Cert: 15 Runtime: 142 mins Director Stanley Kubrick Cast: Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd and Joe Turkel
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
This is one of those films that everyone has heard about but not really watched, one of Stephen King’s greatest novels was put on the big screen by Stanley Kubrick in 1980. The story is novelist – Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) take a job interview as winter caretaker of the isolated, old, huge and beautiful Overlook Hotel. In the interview, Jack is told by the manager himself, that the previous caretaker – Grady, chopped his family and later killed himself with a shotgun. Ignoring the story, Jack brings his wife – Wendy (Shelley Duvall) and his son Danny (Danny Lloyd). It happens that Danny, has a mysterious power known as “The Shining” that shows him things from the past and future. Some of the visions come from Tony – “the little boy who lives in Danny’s mouth”. Danny meets Hallorann – the hotel cook in their first day arriving at the Overlook, who also has this “Shining” and he warns him about the hotel and the sinister Room 237. As the days go by, Danny has visions of previous guests and employees who died at the hotel years before, meanwhile Jack starts driving into insanity, turning more and more aggressive, at the point that Danny and Wendy gets convinced that Jack might try to do the same thing,
I can’t praise this film long enough! The Shining is, without doubt, one of Stanley Kubrick’s undisputed masterpieces and a true classic in horror cinema. It is a film that, over the course of the years, has managed to scare the living hell out of its audiences (and still does).Right from the beginning, as we contemplate the car going to the hotel from those stunning aerial shots, deeply inside us we know that something in the film, somehow, sometime is going to go wrong. As we obtain that severe warning, an almost inaudible voice gently whispers to us ‘sit tight’, a sense of unexpectedness invades us all, and it is that very same feeling that makes our hair stand on end throughout out the entire movie.The film, unlike many horror-oriented films nowadays, doesn’t only rely on stomach-churning and gory images (which it does contain, anyway) but on the incredibly scary music based on the works of Béla Bartók and on the excellent cinematography (the Steadicam is superbly used, giving us a sense of ever-following evil), as well. The terrifying mood and atmosphere of the film is carefully and masterfully woven by Kubrick, who clearly knows how to really make a horror movie.
Jack Nicholson’s powerful performance as the mad father and husband is as over the top as it is brilliant. Shelley Duvall, who plays the worrying wife who tries to help her son, is also a stand out; she shows a kind of trembling fear in many scenes and is able to display weakness and vulnerability in a very convincing way. Undoubtedly, The Shining is full of memorable moments (the elevator scene or the ‘Heeeeeere’s Johnny’ one-liner for instance) and, simply put, it’s flawlessly brilliant.Stanley Kubrick’s direction is pure excellence, giving the whole film a cold and atmospheric look, thus creating an unbearable sense of paranoia and terror. There are moments of sheer brilliance and exquisite perfection in this film; the horrifying maze chase is a perfect example. Every single shot is masterfully created and there are some genuinely scary scenes which will make you sit on the edge of your seat.
The Shining is, in my opinion, a special landmark in horror cinema which will always be regarded as one of the scariest movies in film history. Overall, The Shining is incomparably one of the scariest film I’ve ever seen in my whole life (and I can tell you I’ve seen a great deal of horror films).It is an unforgettable, chilling, majestic and truly, profoundly scary film crafted by an eccentric genius who wants to show that the impossible can be done. The Shining is a sublime, hauntingly intriguing and endlessly watchable film that shows Kubrick at his best.9.7/10