Victor’s review published on Letterboxd:
No, these vaping vampires who live in RV’s, and look like an awkward assortment of Black Eyed Peas members, Toronto vegans and Trump supporters are not scary. Flanagan’s compositions and movements can be pretty good but the film is so disgustingly colour-graded and textured. I wouldn’t compare it to the Shining if it didn’t recreate scenes from the Shining, use digitally created sets of the Shining, the vegan vampires weren’t bumping Gold ballroom bangers, and if the poster wasn’t a combination of the two Shining posters. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Flanagan’s biggest mistake is trying to do his own thing while trying to fit in with Kubrick’s universe. Kubrick’s The Shining established a very specific world, mood, and atmosphere, and Flanagan had the stupidity of explicitly tying this film to that world, while simultaneously totally betraying it’s nature. You cannot tell me that anything about the tones or worlds of these two films are remotely cohesive. But Flanagan INSISTS OVER AND OVER AGAIN that we are in Kubrick’s world. IT JUST LOOKS FUCKING DUMB WHEN WE ARE IN A SPITTING IMAGE OF KUBRICKS OVERLOOK HOTEL WITH A DOLLAR STORE JACK NICHOLSON. ITS STUPID WHEN THESE CARTOONY, LITERALLY WORST VILLAINS I HAVE SEEN IN MY LIFE, ARE COICIDENTALLY LISTENING TO MUSIC FROM THE OVERLOOKS BALLROOM. Real quick, about the villains: wanna make your fedora-wearing Gypsy vampire villains mysterious and scary? Show them grocery shopping, buying beer and toilet paper. It’s incredibly effective! Anyways, yeah the entire film isn’t spent insisting upon Kubrick’s world, but also, like I’ve said before, when Flanagan does his own thing its just such a cringe brand of horror/thriller that I have no idea how anyone could like. I don’t think Flanagan deserves all the blame though. After hearing about the book and how similar this is, I think the source materiel is just a non-starter, at least for something I could see myself enjoying. Not that Flanagan does anything good with the material, looking like an ugly ass netflix original, with awful performances across the board, and super eye-rolling lines that are supposed to sound cool. Yeah, I hate the film. And I love to hate it. It serves as good reassurance that no matter how potentially little I progress as a filmmaker in my life, I will never EVER create something that is this misguided. It’s also absurdly long and boring. FUCK Rebecca Ferguson’s hat.
Rewatched with my girlfriend, as my first watch with Nolan was pretty hilarious and painful in equal measure, and as someone whose read Doctor Sleep and loves The Shining as much as me, I needed to see her reaction to this Netflix original Shining fanfic bungo.