This classic thriller was based on Stephen King’s novel “The Shining.” Jack Torrance (played by Jack Nicholson), and his wife and son, Wendy and Danny, move into a hotel where Jack has taken the job to take care of the isolated hotel for the winter.
He also works as a novelist and during an interview to get his job, the manager of his own lodge tells Jack that the previous caretaker of the hotel, a man named Grady, chopped his family into pieces and then committed suicide with a shotgun. Jack simply gets the job, but he doesn’t care about what the manager has just told him. He takes his wife and child to stay with him at the beautiful and spacious hotel.
It turns out that Jack’s son Danny has a secret gift that is known as “The Shining.” This phenomenon shows Danny events that happen from the past and the future. In the movie, he gets all sorts of disturbing images from the hotel--ranging from horrifying twin girls, to blood pouring from the walls. Most of the visions Danny has comes from Tony, who is known as “the little boy that lives in Danny’s mouth.”
There is a man that warns Danny about a room #237. The man explains to Danny on the first day that he shouldn’t go inside it, but it leaves Danny wondering what exactly is inside the room.
Days and days go by, and Danny keeps getting more and more visions from the hotel, but at this same time, Jack is discovering the cabin fever that the manager had mentioned before. His wife and son start to wonder if the Grady story is really true.
In the movie, the “haunted” room is known as room #237. But in the Timberline Lodge, they didn’t want any real visitors being afraid of their rooms, so instead of the real room, #217 (where the film was shot), they created the nonexistent room-- room #237 in the movie. Ironically though, the guests that stay in the hotel request #217 very often.
Overall, the acting was good. Jack Nicholson does a great job of playing a crazed man, but maybe Shelly Duvall probably could’ve made Wendy’s character more interesting--her character seemed a little lost throughout the movie. For Danny, I thought that he did a very good job for being so young!
The direction was also pretty good! I thought that the movie was very well put together. I don’t get scared from scary movies--or I never have from the ones I have seen. I personally did not get scared of The Shining, but I thought that it was outstanding as a movie.
The editing of the movie was pretty good from what I thought there was. I liked the shots of Danny’s gift almost flickering in spots.
The costume design was very appropriate from what I noticed. The characters seemed to fit right into their clothing--and not just physically. I felt that it matched their personalities. For example, Wendy reminded me of a reserved and loving person in the beginning. She wore her little dress, but she packed her own punch with her slight attitude and cigarettes.
“The Shining” set design was one of my favorite parts of the movie. It was taken in Oregon for the exterior shots, and I love how the Timberline Lodge looks. It’s spacious, and I love how someone can take such a beautiful scene and pervert it so simply. This also goes for the interior shots as well. Inside the lodge, they could take something so beautiful and destroy it and convert it to something so eerie.
The soundtrack was the typical intensifying, heart-stopping-music. The music was placed in spots where they couldn’t be timed any better, and the music doesn’t take away from the center of the action--just like a true horror movie should.
I liked the structure of “The Shining” too. The movie wasn’t that predictable, but I figured how it would end from the beginning.
Another thing that was very impressive was the usage of the lighting and the scenery. The dimming and the spotlights to capture attention to areas was outstanding. The makers of the movie did a wonderful job making sure the audience wasn’t just looking around for “REDRUM,” but instead, making the word stand out to the audience. They casted the lighting where the action was, and to add more of a dramatic effect.
Overall, I thought “The Shining” was a great movie. It did not scare me, but that doesn’t mean it won’t scare you if you are typically afraid of scary movies. The movie was very well made and now sits as one of my favorite (if not my favorite) horror movies.