In 1980, a horror movie directed by a perfectionist, Stanley Kubrick, “The Shining” came. The audience and critics didn’t like the film and attack it. It’s even nominated as the Razzie Awards for Worst Director and Worst Actor. Stephen King, the author of the novel, himself claimed to be disappointed with the movie. The conflict between Kubrick and Kick began when Kubrick changed the makeshift and how the character and the ending of the movie. Even Roger Ebert, one of the best critics, doesn’t like this film at first. It takes years and decades so we can understand the mind of the perfectionist.
“The Shining” only takes a decade or two for the world so that we can understand what the essence of this film was. Over time, we always called this movie the best all-time horror cult-classic. As a horror film too, this is a minimalist movie. The story is simple. It’s about Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) taking a new job as a caretaker at Overlook Hotel. It’s a spacious hotel located in a remote place. Jack invites his wife too, Wendy (Shelley Duvall), and his son, Danny (Danny Lloyd), to stay at the hotel. They had to stay for a month, but the hotel also turned out to keep a mysterious dark secret.
We always know that “The Shining” is one of the best horror movies ever made. Nobody can beat it. It’s scary, terrifying, and perfect at the same time. The location of the essence in a horror film is in how the director can build a dark and tense atmosphere. This movie is more precisely playing in the mysterious zone, terrifying, and disturbing at the same time. Kubrick can slowly stiffen constancy. He pulled one scene to another scene at will. There are so many classic but iconic creepy moments. Every year when Halloween arrives, you can’t forget that you have to watch this film.
The film adaptation and the novel, we all know, are very different between the two. This free adaptation makes Kubrick give an absurd yet distinctive Kubrickian touch. Every time I watch this movie, there are a lot of details and a different ending you get. It’s not just a movie you have to see it once or use simple glasses. In terms of enjoyable and plot, this movie is “bad” and my first viewing was hard as well. Ambiguity, like Kubrick’s films, makes you have to interpret it yourself. You also often feel frustrated too. However, on the other hand, you never thought a story about isolation in a hotel is one of the best horror films of all time.
“The Shining” has one of the best performances ever. And that is Jack Nicholson. He is chaotic, neurotic, alcoholic, arrogant, and psychopathic. Indeed, Stephen King didn’t agree when he knew that Jack Nicholson would play Jack Torrance. Feeling that the audience will soon know how Jack turned insane too. Although like that, I always consider his best acting in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”, one of my favorite drama movies. But, in this movie, Nicholson is just smiled at you. And when he does it constantly, you can never forget it.
Shelley Duvall as Wendy is also fantastic and terrifying in this movie. Yeah, we all know that most people talk crap about her performance. Stanley Kubrick also deliberately pressured her until the actress was sick in behind the scene. But, you can’t forget the fact that she is one of the best actresses as well. Duvall’s Wendy is paradoxical. And Stephen King, again, disagreed when Kubrick appointed Duvall as Wendy. I never thought if Duvall’s acting in this movie was annoying whatsoever. But, if you understand why, you would get it.
An artistic horror movie like “The Shining” is hard to find. Regardless, in this era, you get so many horror movies like this. You also can’t forget that this movie exists in the first place. The first opening sequence is just creepy. There is no cheap jumpscare with loud noise and it’s more likely with low-key Steadicam. We watch this movie from the perspective of a kid cycling through the Overlook Hotel. The interior and the set are also beautifully crafted. This movie has a formula, with a thick surreal impression, this isn’t just a simple horror movie. But, this is an art of horror and why many horror filmmakers should learn about this movie.
5 out of 5 stars.