Next up on the October Horror Binge is one of the great horror movies of all time in Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining. The Shining is based on a Steven King book, however, King was not a fan of the adaptation of this film, which is odd considering how amazing the film is. The sequel to this movie/book, Doctor Sleep will be released later this year.
Jack Torrence (Jack Nicholson), a former teacher and current writer, moved his family, wife Wendy (Shelley Duvall) and son Danny (Danny Lloyd), to the Outlook Hotel where they are hired to take care of the hotel during the winter when it was shut down. The isolation and frustration begins to get to Jack as he struggled to write.
Danny has a mental power known as The Shining. Scatman Crothers played the hotel’s chef who reveals to Danny that he too has the gift. However, Danny begins seeing flashes that suggest that there is more to the Outlook Hotel than has been revealed.
The Shining does a masterful job of creating moods. The Outlook is a wonderful setting that not only feels massive and extensive, but also isolating and claustrophobic. One could understand how someone could go mad from the loneliness. Although there are some implications that Jack may not have been the ideal husband/father even before the move to the Outlook.
Jack Nicholson is tremendous as Jack Torrence and his dynamic with Shelley Duvall is creepy. When Jack starts going off-kilter, he is scary as can be. While the ghost tale parts of The Shining are fine, they are meant to give reason for the breakdown. Yet, I do not think I need anything supernatural to explain why Jack flipped out.
There are some truly disturbing imagery in The Shining and the entire “redrum” stuff is what nightmares are made of.
The Shining is frightening and filled with tension. You are never quite sure what is going to happen and that is a great thing. This is one of the best films in the genre.