The Shining (1980) 4.81/5 (3)


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Rating: The Good – 82.2
Genre: Horror
Duration: 144 mins
Director: Stanley Kubrick
Stars: Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd

Kubrick raises a brilliant Stephen King novel to a whole new stratosphere of terror in this sublime horror masterpiece. Jack Nicholson and Shelly Duvall arrive at the isolated Overlook Hotel as winter caretakers with their young clairvoyant son (Danny Lloyd) in tow. As the days and weeks drift by Nicholson becomes increasingly uncorked as he threatens to emulate his predecessor, who ten years previous murdered his family with an axe. Along with 2001 and Barry Lyndon, The Shining was the film that was complemented most by Kubrick’s sense of visual symmetry and whether static or moving there isn’t a shot in the film that isn’t breathtaking. While the aesthetics transfix you, his balance of diegetic and non-diegetic sound (with the latter coming in the form of harsh mechanical sounds) steadily lures you into their increasingly scary world. As you’d expect from Kubrick, the production design is magnificent and the sight of the three family members pottering around the splendidly captured expanses of the hotel adds significantly to their sense of alienation. Nicholson is of course excellent in a role tailor made for his style of acting but he is matched all the way by Duvall while young Lloyd is damn near perfect as their beleaguered son. A last word should go to that astonishingly foreboding Wendy Carlos/Rachel Elkind score which ensures the opening to the film is so completely memorable.

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