“The Shining” Review

12 January, 2017

Year of Release: 1980
Director: Stanley Kubrick
Screenwriters: Stanley Kubrick, Diane Johnson
Director of Photography: John Alcott
Cast: Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall

Synopsis: Set on curing a severe case of writer’s block, a man agrees to become the winter caretaker for a secluded hotel. Upon relocating with his wife and son, the family are haunted by a series of terrifying visions while the caretaker succumbs to his terrifying and murderous rage.

The Shining Review:

An Amityville horror story trapped within the bubblings of a bitter divorce, “The Shining” takes cabin fever to another level as a family of three experience complete isolation within the confines of a haunted hotel. Despite the hotel itself being at the foundation of the story, Stanley Kubrick takes great pleasure in throwing his actors into the meat grinder as he squeezes a maniacal performance out of Jack Nicholson while pushing the quivering Shelley Duvall to complete breaking point.

Made to feel off-kilter and sinister, “The Shining” scraps the ideal family unit, rejecting the white-picket-fence model of happiness and tainting even the most common of interactions with an underlying sense of evil. There is no beautiful blonde wife or businessman husband to be found here and, like hearing a faint scream in the distance, it soon becomes clear that the family have been flung into an echo chamber of madness in which a dark fate awaits them.

Designed around a spacious and expansive setting, twists and turns become inevitable as the suspense around every corner preserves a sense of mystery. “The Shining” is a film so hypnotic that it becomes more fascinating than disturbing as a convenient sense of ambiguity fills in the gaps wherever Kubrick refuses to dig a little deeper. It’s a film that strays greatly from the intentions of the novel, and this is something that writer Stephen King has openly criticised on many occasions, but it’s a horror classic and one that still works wonders on audiences today.



Review Date
The Shining
.the-content .taxonomies { display: none; }