Home > Movie Review > Movie Review: The Shining (1980)

Movie Review: The Shining (1980)

Jack Torrance thinks he’s found the ideal job.  He, along with his wife and son, can move into a Colorado hotel and take care of it for the winter in exchange for a living stipend.  An aspiring novelist, Jack sees this as such a perfect opportunity to write that he shrugs off the story of the previous caretaker who murdered his wife and daughters and then committed suicide.  At first everything is fine, but soon the sinister forces in the hotel start to work on Jack and his psychic son.

Wow.  I love horror movies, but it takes a certain combination of plot and visual to really scare me.  The Shining has scares in spades.

For the person who’s freaked out by visuals, there’s blood pouring out of elevators, corpses, and of course Jack Nicholson’s amazing facial contorions when his character turns sinister.  Truly the movie would not have been anywhere near as frightening without Nicholson’s ability to contort his face into so many different frightening combinations.  The man’s face was made to act.

What really got to me though is the psychological aspect of this story.  What really makes this story worth it is the question of how much of what is going on is in the characters’ minds.  The truly evil things that happen are performed by characters whose minds are not all there.  They have lost their tenuous grasp on reality, and that is more frightening than any axe murderer, because anyone could go crazy.  Essentially, anyone could turn into a monster.

Take these two elements and toss in a bit of a last-minute puzzle at the end, and you’ve got the perfect formula for an excellent horror movie.

5 out of 5 stars

Source: Netflix

Buy It

  1. November 24, 2009 at 9:06 am

    Classic Film!!! Thanx for the review. I really love Stanley Kubrick films.

    • November 24, 2009 at 9:22 am

      Hey Jessica, I’m glad my loyal book review readers are enjoying the new movie reviews. 🙂

      • November 24, 2009 at 12:13 pm

        Definitely. I often wonder myself what I can be more geeky about books or films?!

  1. December 30, 2009 at 11:02 pm
  2. November 6, 2013 at 1:49 pm

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