UPDATE (12:08 pm 05.19.17): after making the (accidental) announcement on its travel-agent website on May 2 and then pulling it down (probably after realizing what it had done), Universal has just now finally made it officially official: Stanley Kubrick’s Shining is coming to this year’s Halloween Horror Nights.
Here is our (updated) original post, loaded with details and analysis. Check back soon for even more HHN goodness.
First it was American Horror Story, returning from an extremely popular first year in 2016. Now it’s an even bigger horror name’s turn: Universal has announced that The Shining, Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 magnum opus, will be making its long-awaited arrival at Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights 27.
It’s hard to overstate the ambiance, psychological impact, and historical influence of the film; over the past 37 years, there have been few cinematic experiences like it, whether in horror or a different genre. Working with novelist Diane Johnson and fashioning career-defining performances from Jack Nicholson and Shelley Duvall, Kubrick was able to weave a complex, intellectual, and ambiguous (seriously – try to make sense of the ending) big-screen outing out of Stephen King’s original novel. (The movie is so deliciously enigmatic, in fact, there’s even a full-length documentary, called Room 237, devoted to its various interpretations. It’s currently available on Netflix for all those who want to be fully soaked in The Shining before heading out to this year’s Horror Nights.)
It is precisely this loaded atmosphere that can be realized so well as a haunt – not to mention realizing its many indelible, iconic scenes. According to a previous press release by Universal, guests will “face the Grady Twins and experience Danny Torrance’s blood-soaked premonitions. And it’s ‘all work and no play’ as an axe-wielding Jack Torrance pursues them through a snow-covered hedge maze.” And here’s the description from Charles Gray, one of the writers and show directors of Horror Nights:
We cast the Overlook Hotel as the aggressor and view it as if you have the “shining.” Our goal is to have you constantly doing a double-take and give you that “did I just see that?” feeling.
After watching this movie for the first time, I remember saying, “I would never go into room 237.” So, of course, that’s where we’re going to take you: all the places you shouldn’t go.
You’ll come face-to-face with the murderous, ghostly entities around every corner. And, of course, the best part will be trying to escape the sharpened edge of an axe.
(It should be noted that, despite the film’s many plaudits, it has several huge discrepancies with the source material, which led King to eventually try his own hand at adapting it. A three-part television miniseries was broadcast by ABC in 1997, and it’ll be interesting to see if there will be any callouts or Easter eggs to either this version or the originating novel.)
The Shining will arrive at Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights, which runs for a record-breaking 34 select nights, from Friday, September 15 to Saturday, November 4.
Find out everything you ever wanted to know about HHN – plus more! – in our insider’s guide.