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The image of Jack Nicholson sticking his grinning head through a smashed bathroom door remains frozen in time, the iconic still not just of Nicholson’s career, but also, arguably, of the horror genre. The Shining has since sired a library’s worth of cultural progeny. Without its reappearing creepy-as-hell dead twins, would we have The Sixth Sense? (Possibly not.) Without young Danny Torrance’s strange psychic abilities, would we have Bart Simpson’s “shinning”? (Can’t really imagine we would.) Without “redrum,” would we have Redman? (Almost certainly.) So maybe an apeshit Nicholson didn’t inspire every cultural phenomenon of the last three decades, but he blows just about every other Stephen King character–with a Shawshank exception–out of the water.
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