Sunday, November 25, 2007

Thanksgiving Movie: The Shining

The Shining
Directed by Stanley Kubrick
Released May 23, 1980

I had not seen this classic before simply because I am not a fan of horror films. I will see one only if it is supposed to be a terrific film, and I had always planned to see this one, eventually. That eventual viewing was accelerated as a result of staying at the Mohonk Mountain House (Alan Alda was a guest there as well), which is the hotel “The Shining” is based on, over Thanksgiving. My brother insisted we watch the film while we were staying there.

I can safely say that “The Shining” is in no way a letdown. Kubrick builds tension delicately by using eerie music and long tracking shots down mysterious hallways which all look the same. Kubrick masterfully uses the enclosed setting to create a true feeling of no escape, and the film is completely captivating. I liked the fact that things do not jump out to frighten the audience, but instead the music cues the viewer to expect something scary. The combination of supernatural mystery and psychological terror makes for one thrilling film. I personally enjoyed Shelley Duvall’s antics, but in my follow-up research I noted that the Razzie Awards awarded her a nomination for this film. They also nominated Kubrick for Worst Director, so they clearly disagreed with the majority of diehard fans of this movie. One of the best elements of the film is obviously Jack Nicholson, marvelously creepy as the unforgettable Jack Torrence. All in all, this is an excellent film certainly worth seeing if you are not a fan of being scared.


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