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The Shining [RSC Film Club 36]


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The modern half of our horror double bill was nominated by @PretendWereDeadand is Stanley Kubrick's haunted house masterpiece, The Shining.

The Shining Movie Poster (#1 of 3) - IMP Awards

The film stars Jack Nicholson and Shelley Duvall as Jack and Wendy Torrance, a couple charged with looking after the isolated Overlook hotel during the winter months.  Along with their young son Danny (Danny Lloyd) the soon discover that they may not be alone.  I don't think I have to say much more about this film here, it's so legendary that even the carpet is iconic.  

It is interesting to note that Stephen King, author of the book on which this is based, hated this film so much that he made his own TV miniseries version in the late 90s.  However, he is in a very small minority with that opinion.  There is also a documentary about the legions of conspiracy theories about this film called Room 237 (I wasn't a fan, but some of the theories are interesting).  There is also a sequel, Doctor Sleep, released only a couple of years ago, starring Ewan McGregor as an adult Danny and is is much better than it has any right to be.  

The Shining Reaction GIF

here's johnny

Edited by LimeGreenLegend
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Masterpiece is a stretch. Watched this once and that was enough. Steven King hates this movie so much that he made his own. Sadly it’s a made for TV thing and wasn’t very good either if memory serves. 

Olive Oyl was annoying and I was so tired of hearing redrum that I left the room. 

Pointless b*tching aside it useless fact time. The little boy ( that was unaware he was making a horror movie) left acting and became a teacher. He taught at the community college in my home town (Elizabethtown, KY) and my wife took one of his classes. Nice man that did not care to talk about his experiences making this movie. 

Bonus useless fact but it is a movie fan group. My hometown is the one the movie of the same name was based upon. They only filmed one part of the movie in the actual town, a tiny street scene, but felt the town didn’t look Kentucky enough for the entire movie, SMH. 

Edited by Sinister
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  • 2 weeks later...

I have never seen this before due to a combination of not being a fan of horror and it having a child in a leading role (which I think people know by now I often hate), plus to be honest I don't ever remember it being on TV. But as Stanley Kubrick film I really ought to have seen it, so really glad for this excuse to finally watch it. It is a great film, the sort of horror I like; more towards the psychological thriller end of the spectrum than a gory / slasher film.


Most of the film is portrayed by the 4 main actors, author Jack Torrence (Jack Nicholson), his wife Wendy (Shelly Duval), their young son Danny (Danny Lloyd) and hotel chef Hallorann (Scatman Crothers). The Torrences are care-taking a Colorado mountain hotel during the closed winter season. Arriving on the day the last of the hotel staff leave they meet Halloran who senses Danny shares his special, extra-sensory gift. Later, when things turn ugly, that gift enables Halloran to sense something is wrong and return to the hotel. The hotel is haunted and 10 years earlier the winter caretaker massacred his family there. So it's easy to see where the film's plot is going to end up, but the pace at which the story is revealed is excellent. Nicholson and Duval are perfectly cast, it's hard to imagine anyone else in those roles. Of course it has the iconic “Here's Johnny!” scene as axe-wielding Jack breaks through a door hunting down his would-be victims. Also worth a mention are two of the lesser roles, Philip Stone as Grady (the ghost of the murderer from 10 years earlier, who I was sure I recognised from something else but can't find anything in his back catalogue I remember) and Joe Turkel (Mr Tyrell from Bladerunner) as a ghost bartender (or is he just in Jack's mind? – it hardly matters).

Some of the cinematography is stunning, as you would expect from Stanley Kubrick. There are two scenes in particular that stand out for me, both towards the middle of the film and set in bath/wash rooms. First when Jack enters the room they have been warned not to and finds a woman in the bath, then later in the men's bathroom off the hotel's theatre / bar. The colour palette and lighting of those is absolutely exquisite and reminiscent of scenes in 2001. The first of those is probably one of best scenes for me (and no, not just because it has a naked woman in it!). There's almost no dialogue, it doesn't need it, and it's so perfectly shot. There's also other famous scenes of Danny playing on tricycle racing around the empty hotel corridors that just look fantastic. The music is great as well, not quite as memorable as 2001 or Barry Lyndon but showing Kubrick (or whoever advised him on music) was brilliant at picking the right music to accompany his direction.




Edited by djw180
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