Movie Review: The Shining (1980)


Plot:  A family heads to an isolated hotel for the winter where an evil and spiritual presence influences the father into violence, while his psychic son sees horrific forebodings from the past and of the future. (via IMDb)

We chose to watch it as our Halloween night event and I wanted to leave as soon as I saw it was a Stephen King adaption, because let’s face it no one makes you shit in your pants better than the King. I was told to stay put, and being the obliging person that I am I sat down to watch not so quietly. The movie was damn terrifying because it was so well directed. So little happens in the beginning and the slowly building tension works really well. Jack Nicholson is everything in here. This expression of him still freaks me out:


A good horror movie should have (just some ideas I have about it)

A good villain: CHECK. Nicholson was everything in here, and he made the movie so thrilling by his madness. He went from a vaguely selfish and irresponsible father to a maniac in a heartbeat.

Freaky as fuck kids: TRIPLE check. Those girls, the young boy and his “imaginary friend” were all just too creepy.

shining girls

A story that makes little sense: Yes again. I thought the plot had a few holes in that could have been filled with necessary explanations. The whole room 237 story wasn’t really made clear why little satan boy (we named him this) got strangled and why Nicholson ended up kissing a mouldy, it just happened. Was this where the original murder took place?

Things I didn’t like


The lead female actress! She was so useless. WHO swings a baseball bat like that when confronted with a psychopathic killer? The running around with the knife irritated me endlessly and reminded me of this one girl I know that would do the exact same thing in that situation.

Those freaky girls could have been much freakier. I mean, I wanted to jump when I saw them and yet they were underused.

The term “Shining”wasn’t really explained. Are they all people with imaginary friends or are they people who can read minds or are they all people who can see into the future? #makesnosense

Things I did like:

It wasn’t gory and it was terrifying. They didn’t have to use guts to get your attention; the story was interesting enough to keep you watching.

The setting: It is beautiful and remote and you can see why people would get Cabin Fever and start slashing at each other.

Jack Nicholson, as previously mentioned. He was SUPERB. He has always had this mobile face but I’ve really only seen him in later roles where he is older, but he was great as a young man too.

How polite they all are. People were just so polite back then. Now people confuse being polite with being a flirt, but it is nice to know that only 20 years back people were allowed to be nice and complimentary all the time (maybe the other people weren’t so stupid then)

You jump even when you know they are deliberately trying to make you jump. My one friend jumped out of his skin when this happened:

Recommendation: If you like being scared, go for it!!

 PS: If you want to read the deranged theory that The Shining and Frozen are the same movie, go look here