Year of Release1980
DirectorStanley Kubrick
StarringJack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall

This is one of those moments that make being a hopelessly addicted horror fan worth it. There is nothing I can fault with this film. The film is of course an adaptation of genre-leading horror novelist Stephen King’s book “The Shining”. It is IMMACULATELY filmed and executed by legendary director Stanley Kubrick. Kubrick has a knack for creating atmospheres that are suspenseful and virtually “unearthly” (***my description for lack of any other words***). The characters are perfectly cast in this film. My understanding of Kubrick is that he is basically an obsessive tyrannical director who would push his cast to the point of breaking. In this film, it has worked perfectly. You can feel the tension of the characters who in the film are pushed to breaking point (in the film and quite likely reality).


This of course stars Jack Nicholson as Jack Torrence the asshole husband and wannabe writer. Jack Torrence scores a cushy job as a caretaker of a hotel that shuts down over the winter season. The job works well for Jack as it lets him write his novel but also provides a steady paycheck to keep his family going. Mr. Nicholson has carved a niche for himself in cinema history for playing the asshole (the Joker etc…). In this film he does it very well. A little too well in fact.  It’s quite unnerving.

Jack drags his wife and son up to the hotel where they will spend the season virtually hibernating in an awake state for the snow season. Cut off from virtually all other human contacts, they will have to survive in an insular environment till the summer thaw.

The Shining is a hard film to review for fear of ruining surprises for you. But two major things happen. Jack starts to develop a “Cabin Fever” type response to being trapped inside the resort and starts seeing things that aren’t really there. He starts to lose his mind at a rapid rate. Jack’s son who possesses an ability, known as “The Shining” starts to see the atrocities that haunt the house. He realizes that the house is evil and begins to worry that his father will hurt the family.


What follows is an enthralling documentation of Jack Torrence’s descent into dementia. Depending on how deeply you want to analyze the film, it can be seen as an analysis of the human psyche when put under pressure.

All I can do is recommend The Shining wholeheartedly to you. I really hope that you guys get the same reaction that I did out of watching this film.

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