Haunted by a persistent writer's block, the aspiring author and recovering alcoholic, Jack Torrance, drags his wife, Wendy, and his gifted son, Danny, up snow-capped Colorado's secluded Overlook Hotel after taking up a job as an off-season caretaker. As the cavernous hotel shuts down for the season, the manager gives Jack a grand tour, and the facility's chef, the ageing Mr Hallorann, has a fascinating chat with Danny about a rare psychic gift called "The Shining", making sure to warn him about the hotel's abandoned rooms, and, in particular, the off-limits Room 237. However, instead of overcoming the dismal creative rut, little by little, Jack starts losing his mind, trapped in an unforgiving environment of seemingly endless snowstorms, and a gargantuan silent prison riddled with strange occurrences and eerie visions. Now, the incessant voices inside Jack's head demand sacrifice. Is Jack capable of murder?Written by
The "Making-of" documentary shot by Vivian Kubrick shows that the hedge maze set, while nowhere nearly as large as the maze in the film (which was mostly a matte painting), was still large and complex enough to require a detailed map. In the commentary for her documentary, she notes that many crew members really got lost in the maze, dryly noting that it now reminds her of the lost backstage scene in This Is Spinal Tap (1984). See more »
As Jack is talking to Mr. Grady in the men's room, and Grady puts down the tray, it moves from between the second and third tap to between the third and fourth tap and back again several times during their conversation. See more »
Hi, I've got an appointment with Mr. Ullman. My name is Jack Torrance.
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THE END appears as the closing credits have finished. See more »
Early releases featured end credits in the same blue as in the opening titles, instead of the white credits seen today. See more »
The Shining is a masterclass in film-making and a staple of popular culture. I, personally, cannot stand horror films. I don't like to feel scared, and I don't like to have my emotions manipulated by scary monsters, scary music, scary lighting, etc. I feel like horror is an easy genre - it's easy to scare some people, and people go to movies hoping to feel something, so why not fear?
But, I had heard a lot about The Shining. I decided I would look up the plot and watch some clips so I wouldn't be caught off-guard by anything, and I could just appreciate the characters, directing, cinematography, etc.
Despite knowing everything that would happen, the film was unbelievably engaging. I couldn't take my eyes off the screen. Jack Nicholson, of course, steals the show with one of the most iconic performances ever, and the other actors were decent, but the real star was Kubrick himself. Every shot, every set, the sound design, and everything has his fingerprints all over it, and it is such a delight to watch. When Jack advances up the stairs demanding the bat from Shelley Duval, I grinned from ear to ear because everything in that moment was just perfect in film.
The movie, like all others, has problems. In my opinion, the Grady girls and the bloody elevator do not hold up. I knew they were coming from the summaries I had read, so I knew what to expect, so the only reason I could see them as being scary or unsettling is if the viewer was caught off-guard. If you're pretty feminist, you're not going to like Shelley Duval's character, as she is a pretty weak character.
All in all, this film is fantastically-made, a cinematic and acting delight, and a gripping horror film that is considered a classic for a reason.
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