Movie Review: The Shining (1980)

shining

Stephen King is an interesting author. His bibliography is such a mixed bag of genres and stories that it’s incredible. Now to be honest, the only books by King I have read are his “Dark Tower” books, so I don’t know much about his writing (Sidenote: The “Dark Tower” books are fucking amazing, go read them). I am however interested in what he has to offer. So let’s review a movie that is based on one of his books, but apparently deviates a lot from it.

Ladies and gentlemen… “The Shining”.

In “The Shining” we follow writer Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) who moves into a hotel with his wife Wendy (Shelley Duvall) and his son Danny (Danny Lloyd) over the winter to get some quiet solitude/inspiration for his writing. But things aren’t as normal as they may seem. Something is strange about this hotel, something that makes Jack lose his mind and begin both verbally and physically attack his family. And I will not say more about the plot because of how excellent it is and it is rather easy to get into spoilers. But what I can say is that the plot of the movie is very well-written, incredibly suspenseful and it messes with your mind at any point it can. The amount of twists and mind-bending plot-points really work for the movie and they all make you doubt your own sanity.

The characters in this movie are pretty interesting. Sure, they are all messed up in some way, but they are at least interesting. Let me also explain why they are all messed up. Jack lost his mind and became violent (he has also hurt his son once), Danny seems to have some strange ability and/or psychological issue. And Wendy is messed up because she is played by Shelley Duvall who looks like she was left in the washing machine for too long. I know, that was mean, but you know it’s true!

This movie uses an interesting mix of songs for it’s soundtrack. It uses both a few original tracks by Wendy Carlos & Rachel Elkind. Then we have a lot of “classic” tracks by a few composers whose names I will not write out here, go search for them. Anyway, all of the tracks used in the movie are great and really help set the creepy and often disturbing mood that the movie has.

This movie was directed by Stanley Kubrick (R.I.P) and it is gorgeous to look at. The shots are some of the best I have ever seen. Sure, “A Clockwork Orange” looked great too, but this movie is just pure eye-candy. I especially love the scenes where the camera continuously follows Danny on his little Tricycle, those scenes are just amazing to look at. They are also pretty impressive considering this movie came out in 1980. But I guess Kubrick was just ahead of his time. This is also one of the few movies that has legitimately scared me… yeah. You see, I don’t easily get scared. Mostly because I don’t consider jumpscares actual scares. I have also not really found any movie that scares me. The only really scary movie I had seen before this was “Requiem For A Dream” and that isn’t even a horror movie.

This movie has been very well-received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 92% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 61/100. Roger Ebert gave the movie 4/4 stars and added it to his “Great Movies” list. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,5/10 and is ranked #58 on the “Top 250” list.

“The Shining” is one of the few horror movies I actually have enjoyed (and gotten scared by). It has an excellent story, great performances, tense and atmospheric music and some of the most fantastic direction I have ever seen. Time for my final score.  JEFF! WHERE ARE YOU!? *Breaks door*. HEEEERE’S JOHNNY! But seriously, give me the fucking envelope so we can be done with this. Thank you. My final score for “The Shining” is a 9,88/10. IT definitely deserves the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”
Seal of Approval

“The Shining” is now reviewed.

I’m not gonna hurt you, I’m just gonna bash your brains in!

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One thought on “Movie Review: The Shining (1980)

  1. Pingback: The Month of Spooks | TheMarckoguy

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