I have not seen Misery!! which is so weird because that was the first King book I ever read, at the tender age of nine. it’s definitely on the list, but I think it’ll also have to be watched when I’m in a specific mood, because usually I’m not in the mood for deep slow-building psychological horror, I like rubber monsters better (speaking of, have you seen Graveyard Shift, unfortunately it dropped off Netflix but it’s really rather fun)
A friend of mine said Kubrick’s Shining is really about the fear of living with an abusive man, but I don’t know about that — it explains why Jack Nicholson is already at a 6 on the scary scale when he shows up but I still feel like it lacks nuance, like, abusive men don’t act scary 24/7? my dad was an active alcoholic during my early childhood and the thing was he seemed fine most of the time but you never knew when he’d get set off and turn mean
though for viewers who don’t have personal experience with abuse maybe having this feeling from the outset that Jack could go off at any moment is a reasonable facsimile
I actually really like the “you’ve always been here” ending, I mean blowing up the Overlook is great in some ways and I prefer Dick Hallorann Saves The Day if you must have a Magical Negro (King needs to stop that like twenty years ago) but that was good and creepy, and I like “this horrible thing is still happening” endings as long as they’re not blatant sequel setups or just “the monster isn’t dead and nobody is surprised”
one thing about Wendy Torrance that really bugs beyond Kubrick’s treatment of Duvall is that in the book I felt like she was more of a “weak character who becomes strong” which is my favorite kind of character but in the movie she doesn’t really get that arc as much. it’s perfectly reasonable that she doesn’t, this is just a personal preference.
I have not seen Graveyard Shift! Misery totally is a probably-too-slow build but it’s a perfect-looking small winter mood movie. I think I will look for some demonstrative caps! (Misery is a tidy book but not my favorite, “rubber monsters” yes, I mean, it’s a suspense book, it is what it is.)
I did kind of think of you when I read Doctor Sleep? You might be interested in it but, to let everybody know, it’s a horror book about being a survivor of domestic violence and intergenerational alcoholism. (There are lesser mentions of childhood sexual abuse to watch out for, general violence and drug abuse.) I also don’t think anybody should read it if they’re not into Stephen King generally or a lover of The Shining, the novel, because it’s not particularly worth it.
I think is an imperfect and sometimes bad book but I am really interested in what he was trying to say about addiction in it—I mean, Stephen King is kind of a “pop narratives about alcoholic men” legend himself! so to see him revisit and try to intervene, what, thirty years later? it was interesting! and the whole book is sort of shaped as…an AA narrative? it’s something. He said in the afterward that one of the things that compelled him to write it was to take Dan Torrance and ask what would have happened if Jack Torrance had AA instead of just “white knuckle sobriety.” I think (a warning) it veers apologetic in places where it maybe shouldn’t? But for most of the book it does an okay job being with “this is what my dad did to me and I’m living with it” and winding that in and out of different things (the shining, paranoia, addiction, AA wisdom, literal ghosts, etc.)