The Shining (1980)

What happens when you combine the distinguished directing style of Stanley Kubrick and the incomparable acting of Jack Nicholson? You get one of the most poignant and effective horror films of the century. Deeply psychological and utterly brilliant, The Shining sends the viewer to a world where evil reigns over all with a chilling force. Jack Nicholson plays Jack Torrance, a recovering alcoholic who is just trying to make ends meet for his family. Shelley Duvall plays his wife Wendy, a woman who has accepted her husbands past mistakes and is looking to move onto better things for her family. His son Danny, played by Danny Lloyd, possesses a special power that he doesn't quite understand yet. When Jack gets a job as caretaker of The Overlook Hotel for the winter, Danny soon begins to feel that the hotel's walls contain more than just comfy beds and colorful carpeting. After a blizzard strikes and separates the family from the rest of the world, Jack begins to feel the strain of seclusion.
Through the use of frightening images and unforgettable camera work, Kubrick guides us on a paranormal journey that is sure to be cemented in our dreams forever. His use of the tracking shots gives an atmosphere of a creeping evil that is lurking around every corner. When we are in Stanley's world, nowhere is safe. Very few people are capable of capturing sheer terror in such a raw form. Fans of the original novel, written by Stephen King, will probably be quite upset with the director, as his adaptation is very different than the source material.
Jack Nicholson is outstanding as his character slowly slips into the murky depths of insanity. His performance seems all too real as he begins to see people around the hotel that aren't really there. The authenticity of his hatred and malevolence will frighten you to no end, as will his devilish smile that epitomizes evil.
The one problem I had with this film was Shelley Duvall. Granted, her job was mainly just to look scared and act helpless, but she did so in the most irritating way. Her over-acting ruined some scenes that were otherwise great. Luckily, Jack was there to make up for every mistake she made. But I will say one good thing about Duvall. She truly looked terrified as she saw that axe drive it's way through the door. That one image does a very nice job of summing up the overall feeling of the entire movie.
The Shining has proved to be a timeless horror film, as it has now been over 25 years since it's release. In this day and age, films of this genre focus on the blood and gore aspects of horror. It is very refreshing when you are able to watch a scary movie that focuses on the suspense rather than the actual kill. As a matter of fact, there is only ONE on screen killing in the entire film. By today's standards, that is considered very tame. But then again, the majority of horror movies released now suck. (See my review of Halloween). My rating: (10/10)


  1. i can't find the picture i wanted to post here, but this is an awesme review of an awesome movie and you look just like jack nicholson when you smile. =D
    oh, and i love you!

  2. this was by far, one of the scariest movies i have ever seen. your feelings on the movie are exactly the same as mine. especially when nicholson uses the axe to break down the door. just goes to show you that you don't have to be wearing a mask or show up in people's nightmare's to be scary. great job!


Movies given a 10/10

  • Milk
  • In Bruges
  • Slumdog Millionaire
  • The Dark Knight
  • Iron Man
  • No Country For Old Men
  • The Shining
  • A Clockwork Orange