Monday, 28 December 2015

The Shining, 1980, Review.

Fig 1 - The Shining Poster

The Shining is a 1980's Drama, Horror movie Directed by Stanley Kubrick and based on the selling novel with the same title written by Stephen King.

The story centers around a man who takes his wife and son to stay at a lodge during the winter through summer since he took the role of janitor even knowing the stories of what happened with the previous janitor and the murders that took place there. While staying at the lodge strange hallucinogenic events start to happen throughout the hotel but it seems to only affects Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) and his son Danny Torrance (Danny Lloyd), whereas Danny is portrayed as the protagonist and further along the story jack slowly turns into the antagonist which was pretty well done showing Jack slowly being turned into the murdering psychopath to which seemed to be the role Jack Nicholson was made for, he played the role superbly well.

When you read the word horror in the description of this movie you would imagine to see all the cheesy horror cliches that you would see in any horror movie of that time and even now you still see bits of that coming through to today's horror movies. Although this movie does have it's fair share of cliches but are rarely shown, it plays out completely different from other horror movies during the time it came out which is pretty rare. Other movies have the same layout in both design and story, the design has to be Gothic or disturbing to unnerve the audience and the characters have to be unoriginal and be the typical screaming women in distress and the dumb typical men who think they can handle any spooks that come there way. Some scenes may or may not be as effective to scare you but more to disturb you. To quote reviewers in this regards;

'The Shining is like a near-miss auto accident: You don't know how scared you really were until you start shaking a few hours later'. - Ralph Novak, Peoples Magazine.

'The result may not quite match Kubrick's greatest films, but it is enthralling and hypnotic - a brilliant, ambitious attempt to shoot a horror film without the Gothic trappings'. - Steve Biodrowski, ESplatter.

Fig 2&3 - Jack Nicholson performance as the murdering dad   

 The set layout for the lodge is both massive and mesmerizing in both layout and design. When you look at the Lodge from the outside it looks pretty huge but only when you get inside, although you only see a few corridors and rooms, it gives the sense of enlargement that if you round this corner you'll find an open room or several rooms or even a huge stairway that leads to the unknowns of upper and lower floors, it just makes you want to ditch the movie and spend the 1.40 min just exploring the place. the artistic value of the lodge is specifically symmetrical in its patterns which also spans to the maze outside the lodge, to which by the way had a really cool transition from the model to the actual thing from a top down perspective.

Fig 4&5 - The transition between model replica and the actual Maze.

Fig 6 - The Overlook Hotel Exterior.
Fig 7 - Main Hall
Fig 8 - Reception
Fig 9; The Bar & Hall
The Characters are come and go, There are some who play the role exceptionally well and others that are quite frankly making you wonder why they are there. The character of Danny is quite an interesting character but it feels as if they completely gone over his role in the movie. At the start they make him to be a specially gifted boy that is never really clarified on apart from it being called The Shining and that he can mentally commune with other people with the same ability, but that's roughly it, it kind of feels like a wasted opportunity to fully explore what he can do and how far it can go.
The development of the character Jack was done as good as it can be, at the start of the movie he is a hard working man who wishes for a relaxing time to write as he looks after the hotel, then it slowly shows him start to get manipulated and turned by the hotel and its untold secrets that by the end even left the audience scratching their heads, well it wouldn't be a Kubrick film if there wasn't a head turner at the end.
The Character of Wendy Torrance (Shelley Duvall) can be interpreted in two different ways. One way she could be portrayed as a caring mother and wife who only cares for the safety of her son, the other way is that she could be portrayed as a women who interferes to much in things that don't concern her and screams too much, either way you have to applaud her tenacity and eagerness to get the movie done with everything Kubrick was throwing at the character to fully get her in the role and situation the character was in.

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Ralph Novak, Peoples Magazine.,,20076829,00.html

Steve Biodrowski, ESplatter.

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