Film Review: The Shining

I consider myself a dedicated horror movie fan, however, I felt as though I was not living up to expectations considering I had never viewed the cult horror classic, The Shining. I sat down the other afternoon when I had some free time to spare, and I am quite honestly disappointed for allowing myself to go for so long without watching this masterpiece.

The Shining was released in 1980, directed by Stanley Kubrick and based off of Stephen King’s 1977 novel The Shining. Starring Jack Nicholson as Jack Torrance, a writer and rehabilitated alcoholic, The Shining depicts him alongside his wife, Wendy (played by Shelley Duvall) and their son, Danny (played by Danny Lloyd) in their new life at Overlook Hotel in the Colorado Rockies.

Jack accepts the position of the hotel caretaker during its off-season, and once situated in the incredibly isolated hotel, he and his family begin to be impacted by supernatural entities residing with them in the hotel. Danny is described to be gifted with “the shining,” a psychic ability that permits him to see the past.

When he first accepts the caretaker position, Jack is informed that the previous caretaker went mad from isolation and butchered his wife and twin daughters with an ax prior to killing himself. As his time in the hotel persists, Jack acknowledges that he, too, is going mad as a result of the lingering tragedy that took place years before he arrived.

Nicholson’s depiction of Jack in this film is absolutely astounding. He embraces the character so convincingly, I was genuinely terrified at certain points when he began to mentally deteriorate. The casting of Jack, Wendy, and Danny could not be better, and the ominous music that occurs throughout the film, in addition to the camera angles, is what makes this film a true horror masterpiece.

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