Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The Shining (1980)

For this blog, I contemplated simply writing out “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” for 250 words, but I decided that wouldn’t be very effective, and that Dr. Boles probably wants me to say something slightly more insightful.

The Shining, directed by Stanly Kubrick, is brilliantly terrifying. Unlike most horror movies the suspense isn’t necessarily created by blood and gore, it’s created by the unknown. The most disorienting aspect of the film is the question; is the filmily all going crazy or is there something supernatural at work? It’s evident in the first part of the film that both Jack and Danny, the father and son, have something mentally off about them. Danny has an imaginary friend that seems to tell him things that are going to happen in the future, and makes him do things. Jack is a recovering alcoholic who has just agreed to lock himself in a hotel with his family for an entire winter, which is clearly not a mentally stable idea. However as time goes on, it seems that something else is going on. Danny is able to actually mentally channel Mr. Halloran and let him know that something is wrong. This couldn’t possibly be simply from going crazy. In addition, the closing scene of the film (I won’t go into detail so as not to ruin the ending) suggests that what occurred was some kind of supernatural destiny that will be filled again.

This movie is also cinematically brilliant. The use of the steady cam in the big wheels hallway scenes really adds to the suspense and creates an eerie tension because you feel as if you’re right there with Danny in the hallway. The brief flash scenes of the blood spilling down the hallway, and the creepy little girls in the hall are the scarriest parts of the film an the scene is only a few seconds long, if that.

As scary as the movie is, if you’re looking for a real thriller I suggest reading the book. It’s much scarier.

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