“The Shining” Review ✦✦✦✦✧

31 October, 2017

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

Synopsis: Set on curing a severe case of writer’s block, a man agrees to become the winter caretaker for a secluded hotel but upon relocation his family experience a series of terrifying visions while the man develops a murderous rage that drives him mad.

The Shining Review:

An Amityville horror story built on 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 the ultimate breaking point.

Made to feel off-kilter and sinister in ways still avoided in the horror movies of today, “The Shining” scraps the ideal family unit, rejecting the white-picket-fence model of happiness and tainting even the most commonplace of interactions with an underlying sense of evil. There is no beautiful trophy wife or businessman husband to be found here and, like hearing a faint scream in the distance, it soon becomes clear that the seemingly happy family have been flung into an echo chamber of madness where mania overpowers and leads them into living hell.

Adapted to fill an eerily expansive setting, “The Shining” writes mazes into the very fabric of its set design, crafting suspense around every corner yet preserving a sense of mystery, even for fans of the source material. A film so hypnotic that it often feels more fascinating than outwardly disturbing, “The Shining” allows a convenient sense of ambiguity to fill the gaps whenever Kubrick refuses to dig a little deeper, creating a masterpiece of afterthought with many puzzles left unsolved. Although straying greatly from the intentions of Stephen King’s novel, “The Shining” is a true horror classic, capturing Jack Nicholson in his prime and working wonders during the Halloween season.


Review Date
The Shining