Essays · Movies

In the Overlook, Everything is Fine: ‘The Shining’ as Directed by David Lynch

By  · Published on March 14th, 2017

Don’t think one of the scariest movies ever can get any scarier? You’re wrong.

Question: what’s scarier than riding your big wheel through an empty hotel, turning the corner, and finding yourself face to face with twin little girls dressed in matching baby-blue dresses, and oh yeah, they’re dead?

Answer: riding your big wheel through an empty hotel, turning the corner, and finding yourself face to face with a full-grown, malformed-cheeked woman who looks way to happy to see you and can’t stop singing, “In Heaven, everything is fine.”

This hypothetical scenario comes from Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, of course, and in the question portion, I’m sticking with the original, little Danny Torrance bumping into the Grady Twins. In the second, however, you might have picked up that the figure described is the infamous Lady in the Radiator from David Lynch’s Eraserhead. Now how, you might be wondering, did I get Lynch’s chocolate in Kubrick’s peanut butter?

I didn’t, that accomplishment belongs to master editor Richard Vezina, who has created the short video Blue Shining which posits with unsettling accuracy what the horror classic would have looked like if Lynch had been at the helm. I’ve scoured the internet, and I can’t find any suggestion that Lynch was ever up for the gig – in 1980 while Kubrick was shooting, Lynch was embroiled in The Elephant Man – but a couple minutes from now you’re going to really wish he’d gotten the job.

When Lynch has done horror, it’s been off-center like Lost Highway or Mulholland Drive, horror you can tell is horror until it’s over, and even then it isn’t the first designation that comes to mind. This video, though, gives you a sense of how the director might have tackled a head-on scarefest like The Shining, and I’m willing to bet Stephen King would have preferred the suppositions made here over the reality of Kubrick’s production, which he infamously loathes.

This happens a lot, by the way, people wondering what certain films would look like if directed by David Lynch. Just a few weeks ago we ran one featuring La La Land, and in the past we featured this take on Return of the Jedi, which Lynch was actually asked to shoot but passed on to make Dune. While those were (admirable) stretches, this one feels so viable you might actually believe it’s real. Or at least terrifyingly surreal.

For bonus fun, try to catch all the Lynchian Easter Eggs sewn into the video, there are tons of them.

Related Topics: ,

Novelist, Screenwriter, Video Essayist