Thursday, 13 June 2013

The Shining

"The Shining" (1980, Stanley Kubrick, Warner Bros., Peregrine Productions, Producers Circle) is one of my all-time favourites. I love the book, but then again, it's Stephen King, what's not to like? It's a truly creepy read, and if you haven't already, I highly recommend!

Despite not being particularly true to the novel, Kubrick's film is an outstanding piece of cinema, and really a film that everyone should see at least once.

With a disturbing score that is reminiscent of Italian horror films such as "Suspiria", where a harrowing, off-key backing track really builds tension and unease! It really sets my teeth on edge, which is just how Jack is feeling!

Struggling novelist, Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) has taken a job as an off-season, live-in caretaker of the salubrious and remote mountain hotel, The Overlook Hotel. He, his wife Wendy (Shelley Duvall) and their son Danny (Danny Lloyd) move in and settle in for a long winter.

Danny and his 'imaginary friend' Tony are not keen on the hotel, but he plays on regardless, despite being troubled by terrible visions of the hotel's bloody past.

Wendy carries on doing Jack's job while Jack, who is becoming increasingly 'grouchy' as the days tick on, sits in the large main hall and writes.

But soon Jack's grouchiness is leaning more into insanity as the bloody events of the hotel's past seem destined to repeat again and again, "forever and ever and... ever..."

A creepy film which has given me the shivers in large hotels since the tender age of six (when I first watched it), it is responsible for many an iconic scene including the creepy Grady twins and that wonderful "Here's Johnny!" moment.

Nicholson is in his element playing the creepy, ever maddening husband, while poor Shelley Duvall plays the traumatised wife and mother to a tee!

Gripping but relatively quiet, until Jack gets his axe that is, it is a film that is both extremely late 70s, early 80s in telling and in dress sense, but it still remains an effective piece that can thrill and shock viewers to this day.

[Image: Warner Bros.]