Wednesday, October 30, 2013

31 Days of Halloween: The Shining (1980)

Hello, Bloggers, here is my review of what I feel is the scariest movie ever made: The Shining. To this day, no film has ever terrified me more than this one, and I will simply go into as to why:

                     The Shining is about a family of three: Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson), his wife Wendy (Shelley Duvall) and their child Danny (Danny Lloyd) who has an ability of second sight known as "shining". They go over to look after the isolated and haunted Overlook Hotel for the winter, only for it to take a toll on Jack who slowly descends into madness.

                     What I Liked About It:
                    Now, one reason that I think what makes this movie so terrifying is its isolated location. Just the idea of being trapped in a big and haunted hotel for an entire winter just shutters you. Not only that, but the idea of the monster in the film not being an alien, a goalie mask wearing serial killer who hangs out at summer camp, a vampire, or a zombie or anything like that, but being a member of your own family who slowly starts to turn against you. Although, you're not sure whether the horror comes from the hotel or the character of Jack Torrance himself. Either way, it's terrifying to watch.

                    But, one thing that I really liked was the direction by the late and great Stanley Kubrick. He tends to film long tracking shots that film the actors as they are lead into an unknown place and we are unsure of what awaits them. For example, there are a few scenes where Danny is riding a little bicycle through the hotel and the camera keeps following him and in one of those scenes, as he is riding and the camera keeps following him, there is ominous music playing in the background, and you wonder if something awful will await him, until he runs into the ghosts of the two little girls, thus there is the film's famous "come play with us" scene, and I don't want to give away any more scenes and whatnot because I want those of you who haven't seen it to watch it for yourself. Brilliant direction and may Stanley Kubrick rest in peace.

                    Lastly, I'll get into the acting, in particular Jack Nicholson's iconic performance. He is just astounding as the trouble patriarch who struggles with his demons and slowly descends into madness.  Even in scenes where he is not acting all crazy, you're still a little uneasy watching him, but that's why Nicholson was so good in this role. It should come as no surprise that his performance reached the iconic status that it has as this is without a doubt one of his best performances.

                    What I Didn't Like About It:

                  Overall, The Shining is a masterpiece that is a landmark is horror cinema. It's not only suspenseful, but downright terrifying. I want to all you who haven't seen it to watch it for yourself, so I'm just going to end my review here.

Rating: 5/5