The Shining is, Without a Doubt, One of the Scariest Movies of All Time
The concept of family security is shattered in The Shining when dear ole Dad becomes the deadly attacker.
Stanley Kubrick, the director of the film adaptation of the Stephen King novel The Shining, has a long history of powerful and impactful movies. Lolita, the Kubrick film from 1962, began the string of well-known cinematic power that continued with Dr. Strangelove (1964), 2001: A space Odyssey (1968) and Clockwork Orange (1971).
Kubrick directed, produced and wrote the screenplay (with co-writer Diane Johnson) for The Shining, and so this film demonstrates the strength of his ability to create and communicate disturbing, horrifying images.
The Shining begins when Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) accepts a seasonal job as caretaker at a mountain resort. With family in tow (Shelley Duvall and Danny Lloyd) he heads to the mountain paradise looking forward to having peace and quiet to finish his novel and bond with his wife and child.
Trouble is, when the snow hits the mountainous region of the resort there is no communication possible with the rest of the world. Roads are snowed in, phone lines are down, and a simple ham radio is the only touch point with civilization. The isolation of this environment had caused a lesser man to crack and turn homicidal on his brood years ago…and the spirit of this unstable man has his sights set on leading dear old Jack down the same path…
Jack Nicholson absolutely makes this movie. If there ever was a man that can believably play “crazy”, it’s Nicholson. Shelley Duvall (Olive Oyl???) does an equally superb job as the mousy wife Wendy (i seriously dont get why everyone hates her lol). And then there’s Danny (Danny Lloyd). Danny plays the only son of Wendy and Jack Torrance, and provides the creep-factor necessary to elevate The Shining to a status reserved for horror movie legends.
Danny has a gift called the "shining" where he can see the future, read minds, and see dead people (insert joke here). Both parents are worried, but are told its no big deal by a doctor before they leave. He has an imaginary friend that has a tendency to take over Danny’s body and spout out creepy quips (REDRUM!! REDRUM!!!) that punctuate the film’s explosive moments and lead to a showdown between father and son where only one can survive.
The camera work was fantastic, I specifically love the shots where the camera follows Danny around the house on his like bike from behind him. The lighting was fantastic, it gave the utter feeling of silence and emptiness.
It is evident throughout the flick that Krubrik really had a golden ear. It is the most terrifying soundtrack that someone could ask for. From the trailer (chilling) to the final scenes of the movie, it really captures the emotions that Krubrik wishes us to feel.
Memorable scenes include: river of blood, "Heres Johnny", "REDRUM" creepy twins, young lady-old lady scene, typewriter scene and the weird dog suit scene.
The unique thing about this movie is that it tries not to explain anything at all. No really...it is up to the viewers to guess what really happened and why. (unless you read the book)
The Shining is the story of a man slowly going insane, with murderous results. The slow build of tension, suspense and doubt will grab hold of you the viewer and will not let you take a breath until the final, dramatic moments of the movie. We as viewers of this classic are played like a violin – and we love every minute of it.