The Shining (1980)

R   |    |  Drama, Horror


The Shining (1980) Poster

A family heads to an isolated hotel for the winter where an evil spiritual presence influences the father into violence, while his psychic son sees horrific forebodings from both past and future.

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  • Shelley Duvall in The Shining (1980)
  • Jack Nicholson in The Shining (1980)
  • Jack Nicholson in The Shining (1980)
  • Jack Nicholson in The Shining (1980)
  • Stanley Kubrick and Shelley Duvall in The Shining (1980)
  • Stanley Kubrick and Jack Nicholson in The Shining (1980)

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User Reviews


29 June 2003 | unbreakablepabs
A truly brilliant and scary film from Stanley Kubrick.
I can't praise this film long enough!

The Shining is, without doubt, one of Stanley Kubrick's undisputed masterpieces and a true classic in horror cinema. It is a film that, over the course of the years, has managed to scare the living hell out of its audiences (and still does). The film is an adaptation of Stepehen King's original novel, written in the late '70s, and although the film is not very loyal to the book, it still stands as a thing of its own.

Right from the beginning, as we contemplate the car going to the hotel from those stunning aerial shots, deeply inside us we know that something in the film, somehow, sometime is going to go wrong. As we obtain that severe warning, an almost inaudible voice gently whispers to us 'sit tight', a sense of unexpectedness invades us all, and it is that very same feeling that makes our hair stand on end throughout out the entire movie.



The plot is simple: Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) becomes the caretaker of the Overlook Hotel in up in the secluded mountains of Colorado. Jack, being a family man, takes his wife (Shelley Duvall) and son (Danny Lloyd) to the hotel to keep him company throughout the long, isolated nights. During their stay, strange things occur when Jack's son Danny sees gruesome images powered by a force called 'the shining' and Jack is heavily affected by this. Along with writer's block and the demons of the hotel haunting him, Jack has a complete mental breakdown and the situation takes a sinister turn for the worse.

The film, unlike many horror-oriented films nowadays, doesn't only rely on stomach-churning and gory images (which it does contain, anyway) but on the incredibly scary music based on the works of Béla Bartók and on the excellent cinematography (the Steadicam is superbly used, giving us a sense of ever-following evil), as well. The terrifying mood and atmosphere of the film is carefully and masterfully woven by Kubrick, who clearly knows how to really make a horror movie.

Jack Nicholson's powerful performance as the mad father and husband is as over the top as it is brilliant. Shelley Duvall, who plays the worrying wife who tries to help her son, is also a stand out; she shows a kind of trembling fear in many scenes and is able to display weakness and vulnerability in a very convincing way. Undoubtedly, The Shining is full of memorable moments (the elevator scene or the 'Heeeeeere's Johnny' one-liner for instance) and, simply put, it's flawlessly brilliant.

Stanley Kubrick's direction is pure excellence, giving the whole film a cold and atmospheric look, thus creating an unbearable sense of paranoia and terror. There are moments of sheer brilliance and exquisite perfection in this film; the horrifying maze chase is a perfect example. Every single shot is masterfully created and there are some genuinely scary scenes which will make you sit on the edge of your seat.

The Shining is, in my opinion, a special landmark in horror cinema which will always be regarded as one of the scariest movies in film history. Since I saw it last year, when I was 13, I have rarely been able to have a bath in my bathtub.Just in case, ya know. Overall, The Shining is incomparably the scariest film I've ever seen in my whole life (and I can tell you I've seen a great deal of horror films).

It is an unforgettable, chilling, majestic and truly, profoundly scary film crafted by an eccentric genius who wants to show that the impossible can be done. The Shining is a sublime, hauntingly intriguing and endlessly watchable film that shows Kubrick at his best.

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jack Nicholson was Stanley Kubrick's first choice for the role of Jack Torrance.


Quotes

Jack Torrance: Hi, I've got an appointment with Mr. Ullman. My name is Jack Torrance.


Goofs

At the bar when Jack is asking for a Bourbon on the rocks the bartender is clearly seen pouring from a bottle of Jack Daniels. JD is a whiskey, not a Bourbon.


Crazy Credits

After the 146 minute version of the film was met with poor reviews and weak box office in the US, Stanley Kubrick re-edited the film for European release, removing 24 minutes of footage. Included in the removed footage were the entire performances of Anne Jackson as the Doctor and Tony Burton as Larry. However, both Jackson and Burton's names were still listed in the opening credits despite them no longer appearing in the film.


Alternate Versions

Three days after the release of the film, Stanley Kubrick and Warner Bros. ordered all projectionists to cut about 2 minutes from the end of the film, and send the footage back to the studio. Starting after the closeup of frozen Jack, the camera goes to a pullback shot with part of a state trooper's car and the legs of troopers walking around in the foreground. We then cut to the hotel manager Stuart Ullman (Barry Nelson) walking down a hospital hallway to the nurse's station to inquire about Danny and Wendy. He's told they're both doing well and proceeds to Wendy's room. After some gentle conversation, he tells Wendy that searchers have been unable to locate any evidence of the apparitions she saw. Additionally, Jack's body cannot be located. We then cut to the camera silently roaming the halls of the Overlook Hotel for about a minute until it comes up to the wall with the photographs, where it [back to the ending as it is now known] fades in on the photo of Jack in the 1921 picture.


Soundtracks

Kanon for 52 String Orchestra and Tape
(uncredited)
Music by
Krzysztof Penderecki

Storyline

Plot Summary


Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Genres

Drama | Horror

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