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Forty years on, and it's still outstanding.
Sleepin_Dragon18 October 2020
Kubrick, King and Nicholson, the writing was literally on the wall, and I don't mean RedRum, forty years on, and The Shining is still a masterpiece.

Kubrick takes King's fantastic book, and builds on it, bringing the story to life in his own inimitable way. It's dark, it's bleak, it's terrifying, a masterpiece in storytelling. You watch as the central character's mental collapse is played out in a spine chilling fashion.

Gorgeous camera work, incredible visuals, that opening is iconic. So many incredible, visual moments, the twins, lift, barman etc, no wonder it's been parodied multiple times over the years, famously by The Simpsons.

An iconic role for Jack Nicholson, he is incredible, well supported by a terrific cast.

It's a classic, 10/10.
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A classic horror from a master director
bob the moo29 October 2001
When Jack Torrance (Nicholson) is offered a job as winter caretaker for the Overlook Hotel he accepts it as an opportunity to work on his novel in an isolated environment. He is told stories of the last caretaker going mad and butchering his family but isn't deterred. He arrives at the Overlook Hotel with his wife (Duvall) and child Danny (Lloyd) and is shown around the hotel by the cook (Scatman Crothers) who has the gift of perception. The cook warns Danny that the hotel can be of particular danger for those with the gift. It's only a matter of time before Jack begins to act increasingly erratic.

This is one of Jack Nicholson's finest roles, his increasingly unhinged character is amusing and terrifying in almost equal measures. Duvall plays the role of the terrorised wife quite well - she does look like she's genuinely filled with fear - but doesn't have much else to do. Lloyd is excellent as the boy, although he doesn't have too much emotion to express. However no doubt that this is Jack's show.

The story doesn't stick to King's novel and is better for it; this is Kubrick's Shining. The film has plenty of genuinely scary moments but manages to keep a creepy atmosphere all through - especially as the ghosts come out and Jack begins to move between his reality and the reality that is gradually claiming him.

Kubrick is excellent here, his cold direction adds to the overall creep factor of the film. It's one of the best examples of his masterful touch.

Overall this is an excellent horror movie - because the focus is on horror and fear rather than gore alone (as with modern horrors). Jack is excellent in one of his best roles ever and the whole package is delivered in a cold creepy manner by a sadly lost director.
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The best creepy horror movie involving isolation n eeriness. Also it captured the fear of the unseen in one of the best way.
Fella_shibby18 May 2021
I first saw this in the late 80s on a vhs, then again in the early 2k on a dvd which I own. Revisited the 144 mins director's cut recently as i am anxious to check out Doctor Sleep n the tv version of The Shining.

Everything has already been said about this film n there seems to be little left to say but as a fan of horror movies (especially to do with isolation n eeriness), lemme contribute by praising how good this film is n at the same time why it doesn't deserve a full 10.

The film has solid amount of tension n scare factor.

The vast isolation, the snow capped peaks, the valleys, the mountains, the narrow, winding roads, the snow covered roads, the eerie corridors, they all add to the film's narration.

The start scene wher Jack is driving and the background music, itself gives goosebumps n a sign that something sinister is awaiting.

On a technical level this film is gr8, the music, the visuals, the camera angles, etc all add to it except the lead actor Nicholson.

Nicholson was already well known for playing unstable characters and his character Jack in this film is shown to be a bit wierd from the beginning.

They shud have asked him to potray a normal family loving person in the beginning n later show the gradual transition into madness n possession.

Who wud discuss Donner Party in front of a kid?

Also the way Jack gives an evilish smile when his kid tells about watching cannibalism on tv.

What kinda parent wud approve of that?

Also most of the time Jack's behavior is more laughable.

Even when he is hit on the head by his wife n he falls down, it is a big lol.
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Eeriness surpassed by class
chaos-rampant24 November 2008
Sometimes all good horror needs is a good idea. But sometimes, rarely indeed, a horror masterpiece will reach us by the hand of a Kubrick, with the adept, elusive touch of a great artist to guide the vision, and we know what separates it from all else.

Okay, the story has enough promise that even a hired gun would have to try to fail. Heck, even Stephen King himself didn't fare so bad. It's how Kubrick perceives King's universe however, how he fills the frame with it, that renders THE SHINING a feast for the senses.

Horror that will reach us through the mind and body alike, an assault as it were, tending eventually its pitch to a crescendo, yet curiously not without a delicate lull.

Kubrick's cinema is, as usually, a sight to behold. We get the adventurous camera that prowls through the lavish corridors of the Overlook Hotel like it is some kind of mystic labyrinth rife for exploration, linear tracking shots exposing impeccably decorated interiors in symmetric grandeur. The geometrical approach in how Kubrick perceives space reminds me very much of Japanese directors of some 10 years before. In that what is depicted in the frame, the elements of narrative, is borderline inconsequential to how they all balance and harmonize together.

Certain images stand out in this. The first shot of Jack's typewriter, ominously accompanied by the off-screen thumps of a ball, drums of doom that seem to emanate from the very walls or the typewriter itself, an instrument of doom in itself as is later shown. A red river flowing through the hotel's elevators in a poetry of slow motions. Jack hitting the door with the axe, the camera moving along with him, tracking the action as it happens, as though it's the camera piercing through the door and not the axe. The ultra fast zoom in the kid's face violently thrusting us inside his head before we see the two dead girls from his POV. And of course, the epochal bathroom scene.

Much has been said of Jack Nicholson's obtrusive overacting. His mad is not entirely successful, because, well, he's Jack Nicholson. The guy looks half-mad anyway. Playing mad turns him into an exaggerated caricature of himself. Shelley Duvall on the other hand is one of the most inspired casting choices Kubrick ever made. Coming from a streak of fantastic performances for Robert Altman in the seventies (3 WOMEN, THIEVES LIKE US, NASHVILLE), she brings to her character the right amounts of swanlike fragility and emotional distress. A delicate, detached thing thrown in with the mad.
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A masterpiece of psychological horror
hanniballe1175219 January 2002
Stephen King may have said the master director knew nothing about horror, but that simply is not true. That is a too biased opinion for anyone to go on given that he wrote the book, which Kubrick based his wonderful film ever so loosely on. And at any rate, faithful or not, KUBRICK's Shining-the BEST crafted genre film of the 80's- performs it's duty as a fright flick, and then some.

There are appropriately no words strong enough to convey the haunting beauty of the visuals showcased throughout the movie, from the drive to the Overlook to the final chase in the hedgemaze the movie is a feast for the eyes as it is for the mind. And it IS a feast for the mind as The Shining is as psychological as horror gets, toying relentlessly, and expertly with your emotions and expectations(some could even say SADISTICALLY), throwing something in that's completely out of left field and never, ever letting you catch your breath between the now classic shocks as the movie speeds toward it's memorable conclusion in the last half hour.

Kudos are in order for Kubrick, a director of the old school style, who builds an eerie atmosphere by exercising total control over the filmic environment, manipulating everything down to the tiniest detail to suit the needs of the picture, yet filming with a coldly detatched, objective eye, as though Kubrick were making a documentary about these events. This would account for the dialouge, which-thankfully-is not the typical phoney balloney Hollywood banter (Kubrick detractors/King purists usually bitch about this the most, having been weaned on the phony nature of 'Hollywood talk', which is usually nothing at all like real talk. Many of us speak 'on the nose', and do not try to convey subtext through use of carefully chosen words that articulate our state of being without being direct.) In this light, Shelley Duvall must be commended for her performance which is very naturalistic. It does not seem like acting at all. She is not concerned with glamour, nor does she clutter her performance with typical acting chops, but rather she is solely focussed on hitting the emotional highpoints of her character as 'Wendy' gradually comes to realize that her husband is a madman. And let's face it folks, how many of us would like a million bucks when placed in a situation like that? Who does NOT look like a blubbering idiot when they are hysterical? That's what I thought, so what did you expect? She was great. To say nothing of the rest of the cast.
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I can see why people like it
portraitofaladyonfire6 January 2021
My expectation were to high. I expected a masterpiece, but in the end I found it just mediocre. Dont get me wrong the acting and the camera work are great. Storywise I couldnt really get invested in it. In terms of horror except the twins it wasn't scary at all in my opinion.
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Chiller731 July 2015
Once again, I decided to check out a highly regarded "cinematic masterpiece" and was left kinda disappointed. Scariest movie of all time? No, not really. It wasn't even particularly scary.

Admittedly, a lot of it was well done. The little girls were the best part. They were great. The steadicam shots through the hallways were pretty cool. There was a good sense of "What horrors could be lurking around the corner?" as the camera follows the kid through the halls.

But aside from those things, much of the movie didn't work so well. Jack Nicholson was more hilarious than menacing. Was that intentional? His witty dialogue provided many laughs, but watching him slowly stumbling around holding an axe was hardly what I'd call horror.

The story was completely nonsensical. What was any of that? There's no explanation for almost everything that happens in the movie! Here's where I'll probably get derided by the movie's fans for not "getting it," but I'm convinced this is really a case where the movie-makers themselves had no clue what it all meant. They just threw all this random imagery at us just to confuse us and convince us that it's actually brilliant (because if we can't comprehend any of it, it must be brilliant, right?) but really it just makes zero sense.

I don't get why this is so highly rated.
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neil-47614 January 2008
This is a difficult review to write. You see, I've just posted comments on Ella Enchanted where I comment that, as someone who has never read the book, the film is absolutely fine. But it's difficult for me to approach Stanley Kubrick's The Shining on that basis because, you see, I've read Stephen King's The Shining.

If I do my absolute best to put the book out of my mind, I suppose that the film must be acknowledged as a tolerable horror, with two major flaws - one, it's overlong, and what should be a slow burn loaded with increasing dread becomes simply boring, and two, Jack Nicholson's established screen persona means that there is absolutely no suspense in his development from decent though flawed father/husband to scenery-chewing maniac - the final madness is there from the first frame he appears in.

If you've never read the book and you're a horror fan, then you'll probably enjoy it - no huge surprises, but it ticks most of the boxes. And it looks very good.

But what a missed opportunity! Stanley Kubrick's The Shining is a film about a man who goes mad in a haunted hotel. Stephen King's The Shining is a novel about an evil entity which inhabits a hotel, and which wants to consume a boy's psychic power: the boy is strong enough to resist it, so it works on the weakest link, the father, and gradually erodes everything which made him a good, decent man. Jack's transition from the decent though weak man he starts out as, to the point where the Overlook is in control of his every action, is absolutely central to Stephen King's The Shining, and it could only have worked on screen if Jack was portrayed by an actor who was initially credible as a decent, gentle man. Not Nicholson - I love him, but he was (in my view) a spectacular piece of miscasting for this movie. Picture Dustin Hoffman, Harrison Ford, or someone similar, and how dramatic and shocking their descent to axe-wielding maniachood would have been.The contrast is essential to Stephen King's story: with Nicholson, there was no contrast.

It is also worth commenting that King's The Shining is about a man who loves his family: Kubrick's The Shining is stated, by the screenwriter in one of the DVD documentaries, to be about a man who hates his family. A fairly fundamental difference, yes?

Ah well. "What if"s never got us anywhere. Go and see Stanley Kubrick's The Shining anyway, and enjoy Jack Nicholson chewing scenery. The scenery's pretty good eye candy and, besides, he does it so well.
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Best Horror Film I've Ever Seen
us01286227 August 2000
When this film first came out in 1980, I remember going to see it on opening night. The sheer terror that I experienced in viewing "The Shining" was enough to make me go to bed with the lights turned ON every night for an entire summer. This movie just scared the life out of me, which is what still happens every time I rent the video for a re-watch. I have seen The Shining at least six or seven times, and I still believe it to be simultaneously and paradoxically one of the most frightening and yet funniest films I've ever seen. Frightening because of the extraordinarily effective use of long shots to create feelings of isolation, convex lens shots to enhance surrealism, and meticulously scored music to bring tension levels to virtually unbearable levels. And "funny" because of Jack Nicholson's outrageous and in many cases ad-libbed onscreen antics. It never ceases to amaze me how The Shining is actually two films in one, both a comedy AND a horror flick. Ghostly apparitions of a strikingly menacing nature haunt much of the first half of the film, which gradually evolve into ever more serious physical threats as time progresses. Be that as it may, there is surprisingly little violence given the apparent intensity, but that is little comfort for the feint of heart as much of the terror is more implied than manifest. The Shining is a truly frightening movie that works symbolically on many levels, but is basically about human shortcomings and the way they can be exploited by unconscious forces combined with weakness of will. This film scares the most just by using suggestion to turn your own imagination against you. The Shining is a brilliant cinematic masterpiece, the likes of which have never been seen before or since. Highly, highly recommended. - Paul
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One of the scariest movies ever---8/10
Sfpsycho41528 February 2005
I was never a big fan of horror movies. They usually try cheap tricks to scare their audiences like loud noises and creepy children. They usually lack originality and contain overacting galore. The only horror movie i like was Stir of Echoes with Kevin Bacon. It was well-acted, and had a great story. But it has been joined and maybe even surpassed by Stanley Kubrick's The Shining, quite possibly the scariest movie ever.

The movie follows a writer (Jack Nicholson) and his family who agree to watch over a hotel while it is closed for the winter. There were rumors of the place being haunted and the last resident went crazy and murdered his family. But Jack is convinced it will be OK and he can use the quiet to overcome his writer's block. After months of solitude and silence however, Jack becomes a grumpy and later violent. Is it cabin fever or is there something in the hotel that is driving him mad?

One of the creepiest parts about the movie is the feeling of isolation that Kubrick makes. The hotel is very silent, and the rooms are huge, yet always empty. It is also eerily calm when Jack's son is riding his bike through the barren hallways. Jack Nicholson's performance is also one of his very best, scaring the hell out of me and making me sure to get out once in awhile. My favorite scene is when he is talking to a ghost from inside a walk-in refrigerator.

The Shining is tops for horror movies in my opinion, beating the snot out of crap like the Ring and The Blair Witch Project. It may be a oldie, but is definitely a goodie. 8/10
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The book is better
elliotjeory13 September 2021
Watching this after reading the book I can see why Stephen king was annoyed with it.

Jack Nicholson looked unhinged from the beginning which means there isn't much difference in his decent into madness.

Certain characters from the book are left out, where are the bees? Where are the moving ani mail bushes? The boiler is barely mentioned.

The direction is brilliant and I love the blood down the elevator shaft scene.
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timeless terror
yancyscott19 April 2007
Even though The Shining is over a quarter of a century old, I challenge anyone to not get freaked out by Jack Nicholson's descent into madness. This is a rare example of something so unique that no one has been able to rip it off; instead it has been referenced time and again in pop culture. The twins, the elevator of blood, RedRum, the crazy nonsense "writing"... this should be seen, if for nothing else, to understand all the allusions to it in daily life. The film is simultaneously scary, suspenseful, beautiful, and psychologically intriguing. It has the classic mystery of Hitchcock and the terror of a modern thriller. And it has what horror movies usually lack: a great script.
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Music and psychology
begob13 August 2020
A frustrated writer takes a job as caretaker at a deserted hotel, undisturbed at the news of the location's murderous past, and seals himself up through the bleak winter with his wife and son. But the past never leaves the present ...

Plenty of comprehensive reviews for this masterpiece, so I'll make just two points.

Music makes up about half the effect of a horror movie, but this baby goes even further. Apart from a couple of quiet scenes near the beginning, it never lets up yet never overwhelms. The opening drive through the mountains is full of ominous synth, and the first act is all atonal and unsettling. We switch in preparation for going through the looking glass - Room 237 - when the music becomes orchestral and structured, with multiplying tritones struck in ghastly sequence as Danny first notices the key in the lock. The music returns to atonal, but orchestral this time, as the evil worms its way into the characters. At the climax, we're hit with a satanic choir, and finish off with eerie dance music from the '20s. Add in the sound design, with the wheels on carpet and board, Tony's mutterings, the chilling rhythm of the dialogue in the red toilet and the stairway scenes, and it all works brilliantly.

Second, many say this is a psychological horror, but I disagree. It's clear from the off that Jack Torrance is a man with no centre - a pleaser and a conniver and a bully - so it's a question of when, not if, he loses control, and there's no pyschological progression. I imagine Kubrick would have considered that trite, and preferred instead to use the characters as one of many frames to create the effect of evil, so it becomes a total cinematic horror. Essential that we go through the looking glass, and this is where we get the progression, from the music at the moment Danny passes the room, through the sound effect at Jack's falling into a nightmare, to Wendy's close up on discovering the typed pages, and to the point where she herself experiences the visions, not just Danny and Jack. To finish off, we're literally taken into a frame that confirms this is not some guy going off on one, but a circle of hell.

Stephen King is said to have dismissed this as a travesty of his work, and I guess we're dealing with two very different views of what makes horror. I dunno about the writer, but the film-maker dun made a horror.
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Not so scary incredible film
akdjreview28 December 2021
Horror films are not my cup of tea. But The Shining has gotten me to reconsider this preference. With an incredible performance by Jack Nicholson as Jack Torrance, I might even say it is one of the best I've ever seen. Meanwhile, considering this movie is a horror film, it always keeps you on your toes. While also being a compact story and with few actors making the film more intriguing and heart wrenching.

The Shining is a disturbing film from the 80s. It's not so much scary for the audience, but there's always a creepy feeling luring over you. With Jack Nicholson in the lead role, performing one of the best roles I've seen. Playing a so convincing role It's almost frightening. With so many memorable scenes it's impressive how well the actors performed.

Meanwhile, the storyline during the entire film is disturbing and alluring, it also manages to be beautiful. Director Stanley Kubrick managed to create a masterpiece. With beautiful angels, use of lightning and scenes. I can tell you that there is no error in the creation of this masterpiece.

I highly recommend you watch The Shining. Truly one of the best horror films ever made. And if you don't like horror movies or fear them The Shining is not so frightening.
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Amazing achievement in filmmaking and the art of terror.
FlickJunkie24 July 2001
Chilling, majestic piece of cinematic fright, this film combines all the great elements of an intellectual thriller, with the grand vision of a director who has the instinctual capacity to pace a moody horror flick within the realm of his filmmaking genius that includes an eye for the original shot, an ice-cold soundtrack and an overall sense of dehumanization. This movie cuts through all the typical horror movies like a red-poker through a human eye, as it allows the viewer to not only feel the violence and psychosis of its protagonist, but appreciate the seed from which the derangement stems. One of the scariest things for people to face is the unknown and this film presents its plotting with just that thought in mind. The setting is perfect, in a desolate winter hideaway. The quietness of the moment is a character in itself, as the fermenting aggressor in Jack Torrance's mind wallows in this idle time, and breeds the devil's new playground. I always felt like the presence of evil was dormant in all of our minds, with only the circumstances of the moment, and the reasons given therein, needed to wake its violent ass and pounce over its unsuspecting victims. This film is a perfect example of this very thought.

And it is within this film's subtle touches of the canvas, the clackity-clacks of the young boy's big wheel riding along the empty hallways of the hotel, the labyrinthian garden representing the mind's fine line between sane and insane, Kubrick's purposely transfixed editing inconsistencies, continuity errors and set mis-arrangements, that we discover a world guided by the righteous and tangible, but coaxed away by the powerful and unknown. I have never read the book upon which the film is based, but without that as a comparison point, I am proud to say that this is one of the most terrifying films that I have ever seen. I thought that the runtime of the film could've been cut by a little bit, but then again, I am not one of the most acclaimed directors in the history of film, so maybe I should keep my two-cent criticisms over a superb film, to myself. All in all, this movie captures your attention with its grand form and vision, ropes you in with some terror and eccentric direction, and ties you down and stabs you in the heart with its cold-eyed view of the man's mind gone overboard, creepy atmosphere and the loss of humanity.

Rating: 9/10
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Very Good; But Could Have Been Great
Hitchcoc19 April 2006
I always try hard not to compare media. Unfortunately, I had read the King novel just before seeing the movie. There are plot elements that could have been included that would have made this a much better movie. One of the things is "the shining" itself, the supernatural abilities of the young boy. The character of Dick Halloran (Scatman Crothers) is used up with virtually no effect on the plot. I don't know why King allowed that to happen, because it weakens so badly the chance of the victims to escape. The topiary could have been used to a better advantage as well. The way things are, it is too one sided. That being said, I think the Nicholson role is awesome. This is one of the scariest movies I've ever seen. It has enough shadows and manipulation of the supernatural to really be frightening. I loved when Jack was telling the man who hires him what a great opportunity this was for him to work. He's about as wolfy and sly as he can be. Of course, when he finally gets there, the hotel takes over and he begins to become that wolf. One of the most terrifying moments in all of film is when Shelly Duvall , the wife, picks up all the pages he has typed and they are just gibberish. Kubrick plays with us in grand style. I saw the movie a few years after my first viewing, and because the book was behind me, I enjoyed it a great deal more, even though I knew the events unfolding. Kubrick seldom disappoints and this is no exception.
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Eerie Stanley Kubrick and Stephen King masterpiece!
UniqueParticle18 June 2019
Spiraling madness done best in the most convoluted way! Among Jack Nicholson's best performances, so meticulous and sticks with you like molasses in the brain. The long shots are true art in film and Jack losing his mind is one of my favorite things ever! It shakes you to your core every time, I have seen it at least 6 times; it's always shocking. You can't ask for a better experience, I'm glad bits of The Shining were in Ready Player One and it's getting sort of a sequel!
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Whether you want black comedy or horror, Kubrick delivers it all with this one.
Howlin Wolf1 June 2007
... This isn't the first time Stanley blurred the distinction between genres to such great effect, either. In Dr. Strangelove you had a comedy about a horrific situation, and here the basis is a terrifying scenario which actually yields some very funny moments. Slow-burning madness and attempting to kill one's family isn't hilarious of course, but the dialogue is very knowing ("five months of peace is just what I want... ") and there is a terrific drinking scene which would be riotous if you included just one type of spirit, but is spine-chilling when you factor in the other.

I disagree with those who say that the hotel has a negligible effect on Jack Torrance in the filmed version. The cues Nicholson provides the audience as an actor merely hint at the potential for madness, which is only reinforced when we learn that the head of the family has struggled with alcoholism and is emotionally distant from his wife and son. The environment that he is in, however, then absorbs those personality defects and unleashes them upon his consciousness. In much the same way as buildings are sometimes thought to soak up events that happen there, the hotel feeds on the frailties of a troubled but sane man, and uses his weaknesses against him to eventually take him beyond the point of no return. He may have dormant flaws in his personality before he arrives, but to me the Overlook itself is the trigger that sets them off.

Kubrick's cold and detached approach to directing works splendidly for a chilly horror film, and the unpredictable force of nature that is Jack Nicholson teeters all the time between making you giggle and scaring the wits out of you. When he explodes, you won't be sure how far he can go. Together they made a great team and with a blend of their talents gave us a classic. If you want a great viewing experience, then this is an example that well and truly shines...
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I hate horror, but I love this movie!
benjaminburt16 September 2017
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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9.3/10 - Swelling, Swelling Madness
Shilo_R_A16 December 2021
"I'm sorry to differ with you sir, but *you*...are the caretaker. You've always been the caretaker. I should know, sir. I've *always* been here."

The Shining just became my favorite Kubrick film up to this date, and one of my favorite films in general.

The film (which is based on a Stephen King novel) follows a family who moves into an isolated hotel for the winter (as the caretakers of the hotel for the season). As time goes on, they realize that something's wrong with the hotel. Something is watching, pumping, waiting for blood as the madness starts to crawl in.

I'm telling you guys, that's the first time that I'm totally blown away by a horror film. Everything here is just phenomenal.

The score, for example, is used in a brilliant, precise way to emphasize moments, draw you into the film, give it an eerie feeling, swells as things are getting more and more intense, synchronized with the movement of the characters at time. It's amazing.

Jack Nicholson also blew me away here. His performance may seem a little awkward at first, but don't let that fool you. He delivers every line perfectly, giving life to the father of the family, Jack Torrance.

Talking about precision, it's so insane to think about the amount of things to unpack here. You can totally enjoy this film without diving into the little hints in the cinematography, the motifs, the meaning of it all, but when you do dive in - well, that's what makes this film so great in my opinion. Everything is so dense and layered, in the best way possible. The Shining will send a chill down your spine one way or another, but diving into it really made it much, much better.

I'd recommend specifically to check out Rob Ager's site or videos, he has some brilliant observations about this film.

And also, to be honest, I don't really have any noteable issue with this film. I think that the only thing might be how the pacing is a little weird by the end (cutting between the Overlook to another place), but it's so minor and insignificant that I think I mentioned only to give this film SOME criticism XD

But seriously, this film is amazing. It's a dense, eerie and psychological horror film. And it's a slow, slow burn, but when you feel the heat, the swelling madness, the chill that crawls down your spine again...well. You realize how brilliant it is. I'm giving The Shining a 9.3/10. Do yourself a favor and watch this film, especially if you like horror or psychological films.
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What a disappointment
Oeuvre_Klika3 May 2019
I had heard so much about how brilliant this movie was. I finally watched it and I hated it.

I give it 4 stars and not 1 because I thought it was filmed beautifully and the three leads gave great performances.

But now here's what I didn't like.

My main criticism is that this movie does not make sense. The story is incoherent and incomprehensible. There are visuals that look like symbolism, but are not related to anything. It looks like a movie that was supposed to be twice as long and was heavily cut, losing its meaning in the process. Maybe that's what happened?

Another thing that annoyed me, especially in the first part of the movie, is the editing. Why so many dissolves? It was seriously making me dizzy. Also, the editing of all the dialogue scenes at the beginning, which are already very slow, got on my nerves. This unchanging alternance of reverse shots was making me crazy. In fact, I even wondered if all of this was a conscious choice to unsettle the viewer. But I was mainly annoyed.

Last, but not least, this movie isn't scary! Why did I wait all these years to watch it, for fear of being traumatized? Sure there were very good jump scares. But making me jump is not the same as scaring me. Some of the "scary" visuals, as I already complained earlier, were so unrelated to anything that they made me laugh rather than scaring me. And I didn't feel any tension because nothing in the story made sense to me. It was all disjointed and weird.
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A major disappointment.
Chromium_512 September 2004
This has got to be the most overrated movie in the history of film. I just watched it for the first time, expecting the best of the best, and it was quite a letdown. The sets and music are great, of course, but Kubrick seems to have forgotten one very important thing: to make a horror movie horrifying, you have to have likable characters. That way, when bad things start happening, the audience feels for them.

What we have here, however, is a documentary on the most dysfunctional family in the world. Isn't this supposed to be about a loving husband and father who goes insane? Jack Nicholson is brilliant at portraying total insanity, but there's no gradual shift into at all. He looks like he's about to snap from scene one. His wife is a whimpering, nervous wreck who does not seem to trust him at any point throughout the movie. And the kid, Danny, is just a weird little nut. Who can identify with these people?

Another major problem is that there is no clear storyline here. The whole first half of the movie is about the kid's psychic abilities, and then it does a total switch and focuses on Jack Nicholson being crazy. What was the point of spending all that time on Danny? It seems like it is foreshadowing something, but it never amounts to anything. I guess Danny is the first one to see ghosts in the house, but that is not a big enough plot point to spend the entire first half of the movie on.

Other than some incredibly creepy music and sets, there is nothing really scary in this movie. It is fun to see Jack Nicholson ham it up, of course, but there is no scariness involved when you spend the entire movie waiting listlessly for him to pick up an ax, rather than being shocked when he goes from lovable to psychotic. Instead, he goes from obviously-wanting-to-release-a-ton-of-built-up-aggression to psychotic, which is extremely inferior.

6/10 stars, and that is being generous.
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Jack Torrance Meets David Bowman
Jimm7y18 February 1999
What can I say about the scariest movie I have ever seen that has not already been said by others more articulate than yours truly? Do not view this film expecting to see a screen version of the Stephen King novel. Rather, this is a Stanley Kubrick film, and to fully appreciate it one should judge it within the context of Kubrick's entire body of work as a serious filmmaker. Thematically, THE SHINING relates most closely to 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY, though flourishes of PATHS OF GLORY, A CLOCKWORK ORANGE and BARRY LYNDON do manage to figure prominently in the film's overall technique.

In a nutshell (no pun intended), Jack Nicholson and Shelly Duvall co-star with Oregon's Timberline Lodge - enlisted to portray the exterior of the Overlook Hotel - in a story that appears on the surface to be about ghosts and insanity, but deals with issues of child abuse, immortality and duality.

What the film might lack initially in terms of coherence is more than made up for in technique. Garrett Brown (the male voice in those old Molson Golden commercials), inventor of the Steadicam, chases young Danny Lloyd through hotel corridors and an amazing snow maze, providing magic-carpet-ride fluidity to scenes that ten years earlier would have been impossible to accomplish. If the film starts off too slow, remember who the director is. This man likes to take his time, and the results are well worth it: incredible aerial shots of the Overlook Hotel; horrific Diane Arbus-inspired twins staring directly at us; portentous room 237 and its treasure trove of terrible secrets; elevators that gush rivers of blood in slow-motion; Jack Torrance's immortality found via the hotel (akin to David Bowman's journey through the Space Gate); and some of the best use of pre-existing music ever assembled for a motion picture.

It would take a book to examine and defend the film's strong points and drawbacks. If you've never seen it, you owe it to yourself to watch it alone with the lights off, with no interruptions, and make sure that it's raining. This is a cinematic experience that changed my life at the age of 14. Makes a great double feature with Robert Wise's 1963 thriller THE HAUNTING.
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It's a Classic
baileycrawly4 December 2019
I'm a huge Stephen King fan, first and foremost. I've been reading his books for most of my life now, and I have very fond memories of the time I spent reading most of his books. Except The Shining. The Shining, although far from being one of his longer works, was so full of unnecessary fluff that I had an extremely difficult time getting through it at all.

Kubrick took the novel's best points, added some of his own trademark storytelling flare and made a product that, while vastly different than the book, is a product that still very much satisfies horror fans around the world. And, as a Stephen King fan, I wholeheartedly approve of the changes that Kubrick made to the work.

This film, unlike its novel, is a true psychological thriller. It's an examination into the gradual mental deterioration of an individual stuck in an isolated area with only his wife and kid to keep him company... or so it appears at first glance. There was a lot of tension behind the scenes, particularly between Shelley Duvall (Wendy Torrence) and Stanley Kubrick, but every bit of hard work and anguish that went into the project wielded one of horror's all-time greatest films that will be watched, enjoyed and studied years into the future. And, in true Kubrick style, there are always some questions left unanswered. It's not for the purpose of setting up a sequel; it's done because i truly believe Stanley wanted his audiences to be thinking all the time. This movie is a major success in that department as well.
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King Shining
kosmasp23 November 2019
I have not yet watched the TV version of the Shining. You know the one Stephen King actually likes and prefers to Kubricks version of his novel. But I cannot imagine it being better than this one. And while I have not read the book King wrote (and therefor cannot tell you the differences of how you should feel about King not liking it), I do like this movie very much.

Saying there is attention to detail would be one major understatement. There is a documentary who interprets all the details of the film and goes quite far out at times, but more on that elsewhere. The movie at hand has powerhouse performances. Watching some behind the scenes footage, gives you quite the feeling of what went on.

Some may have had issues with the way Kubrick went on to do things, the amount of takes he demanded, the way he behaved allegedly and much more. But the results on the screen speak for themselves. You may not like horror movies and yet still find something here. You also may like horror movies and think this isn't a horror movie at all. It's not easy, but he knows what he's doing and he plays the viewer like a fidel - relax and let it happen
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