The Shining (1980)
Written By: DMG
Edited By: Grave Reviews Staff
Director: Stanley Kubrick
Producer: Stanley Kubrick
Screenplay: Stanley Kubrick and Diane Johnson
Novel: Stephen King’s The Shining
Date Released: May 23, 1980
Jack Nicholson as Jack Torrence
Shelley Duvall as Wendy Torrence
Danny Loyd as Danny Torrence
Scatman Crothers as Dick Hallorann
Joe Turkel as Lloyd the bartender
Barry Nelson as Stuart Ullman
Philip Stone as Delbert Grady
Rating = 4.5/5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
Jack Torrence is an out of work writer who acquires a job to manage and oversee “The Overlook Hotel” in the Colorado Rockies. Despite being told of the hotel’s morbid past by Stuart (Barry Nelson), Jack nonetheless accepts the job in hopes that the isolation will provide him with inspiration and concentration for his next book. As the Torrence family arrives at the hotel, they are greeted by Stuart and Dick Hallorann (Scatman Crothers), whom show the Torrence family around the facility. When Dick takes Danny Torrence (Danny Lloyd) to get some ice cream while Jack and Wendy (Shelley Duvall) are shown the hotel, Dick knows and speaks to Danny about the sixth sense that he possesses called “The Shining.” Through Danny’s eyes, strange things start to happen throughout the hotel. As the months pass, Jack becomes stir crazy and starts to also interact with the spirits that haunt the hotel. Soon thereafter, Danny and Wendy must try to survive and escape from Jack.
You know something was made with heart, when you can feel the suspense despite the lack of blood or gore. The most iconic scene in this film has to be when Danny sees a glimpse of the chopped-up twin sisters in the hallway. A close second is when the woman comes out of the bathtub and becomes old and decayed. The Shining proves that you do not have to display over-the-top gore and blood to make a point. Kubrick certainly makes the point that sometimes less is more.
The Grave Review
At the time of making The Shining (1980), Jack Nicholson was already a promising actor starring in films such as Five Easy Pieces (1970), Chinatown (1974) and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975). By the time Nicholson played the role of Jack Torrence in The Shining, his career had flourished. The crazed, insane Jack is one of the most iconic characters in horror history still to this day. Unfortunately for his co-stars, they did not receive the same recognition as Nicholson did. About the same time, Shelley Duvall starred alongside Robin Williams in the 1980 adaptation of Popeye. Her acting in The Shining was often criticized, but it would be difficult to see this film without her portrayal of Wendy Torrence.
Adapted from the Stephen King self-entitled novel, The Shining, Kubrick did a good job at presenting the novels main storylines. However, certain highlights of the novel were lost, particularly that focusing on the labyrinth and the animals.
Overall, The Shining (1980) is a must-see movie for any horror buff.
For the foregoing reasons, Grave Reviews gives The Shining (1980) four and one-half graves out of five graves.
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