Review: ‘The Shining’, an influential, classic horror movie



Logan Marrow, Staff Writer

“The Shining” is one of those movies that you probably know about, or have at least heard of, even if you haven’t seen it. It definitely deserves its reputation of being a classic due to scary moments, creepy music and memorable performances.

The film follows Jack Torrance, a writer who becomes the winter caretaker at the isolated Overlook Hotel in Colorado. He and his wife, Wendy, and their son, Danny, stay there for the winter. Danny possesses telepathic powers called ‘the shining’, which gives him eerie premonitions and allows him to see the ghosts that haunt the hotel. As Jack’s writing goes nowhere, and Danny’s visions become more disturbing, Jack slowly goes insane, eventually leading to attempts to murder his family.

“The Shining” is a 1980 film directed by Stanley Kubrick, director of  “2001: A Space Odyssey” (1968), “A Clockwork Orange” (1971), and “Full Metal Jacket” (1987). The film stars Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd, and Scatman Crothers. The movie is based on the 1977 novel by the same name, written by Stephen King. Surprisingly, “The Shining” had only a moderate success and was seen as a disappointment by audiences and critics alike, due to it not being considered faithful enough to the book and having over the top performances from the two leads. As the years have gone by, however, it has had a total re-evaluation and is now looked on as a masterpiece and a certified classic. 

Director Stanley Kubrick was notorious for being a perfectionist, he made Shelley Duvall do 127 takes for a single scene. (NME)

I have had a long history with this movie. I saw it when I was about twelve, around the time I was getting into horror movies. I remember constantly asking my dad if I could watch it after seeing it referenced in a Simpsons episode. It definitely creeped me out when I first saw it, but even at a young age, I realized what a good movie it was. It belongs in the category of being a perfect movie, as it’s entertaining, it has great performances, a creepy score and some very memorable and haunting visuals. This movie also has a number of very chilling scenes. Creepy twin girls appearing at the end of an hallway and an elevator opening and a river of blood pouring out are some examples. The pacing is really good throughout the movie. It shows Jack slowly going insane due to his writer’s block, isolation, and the ghosts that are slowly turning him against his family. Even at the beginning of the movie when nothing bad has happened, something feels off. The giant empty hotel is a great setting for a horror movie. I have seen many of Stanley Kubrick’s other films and he isn’t really known for horror; this is the only horror movie he directed, but it happens to be one of the best of all time.   

Overall, I feel it is a perfect horror movie to watch with some friends.