Crave Gives Us STEPHEN KING Movie Reviews

October gave us a web-series called "Kings of Horror" in which CraveOnline and ShockTillYouDrop got together to review Stephen King films. 

The playlist is here:

Here are the CARRIE reviews:

1976 Carrie Still Scares

Stephen king's Carrie is on a list of yahoo movies 9 scariest movie endings.
"Carrie" (1976)Carrie White made short work of her prom, a few cars, and a gas station before turning her psychic fury onto her Bible-thumping mama and really bringing the house down. Even though she seemingly met her demise under all the burning rubble, Carrie's still the stuff of nightmares as she ensures that Sue Snell (Amy Irving) will never have sweet dreams for the rest of her life. You can keep your damn flowers, lady
I think the end of the new Carrie did not come anywhere close to the strength of the original.

Also on the list: Blair Witch Project, Candyman, The Descent, The Evil Dead, Friday the 13th (yes!), A Nightmare on Elm Street, Rec, Scream.

Stephen King and Owen King in Studio Q

Stay At The STANLEY HOTEL if you dare has a new advertising line -- stay at the Stanley Hotel, if you dare.  "Over 350,000 accommodations, including haunted hotels."

They give this note on The Stanley Hotel:
Welcome to The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, CO, the inspiration behind Stephen King’s novel The Shining. It has everything for the true ghost hunter – from supernatural parties in the ballroom, to a guest killed in a gas explosion still haunting room 217. If that’s not enough to spook you, spectral children can be seen and heard playing in the hotel’s hallways.
Check it out at

Stephen King Postcard

"Dear Sean Mick,

Sorry to be so late in replying, but as usual I'm buried under piles of mail I can't hope to keep up with!  Thanks for the good words, and for your continued interest in my work.  CREEPSHOW will be out in July, and there will be a "comic" book sometime after that.  The next novel will be out in August.  Entitled DIFFERENT SEASONS, it is for (sic*) short novels published under one title.  Contrary to some of the advertising, it is not horror.  Hope you'll like it.  Have a great summer.  Best, Stephen King"
selling price: $495.00

Sounds like a lot of money -- but I think it's cooler than the mass-produced Doctor Sleep.

Christine License Plate

Ever spot strange stuff  on ebay?  Stephen King collectibles you didn't know existed?  Here's one --

Hey folks up for sale is an in person Christine Replica License Plate signed by Stephen King. For those who are familiar with the movie you already know what this is. For those who don't, this was the license plate that was on the red 1958 Plymouth Fury in Christine. This has been certified by PSA/DNA. It's made out of real metal, not plastic and is an exact screen replica. This is a cool collectible for any fan and also makes for a great conversation piece as well. Happy Hunting! PSA/DNA #U28942

Cujo (Documentary)

This is a wonderful documentary on CUJO.  I was particularly interested in the discussion of why Stephen King's screenplay was rejected.  Why would the authors screenplay be turned down?  Well, according tot eh documentary, because King's rendition strayed too far from the novel!

King later encouraged the film makers to let the boy live, even though he died in the novel.  It is King's willingness to allow his work to have a little give that has allowed Hollywood to be successful in translating his work his work to film.

Check it out at: CUJO

Signed Is Better

taped inside Pet Sematary current bid: $6.50
When it comes to collecting books -- signed is better.  I own a lot of signed books.  Unfortunately, only one of them is signed by Stephen King!  (Under the Dome)  I made a decision a while back that I wasn't going to go to spend a lot of family money on Stephen King's handwriting.

Why not to mess with signed editions: Because publishers have figured out signed is better and have made it a business.  The days of sending your personal copy of a book to the author and getting it signed  and returned are gone.  Authors no longer do as may signings, and publishers don't like the author to sign books when they run into fans because it devalues their signature.  So what was fun is now just a money game.

Taped inside a copy of Pet Sematary is a note signed by King.  Now the book itself is not signed, it's on paper.  But, think about this -- it's the same signature.  So I'm asking -- what's special about his handwriting inside a book as opposed to on a paper?

I think inscribed books are better than flatsigned.  I love seeing the ones where little personal notes have been written from the author to the book owner. Some people prefer flatsigned books.  They don't want the writing that is directed to someone else.  However, that is part of the books history -- part of the signing -- and I think it's delightful.  I don't own a book King has insribed,but I own other boosk with little  notes from the author, and it's great!

Here's a couple I spotted that I think are cool:

  • Four Past Midnight: "For Rick, don't stay out late."
  • Firestarter: "To Dianne -- on her 25th -- with love from Scott and Stephen King, 8/19/90."

Someone should put together a list (book) of the things King has written to fans when autographing them.

An interesting thing is that the more expensive signed books are the old ones and the more recent ones.  A copy of Doctor Sleep signed is $400+.  Why?  Because that's where Cemetery Dance set the price, and people were ready to fork that over.  I think at $400 you should also get a couple of new tires and a Walmart gift card.

Know what I notice?  Signed books from the mid portion of King's writing don't cost as much.  Check it out on ebay!  (Not that I recommend buying signed items on ebay.)

  • Bag of Bones, $250
  • Christine, $150  (Hold on!  Why is this so low and Doctor Sleep so high?  A signed Christine seems like it would be very valuable because it's more rare to have those than the current super novel)
  • Rose Madder, $175
  • Eyes of the Dragon, $195
  • Bag of Bones, $150 (advanced reading copy)
  • Four Past Midnight, $149
  • Firestarter, $375
  • Full Dark No Stars, 112.50 (current bid, not final selling price)
  • The Shining, $2,800 (seriously -- that's a lot of money.)
  • BETTS BOOKSTORE: Dolores Claiborne, $75 (
Okay, my point is really just how subjective this all is.  The books prices are pretty standard until  King autographs them, and then BAM! the price can go anywhere.  Salem's Lot signed goes for about $3,000.  That doesn't mean anyone will pay that, but it is what someone is asking.

Tell me -- 
how  important is a signature?  
How much would you be willing for fork over?
What King books do you have signed?



Hey, check  out this great review of the independant film, YOU CAN'T KILL STEPHEN KING, by David Wain.  This is reposted with permission from UK HORROR SCENE -- thanks y'all!

Dir. Ronnie Khalil, Monroe Mann, Jorge Valdes-Iga         92 mins
Anchor Bay
UK Release: 14th October 2013

You Can’t Kill Stephen King! Even the most hardened cynical horror nerds amongst us will give a wry smile at that title. Despite the legendary author not making an appearance, it’s still a perverted humorous ode to the master from Maine.

Our guides are Lamont (Justin Brown), Ronnie (co-director Ronnie Khalil), Nicole (Kayle Blogna), Hilary (Crystal Arnette), Lori (Kate Costello) and Monroe (co-director Monroe Mann). Their mission quite simply is to hunt down the home of one Stephen King, but alas such a simple idea is rarely as easy as it looks. On stopping off at a diner on the way into town, they soon discover that visitors are frowned upon in this small community, and the diner owner (who acts very much like Annie Wilkes) makes no secret of that fact.

They’re told that Stephen King no longer lives in the town, but thinking that this may be a ruse just to keep them moving along, they decide to hang around as they have accommodation booked. First up though, they decide a boat trip is in order as rumour has it the King residence is viewable from the lake (they take a boat called Christine), whilst Lamont drives off in search of gas reminding us he’s “the only black guy in Maine”.


Later that day the group check in to their abode but with Lamont not back they have no choice but to go and look for him. The creepy boat trip guy Verrill (yes, that’s the character King played in Creepshow) points them to the gas station a quarter of a mile north, but when they arrive the sight of blue flashing lights spell disaster. With Lamont dead, it’s not long before others follow the same fate – but curiously they’re all being murdered in a similar fashion to characters from Stephen King novels.
With two characters sharing the surname Bachman, endless references to Misery, The Stand, It and Night Shift as well as a dream sequence that’s an absolute hoot, You Can’t Kill Stephen King makes for fun viewing indeed. With all the King-isms in it though, would that make it a drag for the un-King-nitiated? The answer to that would likely be yes. Critically speaking too, I think it’d be easy to throw some negatives in, and perhaps they would be justified, but sometimes a film simply has to be judged on how much fun you had watching it.


For me as a King obsessive it was a blast with a really funny script, ingenious plot and some fine gore. Sure, many of the King references seem shoehorned in, but many are also very subtle and quite obscure. Coincidentally the filmmakers encountered Stephen while shooting the movie and offered him a cameo. He declined sadly, which is a shame as it might have made this breezy and clever comedy-horror just perfect.
7 out of 10


Stephen King Apples To Apples

I play Apples to Apples with my kids.  You draw cards, then a category is put down, and people try to match their card to the category.  A judge decides which card (usually a noun) matches the the category.  Wasn't I surprised last night when Stephen King was laid down as an answer.  Doesn't matter what the category was -- it won.


Carrie rocks!   really. . . there's rocks. . .

I took my mom and two of my daughters to see Carrie.  They are now being seen to by a trauma unit as they recover from shock.  Nah -- it was good stuff.

Do you need to be told there might be spoilers?  I will not tell you how it ends.  I will not tell you if there will be a sequel.  I will tell you that I thought it was just as good a telling of Carrie as the DePalma film. 

Tell ya up front, I liked it a lot.  No use giving movies stars or grades, just saying honestly that I thought it was a strong film is enough.  Carrie 2013 can stand toe to toe with any other Stephen King adaptation. 

Random thoughts:
  • The relationship between Carrie and mama is nicely played out.  They love each other deeply, but one is so broken that she is unable to overcome that brokenness and embrace her daughter.  In fact, the moment her daughter needs her most is the moment Margaret's own brokenness reaches its zenith. 
  • Though  the story takes place in the present, the world for Margaret White has not progressed  a bit.  Her house seems like something from the 70's.
  • I like it that Carrie has a sense of God's love and  rejects her mothers whacky theology.  She is bold, declaring that God is a God of love and telling her mother  that the things she is saying aren't even in the Bible.  Glad the Bible is the standard of truth.
  • Carrie's power is not telekinesis.  I don't know what she has, but it's not telekinesis.  It's more like -- the force.  This girl is like Darth Vader.  Her power goes terrifyingly beyond telekinesis.
  • This Carrie might be a little socially awkward because of scars from her  mother, but she's not an emotional  weakling.  That's probably good, since Chloe Moretz has an inner strength that can't be hidden. 
  • Is the movie a remake, or is it a reimagining of the book?  Both I think.  There are definitely scenes in the movie that were also in DePalma's that are not in the book.  However, the story does more with King's source  material than the classic did.
  • Who is the hero in Carrie?  Teachers.
  • Scenes with the principal seem forced, rehearsed and awkward.
The story is beautiful  -- until the pigs blood.  A traumatized girl is swept away from her abusive mother by a handsome young man, taken in a limo to her school prom where  she  is complimented, loved on and  affirmed -- and then she is crowned queen. . . that's awesome!  I leaned in to my daughters, "Listen, this movie isn't going to get  better than it is right now," I said as they announced Carrie the prom queen.  "Let's go now."  Of  course, they didn't want to leave, so the fairy tale gets blown up -- scissored -- crushed -- knifed -- and everything else. 

Despite what previous reviewers have implied, there are no swipes or digs at homeschoolers, or faith itself.  I had no sense of a political "statement" being made.  Margaret White is a broken person, so everything in her life is broken as well.  Her relationships are broken, her daughter is broken, her understanding of God is broken, her attitude toward her own body is broken.  It is amazing that in real life I see young people who come from really messed up homes, but they are emotionally okay.  They might have some debris, some small scars, but really they made it through unscathed.  Carrie has  that kind of strength.

I found the prom scene where everyone is laughing at Carrie quite unbelievable.  When someone is picked on publically like that, the response is not that kind of laughter.  That doesn't give young people enough credit.  The whole school doesn't follow the mean girls.  The school was enjoying her  triumph -- they wouldn't so quickly turn on her.  They would be outraged by what was done.

I think this Carrie pulls the viewer in better emotionally than the original.  However, I have never  seen the original in a theater -- that might matter.

Carrie is one of Stephen King's strongest characters.  Emotionally she is able to stand up to and rebel against her abusive mother.  Physically, she has powers that could hold off Superman.  Sign the kid up for the Justice League -- where do you get an application? 

THE WRAP: ‘Carrie’ Scares Up $725K at Box Office in Late Night Shows

‘Carrie’ Scares Up $725K at Box Office in Late Night Shows

Brent Lang at The Wrap posted news that studio estimates have Carrie making $725,000 on the first night, calling it a "solid start" for a horror film.

Lang shares these insights: "Sony, which is distributing the MGM/Screengems film, thinks it will open to between $18 million and $20 million, while analysts predict it could be do for a $25 million debut."
Chloe Grace Moretz and Sissy Spacek

Check out the yahoo movies article by Karen Warner which compares the "old Carrie" to the "new Carrie."

Warner breaks it down for us nice and simple.  She also really likes the film!

Key differences Warner notes:

  • Contemporary Humiliation
  • Age-Appropriate Actors
  • Variations on Mom
  • More Death! More Destruction!
  • A Telekinetic Takeoff
  • Survivor Pool
There's an article that goes with these simple points -- so read it!

When discussing the death and destruction, Warner says, "“In Stephen King's novella she destroys half the town and Kimberly Peirce's new version hints at that more than the De Palma one (though neither film really recaptures the scope of the book's ending).”  (NOVELLA?!)


Carrie Trailers

Carrie Reviews Are Starting To Come In

The questions been -- where are the CARRIE reviews?  Well, I'm starting to spot them. is giving the movie an average rating of 5.4 out of 10.

Tim Hall at Seattle Pi give the film a B-, saying Moretz a "talented young actress" and that she and Moore bring out the best in each other (as actresses).  He wonders, however, what exactly the film does to make it any different from the 1976 version.  (

Bruce DeMara at isn't quite so generous. Giving the film 2 stars, he titles his review, "Carrie 2013 pales in comparison to 1976 original," and suggests in his opening line that the film is nothing more than an imitation of the 76 version.  It kinda goes downhill from there.  (

But Amy Nicholson at LA Weekly argues that Peirce didn't have to change anything for the movie to still pack a punch.   However, Nicholson seems to be on her own agenda, attacking " puritanism" and speaking of the dangers of religious leaders who are "trying to keep a new generation of young women from learning how their bodies work."  Huh?  Does she think religious leaders today don't want girls to know about their period, or about sex, or about. . . who knows what.  I'm a pastor (so I count int he "religious leaders" category) with four daughters, and we have no fears of our girls learning how their bodies work.  

Nicholson seizes on Carrie as her own own platform to rant nutty unsupported attacks at groups of people she doesn't like (Home Schooling seems to also be on her naughty list.)  Nicholson isn't reviewing a movie, she's standing on top of a movie throwing darts.

So -- my review of her review is that she sounds like a very angry person who wishes she was Carrie.  Think I'm wrong?  She writes, "what’s scariest about Carrie in 2013 isn’t that this wounded teenage girl has the power to kill—it’s that there are thousands of girls like her with no power at all." (

William Gross at give CARRIE a 5.8 out of 10.  He suggests that the movie "fails to become its own satisfyingly whole interpretation of coming-of-age horrors both literal and figurative. Its bloodshed may be all dressed up, but it ultimately has nowhere to go." (

And the reviews that matter. . . DREAD CENTRAL!  Staci Layne gives it 3.5 out of 5 stars.  Layne is pretty enthusiastic about the film, writing, "I am pleased to report that the Carrie remake takes the material seriously, and what’s more, it stays true to the Stephen King novel." And concludes, "People who haven’t seen the original will love it, and people who have seen the original should at least like it. (

making Carrie

Carrie's Bullies Are Meaner Than Ever

Hey, check out Derrik j. Lang's article titled, "An updated 'Carrie' for the digital age New Blood: An updated 'Carrie' incorporates online bullying, special effects (

It seems the updated Carrie has some painful new twists -- smartphones and internet.  Not only must Carrie endure teasing, it is replayed over and over after being uploaded to the internet.

Lang quotes Moretz, who seems to think that Carrie would not have gone nuts if it weren't for the video. "I do think she would have walked out of that gym, gone home, cried and been fine — figured her life and moved back into her shell. Without the video, I don't think the telekinesis would've taken over her body." WAIT A MINUTE!  There was no video the first billion times this story was filmed -- and she still nuked the school.  And, there is the small matter of the book.  Did Moretz read the book?  See, there was no video in the book, and her telekinesis did take over.  We do get to see what would happen if Carrie weren't videoed, because that's what happened in every other version!  And, guess what -- it never ever ever ever ever plays out the way Moretz thinks it would have.

Uhhhh. .  . "With the aid of computer-generated effects" great.  Call George Lucas.

But, there's hope:
The filmmakers focused more on the novel than the original film, with screenwriter and "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark" playwright Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa incorporating additional elements from King's book. 
I kept going back to Stephen King's impetus for writing the book, and that's how damaging isolation can be to people." 

PEIRCE: I'm A Huge Stephen King Fan

photo credit:

Tim Hill has a great interview with Carrie director, Kimberley Peirce. Check it out at  What I really think is reflected in this interview is her passion for Stephen King and Carrie as the source material.  Maybe she should remake The Shining.

I also like it that Peirce clarifies that Carrie's mom is not practicing Christianity.  "She has her own iconography and as Carrie says, she changes things to mean what she wants."  That's pretty  insightful.  It can  be easy to mark an entire faith by the weirdo's who have twisted it up.  Carrie's mom falls in with David Koresh, Joseph Smith and the Westboro Baptist kooks.

My favorite lines (I'm picking and choosing -- read the context and full article at the link!)
  • I’m a huge Stephen King fan. I was a literature student so I read it when I was in college. I re-read it when they came to me to do the movie and I was blown away at what an amazing storyteller Stephen King is. 
  • I also love that it’s a Cinderella story. What does she want? Love and acceptance. When she’s asked to prom she can’t say no and we can’t say no. We’ve fallen in love with this Cinderella story. I think we want to take her to the height of the Cinderalla night and we crave seeing it turn on its head.
  • When I read the book, I see it in my minds eye as this largely entertaining story using superhero powers.
  • The difficult part of my job was figuring out how to put somebody’s face through a window. You can’t put an actor’s face through a window. So what do you do? A) You can put an actor’s face through sugar glass. B) You can put animation through fake glass. C) An actor can fly forward on a green screen. So that scene is a series of a ton of composites and that was really a blast for me.
  • One of my favorite lines in the movie is something that Julianne and I pulled out of the book. She says, “I’ll be the preacher, you be the congregation.” 
There is a LOT in this interview.  How many times did they film the blood droppin' scene and so on.  Of course, that raises a question. . . how effective is a movie where we all already know there is a blood dropping scene?  I hope they've saved some surprises.  She is asked if there will be a sequel, and does not give an answer.  Does that suggest Carrie survives the horror?

Moviefone: Watching De Palma's CARRIE For The First Time

CARRIE, Sissy Spacek, 1976

On the hunt for a review of the upcoming Carrie, I  noticed this link provided to King's website to the original Carrie movie by director Brian De Palma.  Katie Calautti discusses her sisters first viewing of the film and how it pretty much traumatized her.  She also looks at why the story itself holds up.
"it's a movie about a girl getting her period, essentially. I can't believe somebody wrote that! Like, there's more to it, but it essentially started and ended that way -- the reason they poured pig's blood on her is because they were mocking her for what happened when the bathroom scene went down in the first place. It's a central theme in this, and I get that it turns into something much bigger, but it's all predicated on a period, which, to me, is so strange. Why wouldn't you pick something else?"

Why?  I think King wanted to pick something else.  That's why Carrie went in the trash.  But it connects with us; something in the story is strong and speaks up for itself.  That's why Carrie came out of the trash!

Calautti relates that her sister was unaware Carrie was being remade.  In fact, her sister yelled that they would never get away with that today (blowing up as school).  She shared these thoughts  about the upcoming film:
So what are her requests and predictions for Kimberly Pierce's version? "It'll be really interesting to see how Miss Collins changes -- you obviously can't slap a student in the face nowadays," she said. "But if you take a look at Columbine and a number of instances since then, there's a lot of outcasts. I feel like this new film needs to change the dialogue on that, introduce the whole idea that outcasts should be embraced and not chastised. And the prom massacre? Obviously it's a fantastical plot line to have someone stare at a hose and have it telepathically move, but the locking the doors and the starting fires? That reasonably could happen in real life, and I don't see how that won't rub people the wrong way. I wonder if they'll tweak that somehow."

Check out the full article at:

Stepping Into Room 237

Okay, my turn!  I've posted some reviews of the documentary Room 237.  Michele asked me in a discussion about her review if I had seen the movie.  I had not.  Well, lucky me, I found it on Netflix.  Hard to pass up for free.

The movie leaves me dizzy.  Too many opinions all jumbled together.  It doesn't help  that  the movie relies solely on voice recognition for you to try and keep up with which crazy person is talking at the time.  I found myself thinking, "Now is this the moon guy, or the Indian guy?"

Here are my notes:

  • Watching this documentary is more fun after reading The Girl Who Loves Horror review!  Yep, I laughed harder.  And indeed, cans of baking soda with American Indians on the label  do seem to be increasing.
  • Watching this, I can see why Mr. King would want to separate himself from the movie!  Indeed, the movie does not reflect his book.  
  • Conspiracies are fun.  It’s exciting to feel like you’re in-the-know; that you have deeper knowledge of something everyone else just took at a surface level. One guy says, “You have to be a fanatic to find all this.”  Yes.  Or just creative.  Because you’re not finding anything – you’re inventing it.
  • The guy who thinks The Shining is about the genocide of American Indians says, “I thought afterwords, how come I saw this and no one else did.”  I DUNNO!  If you're the only one who sees the pattern in the carpet, maybe it’s not intentionally there.
  • When paranoid people tell us they think the government will audit them because they think Stanley Kubrick created fake moon landing films – it makes them sound paranoid.  

So what do I think?  1. I think these people need to get a job and stop watching The Shining all day.  2. These people think Kubrick way over thought this film.

Here's a few lines from a guy who  thinks The Shining is really about the Holocaust -- Because the typewriter is a German brand.  “That struck me, why a German typewriter.”  And the number 42 is seen throughout the film, because in 1942 the Nazi’s decided to exterminate the Jews.  It is also significant that the typewriter changes color in the film."

I get the feeling each crazy was interviewed individually.  Imagine a convention of these people. what of the typewriter guy met the patterns in the carpet guy and they met the moon faker guy.

Do I like the film?  The short answer is no.  I think it’s funny, and in that sense it’s enjoyable.  But just listening to crazy people read nutso ideas into a film gets tiresome.  My brain is mush having watched this.

Room 237 moves from being funny to boring.  One crazy person is worth a good laugh.  A crazy guy in a story keeps the humor rolling.  Si on Duck Dynasty is fun.  But if everyone in a film is crazy, it leaves the viewer feeling overwhelmed.  I hope Obama Care covers psychiatric care, I know some people who need it.

My preparation: Seminary.
I’m well acquainted with crazy interpretations of seemingly straight forward accounts from taking religion classes at the University and simply hanging around enough seminary students.  Some people do to the Bible what these folk do to The Shining.  In fact, sometimes the History Channel studies the Bible exactly the same way Room 237 studies the Kubrick film!

Crazy stuff I hear. . . (that’s WRONG, do not think I’m endorsing this!) -- It was really aliens who lead the Hebrews through the wilderness; Lazarus was really the apostle Jesus loved, not John ; There is a secret number code embedded in the Bible; 666 is. . . you name it.  It's stuff seminary students or religion majors discuss in the basement of dorms or in the cafe over 30,000 cups of coffee.  Double predestination.  Pretribulation rapture.

My experience with college and seminary students (not teachers) lead me to a simple decision: I would accept symbolism being read into Scripture so long as I believed the author intended to use symbolism.  But I refuse to read symbolism into everything.  When doing exposition, context matters.

This is why I get frustrated with readers who see symbolism in everything King; or in this case, Kubrick.  Of course, these people actually think Kubrick  intended to put all this crazy stuff in  his movie.

Symbolism is a powerful thing for us humans.  We use symbols in the marriage ceremony; in the elements at the Lord's Supper; as a nation in our flags.  But when everything is a symbol, then symbolism is emptied of its strength.  It loses it's bite.  Save symbolism and secret messages for the times when the artiest is actually sending us secret messages.  King does it all the time, but readers look goofy if that's all they see.  The story is lost in the search for deeper meaning.

The suggestion that the carpet had some kind of sexual energy in its swirl patterns is really just a slap at the viewers intelligence.  It's a cool pattern, but I wasn't thinking sex until someone started finding it in the carpet.  But hey, my eleven year old spots monsters in the carpet -- I guess she's right on track to play ball with these people.

Cartoon characters on the door -- the big one being dopey.  But when we see the door again, dopey is gone.  Could it be a symbol that Danny is no longer a dope?  NO!  It's a continuity error.  But I do think dopey is near by.

Too much symbolism can cause you to lose sight of the intended beauty. Does it matter that according to the floor plans there shouldn't be a window in the office?  No!  Because they're not doing a movie where you are supposed to keep up with the floor plan.  Kubrcik was making a movie about a haunted hotel -- and a window opens the scene up!  Frankly, it keeps the viewer from feeling like it's all happening on a set.  Have these people not seen Star Wars?  I'm pretty sure there were few windows in the original Cloud City floor plan, but Lucas added them later because they opened the scene up.  Kubrick has a window in the office for the same reason, because it opens the movie up.  It's good movie making, not symbolism.

So. . .
What is the secret message hidden in The Shining?  Is it about Indian burial grounds?  Is it about the Apollo moon landing?  Should we try and play the movie forward and backward at the same time?

The secret message is: Stanley Kubrick likes messing with crazy people.

The Girl Who Loves Horror Enters Room 237

I loved Michele's review of room 237.  She has no problem laughing her head off at this documentary, and enjoying every moment of it.  And I enjoyed laughing with her.

This is reposted from with permission and big thanks.  Check out her blog, it's cool.

Movie Review: Room 237 (2012)

You know, I love The Shining as much as every other horror movie fan or Stephen King fan or just plain old awesome movie fan. Stanley Kubrick was an oddball genius who created films that many people describe as "perfect." So taking into consideration Kubrick's careful filmmaking and attention to detail, is it possible that he had some much deeper meanings in mind when he created one of the most popular movies of all time?

Juli Kearns's Overlook map
The 2012 documentary Room 237 explores this issue, with interviews with several Shining fans giving their different interpretations and theories into what the movie represents. The interviewees are not seen on camera themselves nor are they given any kind of credentials other than the fact that they've obviously watched The Shining way, way, way, way too many times. Their theories are presented to the audience by way of clips from the film and other footage that sort of pertains to what they are talking about. 

This documentary was... hilarious. What, did you think I was going to say "fascinating" or something? No. If anything, I'll give the movie credit for being one of the best comedies I have seen in a while. Had me laughing the whole time. I've always known that there were some Shining fans out there who took the movie a tad bit too seriously and all, but this was my first time actually listening to them talk about this shit. Wait, I lied - I'd heard the stuff about the Native American genocide metaphor. It was funny to actually see them try to prove it to me. Anyway, though I admire the interviewees obvious dedication and perseverance, not a single one of their theories even slightly convinced me that The Shining is any more than it appears to be.

The conspiracy theorists actually do a good job of showing the "proof" of their ideas, even though they are all things that nobody else would have thought of... ever. They all say things like, "if you go frame by frame," or "you really have to look hard to find this one" when talking about their little Kubrick subliminal messages. I've seen the movie a pretty good number of times, okay? I never paid attention to what was in the background, granted. So here's a question for you - why would such a celebrated directed who obviously loved film put all the so-called "important" stuff in the background of his movie? Where did all this conspiracy shit even come from in the first place? Why can't the brilliance of The Shining just be that it is fucking awesome?

Seriously, the things they bring up about the movie are simply laughable. A baking soda can that is - gasp! - seen twice in the movie? A poster of a skier is really a depiction of a minotaur? The window in Ullman's office is improbable? Okay, yeah, I can kinda see where that one is coming from if I was anal retentive about architecture and spacial relations, but I'M NOT. Every time they mention some hidden message or whatever that looks to an outsider like a simple continuity error, the comment is always implied that Kubrick would never make such a mistake and that it has to mean something deeper. They saw what they wanted to see, and that's it. I'll give them that Kubrick was meticulous but not infallible. Continuity errors can happen to anyone. The world is an imperfect place.

My favorite theory was the one about how Kubrick used The Shining to subliminally tell the world that he staged the Apollo moon landing footage. Now that is just downright silly. It would be cool if it were true but you're really going off the deep end with that one, aren't you, sport? Okay, yes, I've always been a little curious about Danny's Apollo 11 sweater. Thought maybe it was just a 70s/80s thing that I wasn't around for and don't understand. There were lots of weird fashion trends going on then. Anyway, this is certainly the wildest theory to be represented in Room 237 and one that they thankfully did not spend that much time indulging.

In a weird way I liked the thing the one guy presented about watching the filming forwards and backwards at the same time, superimposed over one another. Yes, it does seem like you get some cool images from doing this, but seriously - stop and think about that for a second. Think about how much time and effort would have to be put into the filming and editing of that movie to make that happen like you think it's supposed to. It's damn near impossible. So that theory is definitely out for me.

Bah, if I go on thinking about this stuff anymore, I'll probably start to believe some of it myself. Room 237 is definitely something you all need to check out - whether you think you might agree with these fanatics or just laugh at them like I did. I really hate to be harsh, but it was sooooo difficult for me to even try to take any of this foolishness seriously. Maybe I'm just not as much of a deep thinker as these dudes are.



Stephen King once said that Survivor Type was a story that could not be filmed.  An no wonder!  It's. . . well, it's. . . HAVE YOU READ IT?  Okay, then you understand.

Max Miller at agrees it might be too graphic for film, but it's ripe for a graphic novel treatment.  He's completed 65 pages of a Survivor Type graphic novel.  Miller told me:
A little over a year and a half ago I completed a 65 page graphic novella based off of Stephen King’s short story “Survivor Type,” about a surgeon named Richard Pine who winds up marooned on a little spit of an island with no food and is forced to begin eating his own body to stay alive. It’s a very grisly little piece and it really stood out to me when I first read it, back when I was sixteen.
This is reposted with permission from
And that’s it! There’s an additional 55 extremely gory pages…but copyright being what it is, they’ll remain under lock and key for now.

Carrie Unleashes Total Terror At A NY Coffee Shop. . . Really


Only in New York!  And, this beats anything Candid Camera ever tried.

We can add the name Andrea Morales to  the list of actresses who have played Carrie.  This time it was in a New York Coffee shop as a stunt.

Matt McDaniel at yahoo movies says that"took an army of technicians, actors, stunt performers, and one very amenable coffee shop."

McDaniel  quotes Michael Krivicka"
"We filled the entire coffee shop with extras who were instructed to react as if they were witnessing things for the first time. Our 'targets' were selected customers who would walk in and place their order at the counter." As the unsuspecting patrons waited for their orders, a man and a woman began arguing over a spilled coffee loud enough to draw attention. And that's when things went nuts.
And peoples reaction? . . .
 "People screamed, they ran, and some were simply stunned and frozen - trying to process what they just saw," Krivicka said. "In other words, we basically scared the living hell out of people." Thinkmodo then compiled the best reactions into their viral video montage.

Doctor Sleep Journal #4: I Talked To Stephen King Today

Annie, trying to be scared of a book she never read
The Girl With The Book:

This involves what some might consider whining.  Be assured, it is not whining, it is sulking.

Why is she holding a copy of Doctor Sleep in Walmart?  Let's just say I have to visit Walmart to see a real print edition of this book right now.  I guess part of buying a super-duper copy of Doctor Sleep is the joyful experience of waiting for it.  So, my joy and anticipation increases each day. Waiting.  waiting.  waiting.

What Stephen King Said To Me

One of the  things I  really love about King's writing is that he is not locked into a single, robotic form or style.  He is very free in his narration.  The reader can tell when he feels  light hearted, or when he just wants to scare us somethin' fierce.

In chapter 5 King speaks directly to the reader.  I'm listening to the novel, so it's like he's there -- in my headphones, talking right to me.  Here are a couple of examples (I'm choosing quotes I've heard King publically read)
--How many times have you found yourself behind a lumbering RV, eating exhaust and waiting impatiently for your chance to pass? Creeping along at forty when you could be doing a perfectly legal sixty-five or even seventy? 
--Or maybe you’ve encountered them in the turnpike rest areas, when you stop to stretch your legs and maybe drop a few quarters into one of the vending machines.
King goes on like this for quite a few pages, talking to us about those RV's that seem like such a normal part of America.  It's a shared common experience.

Is this style normal?  I don't think so.  Usually writers feel compelled to be a little more -- serious.  But King has no problem removing the wall between himself and the reader and speaking directly to us.  The narrative tone is conversational, easy going and even kind of gentle.  But don't be fooled!  King is laying a trap for the reader.  He is speaking gently right to us, drawing us in so that he can do crazy stuff to our brains and scare us so bad we scream like little girls.

I like the conversational narration a lot.  It makes it clear that this is not happening in a fantasy world; this isn't mid-world or OZ; This is happening in our world.  Does that matter?  YES!  King is not really telling a story set in in our world.  He is telling a story about vampires and decaying women who come out of your bathtub.  To help you with this -- that doesn't happen in our world! But by speaking to me, suddenly my world feels like it is indeed that world.  I have been drawn in to King's story, and my entire world with it.  Suddenly my world is one where nasty dead bodies could rise up out of the bathtub.  My children are in danger of the True Knot.

Shared experiences are important to this book.  King not only uses things we are familiar with -- RV's -- but events we all experienced together.  Things like the events surrounding 9/11 are given subthemes in the novel, causing the reader to quickly identify.  By the way, it says something for our national healing as 9/11 is now beginning to appear in literature as a fictional theme without people feeling traumatized.  (Yes, I do remember the towers had a role in the Dark Tower)

So what did Stephen King say to me?  (and you, if you'll read it)  He said that RV's might seem like a normal part of American life.  We all experience some of the same frustrations when we get stuck behind them, but we really don't pay them any mind.  However, we  should not be so quick to just think of them as part of the landscape of America.  It is the perfect place for evil to camouflage itself.

Scraps: Stuff That Caught My Eye:
1. Jerusalem's Lot
2. Hello Tony.
3. I like this quote
America is a living body, the highways are its arteries, and the True Knot slips along them like a silent virus.
The True Knot -- Evil or Not?

King is so good at putting us in the mind and body of his characters that he can actually get the reader to identify with some pretty naughty people.  Crazy as it sounds, as the True Knot took "steam" from a young boy, they so perfectly explained their morale that I understood it. They are so incredibly evil!  And they know  they are evil.  But, as they see it, they have to eat.  We don't think much of eating a cow. Well, they just happen to eat. . . steam.

Carrie wants on your iphone

iPhone Screenshot 1

CARRIE – BUCKETS OF BLOOD iPhone App is now live in the App Store!

The description says: "Create your own Carrie prom scene and share your animated GIF with the official free Carrie Buckets of Blood app. Take a series of photos of yourself and share your GIF to tumblr or link to your animated GIF on Facebook and Twitter."

 Download it here:

The Overlook Has A Pet Cemetery?

picture from:
The Stanley Hotel, which inspired Stephen King's novel The Shining and  was  the filming location of the mini-series, has a pet cemetery right next door.  No, I'm not kidding!

The irony isn't lost on the UK publication The Telegraph, which noted, " a stunning irony considering that King also penned the novel Pet Semetary about a burial ground with the power to bring dead animals and children to life."

The article also recounts strange incidents at the Stanley Hotel, including,
Numerous ghouls including the ghost of Lord Dunraven - the original owner of the hotel - have apparently taken up house in room 418 in particular. 
Guests and staff have reported hearing the sounds of children playing in the corridors late at night and of piano music coming from its empty ballroom.
So what do you do if your hotel is haunted?  Move the pet cemetery of course!  Seriously -- that's the plan.  The owners of the hotel plan to dig up the pet cemetery and relocate it.  Nothing like disturbing the graves of local pets when people already think your haunt is, well, haunted.


CARRIE experience her power


Hey Jack, this is proof positive everyone has a Stephen King connection.  I'm watching Duck Dynasty (it makes my family happy, happy, happy) when I start catching Stephen King references.
Most recent is a quote from Willie:
"If it were up to me, I'd just Jase's legs and chain him to his desk to him work.  I'd be like tht weird chick off misery and he'd be the dude in the bed.   But since there are regulations against that now.  . ."
There.  I have nothing else to say.

Wait. . . one more thing.  A Robertson would make a good character in a Stephen King novel.  But it's not Misery.

Seriously, which novel would  be cooler if it had happened in redneck country?  EASY!  The Tommyknockers.  Because those guys digging up an alien spaceship is just a wonderful thought.

Doctor Sleep Journal #3: SHE SHINES

I'm sure there  are spoilers here.  If you are whiny about spoilers, you probably shouldn't read blogs about books you haven't read yet.  Because, it is totally fair for a community of readers to discuss portions of the book as they progress, not just give vague overviews. 
Some short  notes:

1. This is the second book this year in which King tells  the story from a primarily male  perspective.  Both Doctor Sleep and Joyland are about young men finding their way in this world.  Neither is particularly tied down as the novels begin, and each begins to make their own tangled webs of relationships as the novels progress.  Just because each is a young man does not mean their perspective is the same.  Devan Jones sees the world through pretty innocent eyes -- even though the story is being retold by and older Jones.  Dan's point of view is much darker; haunted.  I like them both, but personally identify more deeply with Jones than Torrance.

2. She Shines!  The reader knows as soon as Abra is introduced that she Shines.  Her father describes the families ability to work around her shining as the adjustments the family of a blind child  might make -- but in reverse.  I liked that analogy.

King reveals a connection that the reader picks up  on quicker that the characters in the story.  The good doctor has links to both Dan and Abra.  Might he be the connecting point? The chalkboard scene is reminiscent of scenes from Bag of Bones in which refrigerator magnets moved about.

So what's up with Abra?  As her doctor discusses possibilities of what might be going on with the strange kid, I sense King replaying characters he's introduced us to in the past.  She's not like Carrie, though she can move objects -- she's more powerful than Carrie!  And she's not like John Smith, who knows things -- she's more powerful than John.  So what's up with  her?  The reader knows she Shines.  But she is doing stuff Danny never did.  In fact, things would have unfolded much more decisively in Danny's favor if he shined the way Abra does.

Here is the song referenced concerning Abra as a baby:

3. Realistic family tones: The friction blended with camaraderie for the sake of a beloved child between mother-in-law and son-in-law is both sweet and all so real.  King makes these  scenes work like a master, grasping bits of insight that ring true to the reader.  There is something tender in this love/hate relationship.

4. Back to New England.  The scenes in New Hampshire remind me of the early tone King used in Needful Things.  Of course, both are pretty deep in New England -- but I could swear that for a moment I was back in the beloved Castle Rock.

5. Okay, I've gotta say. . . THE CLOWN CREEPS ME OUT!

They Shine Abra...
They Shine
and when  you're down here with me, YOU SHINE
The clown at the birthday party will give any Stephen King constant reader pause.  Just the presence of a clown in a King book gives the reader a heads up that something is going to happen. 
Clowns, in John’s opinion, were highly overrated. They scared the ---- out of kids under six. Kids over that age merely found them boring.
Well, the doctor proves wrong more than once, and I think his take on clowns is dead wrong.  Kids over six find them plenty scary!  I think we have an almost communal fear of clowns.  After all, if Pennywise didn't put the fear of clowns into you, then Steven Spielberg must have in Poltergeist.  If Spielberg and King didn't do it, how about Joker or John Wayne Gacy.

6. Return Visits To The Overlook.  Memories of the Overlook are intense.  King takes us back to the haunted hotel via Danny's memory -- and that is much more powerful than simply reading The Shining again.  Because when Danny goes back to the overlook in his memory, he is doing it personally, experiencing it again with renewed fear he can't stifle.

Was the hose a hose, or a snake?  In Dan's mind it was a snake, no doubt about it.  But he also knows he was really just a hose.  Dan does not try to rationalize his experience at the overlook, telling himself some garbage about it all having been in his head.  He knows full well the place was very haunted and that the ghosts in the hotel drove his daddy crazy.
Is it a snake or a hose? 
Who can say, my dear Redrum, Redrum my dear? Who can say?
It buzzes at him, and terror jumps up his throat from his rapidly beating heart. Rattlesnakes buzz like that.

7. Haha Mr. Kubrick, the joke is on you!

  Kubrick digs abound!  King rightly insists that the true history of The Overlook comes from his novel The Shining, not the Kubrick movie.  In the current issue of Cemetery Dance (#70), Bev Vincent calls the 1980 Kubrick adaptation "pollution."
Yes, it was room 217,  not room 237.  Dick Hallorann is alive.  And yes, the Overlook is gone,  burned to the  ground after the boiler exploded.  . . . Int he Stephen King universe, Jack Torrance never wrote "all work and no play makes Jack a dull  boy."  There were no creepy twins in the hotel corridors, nor did gouts  of blood erupt from elevators.  Danny's father  never  said, "Here's Jonny."
There are other subtle jabs at Kubrick.  In particular, King insists several times in Doctor Sleep that ghosts are evidence of life after death.  Of course, Kubrick didn't necessarily believe in life after death, and certainly not hell.  Don't tell Dan Torrance that, because he has seen beyond the grave.