A to Z Horror: “The Shining” (1980)

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I have finally seen The Shining (1980) for the first time (“S” of #AtoZHorror in August/September) and while my expectations were pretty high going in watching this movie, the movie ultimately turned out not meeting my expectations. I liked quite a lot of things of this movie. The performance of Jack Nicholson is iconic, scary and really realistic. To me, his character should’ve had more sane than insane scenes to make the transition look believable but still a terrific acting performance. I like the directing style of Stanley Kubrick, its really unique yet effective. The imagery in this movie is also top notch, scenes that slowly but surely build up with suspense and tension. I really liked a lot of scenes in this movie: the “Here’s Johnny” scene, the scene with the scary twins, the chase scene in the maze and not to forget the “redruM” scene! The soundtrack is unforgettably fantastic, one of the best I have heard. Really liked the hotel as well, great set design! This movie also had quite a few problems, which was what I could’ve expected…

The acting performance of Shelley Duvall is shockingly bad, a real shame, was hoping I’d like her more than others do but sadly its a really unimpressive performance. She had a handful of scenes where I thought she did good, but she was also really cringe worthy most of the time. Having seen the behind the scenes documentary I can understand how this happened. What I also didn’t like was the ending, that made no sense at all to me. I started wondering which characters in this movie were real or fake. It remains unexplained, the last 5 minutes of The Shining literally lost all common sense it had going for the entire film. Really disappointing…

I saw the European version of 115 minutes and not the version that is 30 minutes longer. Overall, I like The Shining, I wish I loved it like some do, but it might get better with future watches. It really had problems, but its also a beautifully shot thriller that is able to captivate as well, with lots of creepy moments. It’s just not perfect…

–Ferdi Akkulak