The Shining Review
I usually say that directing is kind of a b.s. job - that directors often take credit that should be directed towards the writers (feel free to disagree in the comments if you’re a director!). But Stanley Kubrick (director of The Shining and 2001: A Space Odyssey) has proven me wrong. He seriously deserves most of the credit for the creepy atmosphere that The Shining boasts. Things that shouldn’t be creepy are. There is a constant sense of dread and isolation through a million subtle (and some not-so-subtle) camera devices.
Take for example the scene where Danny is riding his tricycle through the abandoned hallways of the Overlook Hotel. The directing is superb. The camera is stationed low, following smoothly as Danny rides through the empty hallways, turning around sharp corners. There’s a rhythm to the sound of the wheels as they roll over the carpets and hardwood floors: carpet, flooring, carpet, flooring. There’s a constant sense of dread from the directing alone. We know something is going to be there when Danny turns a corner and it’s put off for a very long time. Then, when we least expect it, BAM! We see the creepiest twin sisters ever.
The Shining is a great horror movie and I recommend you check it out. When I turned it on last night, I was treated to the terrifying scene below. There’s probably a couple spoilers in that scene, but watch it if you want to know what the movie is like - it gives you a pretty good idea of what to expect.
I have to give credit to Jack Nicholson, who quickly becomes one of the most terrifying villains in cinema. Watch that scene above if you don’t believe me. He’s great (in a horrifying sort of way). While on the subject of acting, I just need to say - and I don’t mean this to sound cruel - but Shelley Duvall (who plays Jack’s wife, Wendy) is so scary looking in this movie. I know (and I hope) she doesn’t look like that in real life… but damn. Her face is one of the scariest parts of the movie. She always looks so drained and lifeless. I prefer this, though, to recent horror movies with teenage models playing all the major roles.
Also, Kubrick received a lot of criticism for messing with Stephen King’s book premise. I say, who cares? The movie is great and I think it’s turned out way better than if Stephen King had penned the script. His books work as books - they need to be changed if they’re being adapted for the screen.
So go see this movie if you haven’t already. Add it to your Netflex queue, buy the DVD or get the Bluray - just watch it. I swear, The Shining is horror at its finest.