← Back to Reviews

The Shining

Review #40: The Shining.

Based on Stephen Kingís novel.

Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) takes a job at the Overlook Hotel when everyone has left during the winter closing season. His job involves taking care of the grounds and the inner workings of the hotelís systems, including central heating, maintaining the electrics and basically keeping the hotel in one piece while nobody is there.

Stories about the last caretaker of the hotel murdering his family and then killing himself are ignored by Jack and he takes the job without much hesitation, bringing with him is his wife, Wendy, and their young son, Danny, to the hotel to stay with him over the winter months.
After only a short time the family are snowed in and Jack starts having bad dreams and behaves erratically, scaring Wendy and Danny.

When Danny too starts having nightmares and says there are strange people in the hotel with them, Wendy realises thereís something very wrong with Jack, Danny and the Overlook Hotel and has to fight for her and her sonís life to get away.

Itís another well-made horror movie from me, The Shining is one of the all time greats that shows exactly how to make a horror work.
The movie is exceptionally well put together in terms of writing and scene placement. As too are the sets used for the film, theyíre claustrophobic at times with the long, thin, winding, identical corridors and extremely atmospheric and spooky when the movie extends to other parts of the hotel, including the outside maze in the hotel gardens.

The scenes of horror and violence in the film are also extremely well played by all the actors.

The movie also contains a lot of unanswered questions and leaves the viewer in a mild state of confusion at the end, which makes the movie all the more haunting.

There arenít any special effects per say in the film but occasionally there are spooky flashbacks containing disturbing scenes, which are handled extremely well.

As for the acting, Nicholson is an absolute joy as the twisted Jack Torrance. He made it to #3 in my Top 40 Villains list. Heís edgy, twitchy and Nicholson even manages to get some (albeit satanic) humour out of the character.
Shelley Duvall as Wendy is more of a scream queen in the film. Hats off to Shelley though, she cries pretty much throughout the entire film and handles the quieter scenes with a motherly care, she is at times a little wooden though, which is probably the only bad thing in the film.
Danny Lloyd as the son, Danny, is another marvel. At only 7 years old he really hits the role with the professionalism of much older actors.

All in all a marvel of horror, gore and spooky thrills. An exceptional piece of work from Stanley Kubrick.

My rating 96%