Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Capsule Review: The Shining (1980)
While A Clockwork Orange dabbled in it, i'm sure audiences in 1980 were awfully curious to see what a Stanley Kubrick directed horror film would look like. What they got – an adaptation of Steven King's haunted hotel novel – must have been rather surprising, as the film hardly resembles any other horror film, particularly the ones being made at the time. Filled with foreboding steadicam shots, long takes, and dazzling (and disturbing) imagery, Kubrick turns the hotel itself into a character, and the actors – particularly Jack Nicholson who is totally unhinged – are obviously fighting hard to not get lost next to their massive co-star. Shelley Duvall can be a little much to take, and those looking for a straight adaptation of the source are best directed to the (middling) made-for-TV version, but The Shining somehow looks better as the years go by.