Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Shining (Stanley Kubrick, 1980) Review

Yeah, I lied. In my review of Skyfall, I said that my next review will be a new film I saw last month...and then I noticed that it was Halloween. So...er...Happy Halloween! While this film isn't that scary (well I guess that depends who you are) but that doesn't stop me from watching this every Halloween (except last year since my family wanted to watch Sleepy Hollow...maybe later) so...HERE'S JOHNNY!......let's just review this...

Over the winter, Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson), his wife Wendy (Shelley Duvall) and their son Danny (Danny Lloyd) are assigned to be caretakers of the Overlook Hotel which is away from civilisation (so I fail to see why people would go there...). Danny begins to have visions of the hotels past as a result of his telepathic gift known as The Shining. Jack, while working on his writing, begins to fall into insanity as a result of the isolated environment and of the previous people in the hotel. When Jack meets with the ghosts of the hotel, he finally snaps and tries to kill his family. Now Danny must use The Shining in order to save his mother and get out of the hotel alive.

This is one of Jack Nicholson's best roles and one of Stanley Kubrick's best films. Jack Nicholson became iconic for this film (that image at the top alone is one of the most famous movie shots of all time) and his line "Here's Johnny" is one of the most famous lines ever. So, yeah, this is a very famous and popular film...for good reason. It plays with your mind and has such an ambigous nature, you can come up with loads of different outcomes or scenarios. Was the film in Jack's mind? Is Jack a reincarnated person from the hotel? Is Danny delirious? WHO KNOWS? It's left un-addressed and works very well.

In term of the horror, for a first time watcher, it's pretty scary. If you haven't watched this, don't look it up online. Watch it from start to finish so that everything is a surprise! There are some great moments that will have you on the edge of your seat! Jack's spiral into insanity is well done and makes for some great character development. I've seen it too many times for it to scare me but there are still bits that send shivers down my spine. I guess this film will live on for a while (hell, it's still great 32 years later!).

The Shining is truly a classic! Jack Nicholson is fantastic and the writing is great. There is some iconic things here that will go down in movie history...well...HAS gone down in movie history. If you haven't seen this film, you might as well watch it this Halloween. It's pretty scary and is exactly what I would want to see in a Halloween film...well...a contemporary one (no monsters here, in the conventional sense). HAPPY HALLOWEEN! MWAHAHAHAHAAAAA! (sorry). Okay, next time is that film I promised, okay? 2nd of November.

Verdict:
9/10
A great film for Halloween. Jack Nicholson is great and the writing and directing is fantastic. Do yourself a favour and watch it this year!

2 comments:

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