

In addition to “Here’s Johnny,” there is a scene portraying the apparitions of two twin girls telling young Danny Torrance to “come play with us.” This scene is absent from the book. The girls are mentioned by the hotels maintenance man when he was telling Jack Torrance about the last winter caretaker of the Overlook Hotel, but they make no appearances in the book.

Another difference regarding characters is that a character named Dick Hallorann survives in the book, but is killed by Jack in the movie. Conversely, a similarity between the two is the idea of Hallorann having the Psychic ability he calls “The Shining.” He bonds with Danny Torrance, who also has The Shining, by revealing this ability.

In both the book and movie, Jack Torrance meets his end, or supposed end, but in very different ways. In the book, the Overlook’s boiler explodes, killing a possessed Jack Torrance and destroying the hotel. In the movie adaptation, Jack freezes to death after getting lost in a hedge maze while chasing after Danny.

Although very different, both the book and movie have their merits. The movie has had a lasting cultural impact, having been referenced in shows such as The Simpsons and The Office. The book is known as one of King’s more iconic works. King has also written books such as It, which recently got a new movie adaptation, in addition to having a television mini series done back in 1990, and many other works that have received movie adaptations or stand on their own.

River Matis
River Matis is a Creative Writing major aspiring to write novels one day. On campus, River is the Event Planner for SNHU's LGBTQ+ Advocacy organization, Generation Equality. In their free time, River can be found reading or playing video games. Among their favorites are books about philosophy and "Skyrim."