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The Shining gets squeezed
By TOM MEEK  |  June 27, 2007
2.5 2.5 Stars

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If you know your Stephen King, then you know haunted hotels have killer pasts. In this adaptation of a King short story, The Shining gets squeezed into the “evil” room of the title in a posh New York hotel — just a notch below the Waldorf Astoria — where some 50 people have perished. You’d think they’d retire the room key, but then Mike Enslin (John Cusack), a skeptical writer who pens tour guides about such spooky locales, wouldn’t get a chance to check in. All looks normal at first, but once the door shuts, creaks become cracks, the temperature swings to deadly extremes, and when Mike is able to get out, he’s — in a nice Kafka twist — always back in. A tragedy in Mike’s recent past, his loss of faith, his hubris, and — most terrifyingly — the Carpenters’ “We’ve Only Just Begun” elevate the madness. Cusack’s gritty, near over-the-top performance goes a long way, as does the subtle slow burn from director Mikael Håfström, but Samuel L. Jackson needed to be nudged awake as the hotel manager.
Related: Interview: John Cusack sounds off on War, Inc., Portland scene report, March 3, 2006, King’s Tower series spawns another, More more >
  Topics: Reviews , Samuel L. Jackson, Stephen King, John Cusack,  More more >
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