31 Days of Horror: Rewind (1980’s) The Shining

The Shining (1980)

Genre- Horror

Director- Stanley Kubrick

Starring- Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall,

Based on the novel by Stephen King

The premise of this film (and novel) is pretty basic. A struggling novelist and his family take a job watching over a grand hotel over the winter.  This hotel happens to be possessed by a variety of supernatural beings. Some which slowly possess and or make the father of this family go violently insane. His son happens to have a gift called “The Shining” which gives him visions of both the past and possible future.

I’ve heard that Stephen King doesn’t care for this version of his book. I’ve read both the book and watched the film (I enjoy both about equal in this case.) It is very hard to adapt a novel into a movie. They are very different mediums of entertainment.  I like the film a lot. I think Jack Nicholson and Shelley Duvall work wonderfully together in this film. Stanley Kubrick gets the most out of his actors (at least most of the time he did).  Sure, Kubrick pushed his vision of the Shining story, but I respect it. The film is still a masterpiece of film (because that’s what Kubrick does, usually).

A lot of horror I find unimpressive, but this one I appreciate. You can tell how hard the cast, director, and production crew worked to make this film right.  Filled with creepy imagery and a great transformation of Nicholson’s character from troubled writer to murderous sociopath. The Shining is a fine example of what horror can be.


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