Spine Chilling, Mind bogglingly excellent horror Movie.  It’s a classic for a reason!

CERTIFICATE:  15

DIRECTOR:  Stanley Kubrick

STARRING: Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd

SCREENPLAY:  Stephen King (novel), Stanley Kubrick (screenplay)

GENRE:  Horror/Suspense

RUNTIME:  146 mins

★★★★★ 5 stars

This is one of those films that, even if you haven’t seen it all the way through, you are going to recognise some of the key moments. “Here’s Johnny!” and “Come play with us Danny.” Are probably two of the most recognisable scenes in cinema; such is the massive impact this film has had in the last 30-ish years.

In case this is your first encounter with the shining, here is the general low-down.  Jack Torrence (Nicholson) agrees to take a job as a winter caretaker at a hotel in the Colorado mountains.  Once there however, the sinister force that inhabits the hotel, drives him mad and he sets out on a violent spree against his own family.

No synopsis you write about the shining can really give you the impression of just how creepy it is.  The whole film takes place in one location, making it feel isolated and claustrophobic the entire time.  Kubrick uses clever set building to create impossible architecture like impossible hallways, or rooms, that add to the sense of confusion as Jack slowly starts to go mad.  

Jack Nicholson’s performance is amazing.  He literally goes from Manic to Violent in a blink of an eye but the facial expressions and body language are perfect.  You can’t fault his performance here, one of his best in my opinion.

Of course, it is a horror movie and as with most horror movies, the acting of side characters can be a little wooden or in some cases, such as this one, overdramatic.  Shelley Duvall’s performance as Wendy is a game of two halves.  If she is playing caring mother and loving wife, her performance is pretty good.  Once shit hits the fan however her acting gets so over the top that is hard not to laugh, even as she is running away from her axe wielding husband,  I don’t know how much of it is intentional, but for me it detracts from the seriousness of the final act of the film.

This film remains one of my favourite films, and whereas I know Stephen King himself did not like the adaptation, I find it to be a film I can return to again and again.

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