Old Movie Reviews: The Shining

Writing

I know this post is going up pretty late, but did you know The Shining is two and a half hours long!? I sure didn’t but that’s because up until tonight I had only seen the 30 second bunny version of The Shining ( If you don’t know what it is, google it). It surprisingly took me 20 years to get around to watching the classic horror movie, largely because of the time stamp, the fact that I wanted to read the book, and also because of my aversion to Stanley Kubrick, which I do not have time to unpack here. Let’s get into the film.

Right from the beginning it is clear that the movie deserves most of the attention it’s given. The cinematography is outstanding, and despite the length the plot seems fairly fast paced. It’s the kind of movie where you can’t look away from the screen because you might miss something (I would know because I was trying to dye my hair and kept having to pause and go back… yet another reason this post is up late).

One of the movies most talked about features is the performance of Jack Nicholson and while it is admittedly creepy, I was more impressed by Shelley Duvall. It’s not often in horror movies that female characters get such a gratifying character arc, so it’s even better to see, when it’s as well done as it is here.

Honestly it’s hard to find anything to critique in this horror movie because it is so beautifully made, once again I wasn’t particularly scared. Creepy for sure but I think horror movies just don’t get me the way they used to, perhaps because I’ve seen so many, or maybe it’s because men being creepy isn’t entirely new territory. I mean obviously I’ve never been trapped in a hotel alone being chased with an ax, but at the same time it’s “Oh a husband is being a dick to his wife, oh now he’s violent with her, oh now he’s chasing her with an ax, why am I not surprised.” It’s an obvious progression and honestly something to be careful of when choosing a husband. Never marry writers, from what movies have taught me they seem incredibly susceptible to becoming crazy murderers… and also men I guess. Yea maybe avoid men.

Moving on from my need to see everything from a feminist perspective, I found this movie thoroughly entertaining, and I surprisingly did not find myself to be bored at any moment. The performances were great as were the visuals and it seems like the kind of movie I would watch again especially if I was in the mood for a horror movie but wanted to stick with something familiar. I give “The Shining” 4 out 5 spooky pumpkins.

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That leaves one movie left in my spooky movie marathon. Check back tomorrow evening to read my review of “Hellraiser.” Happy Halloween Eve!

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