Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Shining

Up next for review is the Stanley Kubrick film The Shining. The film is based off of the Stephen King novel of the same name, and although the film has been widely praised, King himself felt that the movie was not a good adaptation of his novel, and that it was the only adaptation of one of his novels that he could "remember hating". Currently, The Shining ranks number 49 on the Top 250 list, and is regarded as one of the best horror films of all time. But at the time of it's release, The Shining received a mixed reaction at best and received no Academy Award nominations. It did, however receive two Razzie Award nominations, for Worst Actress (Wendy Torrance) and Worst Director (Stanley Kubrick). Here is a synopsis for the movie, courtesy of

"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy" -- or, rather, a homicidal boy in Stanley Kubrick's eerie 1980 adaptation of Stephen King's horror novel. With wife Wendy (Shelley Duvall) and psychic son Danny (Danny Lloyd) in tow, frustrated writer Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) takes a job as the winter caretaker at the opulently ominous, mountain-locked Overlook Hotel so that he can write in peace. Before the Overlook is vacated for the Torrances, the manager (Barry Nelson) informs Jack that a previous caretaker went crazy and slaughtered his family; Jack thinks it's no problem, but Danny's "shining" hints otherwise. Settling into their routine, Danny cruises through the empty corridors on his Big Wheel and plays in the topiary maze with Wendy, while Jack sets up shop in a cavernous lounge with strict orders not to be disturbed. Danny's alter ego, "Tony," however, starts warning of "redrum" as Danny is plagued by more blood-soaked visions of the past, and a blocked Jack starts visiting the hotel bar for a few visions of his own. Frightened by her husband's behavior and Danny's visit to the forbidding Room 237, Wendy soon discovers what Jack has really been doing in his study all day, and what the hotel has done to Jack.

You can view our thoughts and reviews of The Shining in the comments section of this post. Also, feel free to post your own thoughts about The Shining in the comments section.

1 comment:

  1. Well, after watching the Shining, I'm not exactly sure just what the heck happened. I have an opinion on what happened, but I'm not exactly sure. I know Jack Nicholson went crazy and the kid had a gift or something, but most of the other details seemed to be left to interpretation. Nicholson is rather convincing as a man driven to insanity, and few if any actors could have portrayed the character of Jack Torrance the way he did. Also, Shelley Duvall played the role of Wendy Torrance very well, as she perfectly portrayed Wendy's transformation from a doting wife to a woman and sheer terror over her husband and the strange hotel.

    I really thought that The Shining was one haunting film. Kubrick was able to build up suspense with excellent cinematography and a haunting score. Even something as simple as a boy riding a big wheel around a hotel becomes a way to build terror in the audience. However, I kind of have an issue with the plot, as a lot of it doesn't seem to make a lot of sense. I don't want to get into any specifics until everybody else has a chance to watch the movie and express their own opinion, but there were a few parts of the movie that led me scratching my head. Also, although Nicholson did a great job, he sometimes went so over the top that he almost became a comedic character.

    Overall, this was a rather good movie, but I don't know if it will be the best movie of 1980. Since I liked it more than Raging Bull, I'll give it an 8.5 out of 10.