The Scary Twins from The Shining Thought the Made-for-TV Remake Was 'Crap'

Image: Warner Bros.
Image: Warner Bros.

Their screen time in The Shining is quite brief, but the ghostly Grady twins instantly became one of the 1980 movie’s most iconic images. Former child actors Lisa and Leslie Burns are forever (and ever) linked with the classic Stanley Kubrick film, and they don’t seem to mind one bit.

In a new interview with journalist Jamie Stangroom, the sisters dish on their experiences working with Kubrick and Jack Nicholson on one of the greatest horror movies ever made. They also have some very specific (and hilarious) feelings about the 1997 TV miniseries, famously scripted by source-material novelist Stephen King as a response to his dislike of Kubrick’s version. The twins are delightful and the only thing I don’t like about this interview is how short it is.


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Kirth Gersen

How bad the TV version is not only because of King writing the script, or how awful the production was or how bad the acting was, is all because of his desperation in creating an adaptation that somehow made more justice to the Jack Torrance character.

The problem King had with Kubrick’s adaptation is how crazy Nicholson appears, there is no real descent into madness, is more like going from controlling/psychotic into fully deranged/murderous.

I still remember little Danny asking his daddy “are we there yet?” and Nicholson twisting his head while driving, eyes fully glaring saying “son I already told I don’t want you to keep asking that”. Back then I thought “damn! he is not even at the Overlook yet and he is already half scary!”.

Lets not even go into the fact that in Kubrick’s version there isn’t any final redemption for him, he is just terrible right til the end.

The importance in this character resides in that Torrance IS King, his descent into madness a reflection of his own descent into alcoholism while trying to make a living for his family and fighting his inner demons, that is why this character is so close to his heart.

That of course does not eases the palate into liking the TV version at all.