The Shining (1980 Psychological Horror Film)  » Movies  »
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  • Horror is the one genre I try to avoid the most
  • A Space Odyssey which I watched upon the recommendation of everybody after I made it clear Interstellar is my favorite movie ever
  • I was not really awed after watching 2001 but that's probably because I think I was too young to understand the philosophy behind the film during that time
  • Absolutely one of the best comedies ever made
  • It's a film filled with magnificent performances, perfect direction, outstanding details, creepy music and very horrific story, this should be what everyone will watch comes Halloween

by Laudemhir Jan Parel


    Horror is the one genre I try to avoid the most. Ever since I was young I always tell myself never to watch a horror film because all it does to me is scare me. And I don’t want to be scared. I don’t want to have trouble sleeping at night remembering all the horrible and graphic imagery that all comes with a horror film.

    All in all I have watched only a couple of horror films in the recent years. I only watch the recommended ones by my film buff friends, and that I always tend to avoid horror films with huge mass appeals because those films always rely on cheap thrills. As a film lover, that’s a no-no for me. If it’s not a horror film that will make you think then it’s no good for me.

  • The Shining (1980 Psychological Horror Film)
  • One thing that persuaded me to watch The Shining was the fact that it was directed by arguably the most popular filmmaker of the past, the one and only visionary and perfectionist Stanley Kubrick. I have only seen two Kubrick films prior to this one. The first one was 2001: A Space Odyssey which I watched upon the recommendation of everybody after I made it clear Interstellar is my favorite movie ever. I was not really awed after watching 2001 but that’s probably because I think I was too young to understand the philosophy behind the film during that time. The second one was Dr. Strangelove (for which I made a review here) and to my surprise it became one of my favorite films ever. Absolutely one of the best comedies ever made.

    And so here I am now, after watching The Shining I am pretty sure it is among the great masterpieces of cinema ever made, and of course, I don’t have any regrets for taking the time to look at a horror film that I have so greatly discouraged myself.

  • The Shining (1980 Psychological Horror Film)
  • The other thing that also made me want to check this out was the fact that Jack Nicholson stars in it. I have only seen one Jack Nicholson performance prior to this, and it was his award-winning performance in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest as a psycho. After watching that performance I already knew that Jack Nicholson is among the greatest actors ever to grace the cinema.

    The Shining is a pretty straightforward horror film. It is based upon the book of the same name written by Stephen King which revolves around a family who was tasked to take care of the Overlook Hotel, a very isolated hotel at the top of the mountains which closes every winter because it would be too expensive to keep it running during winter season. Insanely enough, after long days in isolation, the father Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) began his descent to a psychological turmoil until he was out of his mind. His son Danny Torrance (Danny Lloyd) was able to foresee the future and look back at the past which means he has psychic powers. He uses this power, called “shining” to call for help from other people to help him and his mother out of the hotel. I won’t spoil the entire movie now, but rest be assured, it’s very suspenseful.

  • The Shining (1980 Psychological Horror Film)
  • One of the things that really surprised me was the performance of the child actor, Danny Lloyd. He basically steals the thunder everytime he is in the screen. His face says a lot without his mouth saying anything. His performance in this film is definitely one of the best performances by a child actor I have ever seen. This kid really knows how to act and make everyone scared by just the expression of his face. The power of innocence and fear that is present in his eyes is really mind-blowing. I also love the fact that he was able to consistently use a second voice (plus the empty expression in his face) without missing a single beat. It’s sad that he didn’t pursue an acting career after this but I respect his decision, Hollywood can be really deceiving.

    Shelley Duvall as the mother was also really good. However, there were times when her face is just funny looking and not make me nervous for her at all, especially during the first half of the film. However, she redeemed herself at the latter half, running around like someone is about to really end her life. I rooted for her character to stay alive which means her performance was not totally a disaster, and that’s what matters.

  • The Shining (1980 Psychological Horror Film)
  • Of course, this film will never be the same if it wasn’t for Jack Nicholson. In fact this is one of the best acted film I have ever seen by a leading male role. He was insanely creepy the whole way through. The expression in his face literally says I’m going to kill my family and it’s going to be the hard way. That thought alone is very fear inducing. There is something in his performance here that I can’t totally put into words but it is somehow different than his award-winning performance in Cuckoo’s Nest. He is a completely normal person turned psycho here - and he was able to do so with a very great compassion. He really immersed himself into this role and he pulled it off with flying colors. The fact that this performance was not even nominated for an Oscar let alone a single Oscar for this film really bugs me, but then again, you don’t need the awards when you have a film that transcends beyond generations. I also think that somehow, Heath Ledger’s portrayal of The Joker which I know we all love, is a reincarnation of this particular performance by Nicholson

  • The Shining (1980 Psychological Horror Film)
  • Going with the technical aspects of the film, they’re all literally touching masterpiece levels of awesomeness. I can really see what a true visionary Stanley Kubrick is. The attention to very little details, the framing and composition of every shot, the movement of the camera, the placement of everything plus the truly outstanding sets that was created just for this movie are all mind-blowingly perfect. I think these are all the reasons why he is always regarded as the best director of all time, the efforts he put in all his films truly shows the level of craftsmanship and creativity he has.

    The film never really disappoint in every department. The editing is insane, once things are set up and there’s nothing more but the horror element to it, it becomes grudgingly thrilling that I could always feel my heart almost ripping out of my ribs. When the film ended it’s the most I have been nervous in a very long time. I had to drink a lot of water just to calm my heart out.

    The Shining is indeed a true masterpiece of classic and horror cinema. It does not rely on cheap thrills and random jump scares which are the signature of most modern horror films. In fact the horror scenes here are rather unusual. Most of the time the characters are just human and that’s what makes it the more scarier. Ghosts don’t really scare a lot of people because most think they don’t exist. Humans are more scary because they can just be around the corner. This is definitely the best horror film I have seen, one that I might want to watch again and again but not without a friend. It’s a film filled with magnificent performances, perfect direction, outstanding details, creepy music and very horrific story, this should be what everyone will watch comes Halloween. Let’s see if you won’t be scared.

Andrew Leither says :

I loved the movie. I thought your review was excellent and would have a lot of comments to support a great review.
Andrew Leith says :

It was an excellent movie and great review. Stephen King knows how to keep you on edge in most of his stories, always leaving you breathless and scared. Jack Torrence decided to take a job as a caretaker at Overlook mountains. Completely surrounded by thick heavy snow and locked in during the thick of winter. It was a creepy, excellent horror movie.
7hereviewer says :

re : Horror is the one genre I try to avoid the most
I try to avoid horrors too but The Shining is such a classic that I just could not not watch it. The movie is a masterpiece I agree, in the technical and screenplay sense but I just do not like horrors.
Laudemhir Jan Parel replies :

Yes yes yes, I can’t believe this horror film is one of my favorite movies ever now
7hereviewer says :

I had nightmares after this movie, but the plot is really interesting and it was really greatly done.
Laudemhir Jan Parel replies :

Same here, I remember watching it alone in a hotel, and the environment just gave me a creepy feeling. Lasted for almost a week lmao
7hereviewer says :

I watched it with my sister when we were still living together because we decided to watch the classics that we had never watched. I really think that this movie deserves to be considered a classic.
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