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Wednesday, 5 June 2013

The Shining (1980).

The Shining is one of the most over-rated, slow and boring pieces of cinema out there. In my opinion, because Kubrick didn't include any of the character development or back stories to the characters, the movie becomes completely devoid of having any of the human drama that is key to Stephen King's work. Why does Jack become a crazed killer? Is it just because a ghost tells him to kill his wife? The movie just comes across as a rather flat and boring haunted house film, albeit with some striking imagery that isn't explained and seems out of place.

There are some unintentionally hilarious and cringe inducing moments in the movie. The character of Wendy in the book is a strong willed, intelligent and resourceful woman. In the movie, she spends almost the entire duration whining and disheveled. By the time Jack has her trapped in the bathroom, I was hoping he would get to her to finally silence her, she grated on me that much.

Little Danny talking to his finger? That has to be one of the funniest things I have ever seen in a straight horror movie. I have no idea why Kubrick put this in the film. It is completely out of place, and certainly doesn't movie the story along in any way. As for Nicholson's Jack Torrence? I was under the assumption that he was a man who went SLOWLY insane. In the movie, from the very first shot of him, you can see he already has a few screws loose. The transformation from regular family man to crazed killer is never given any explanation, and happens so quickly in the movie, it doesn't come as a shock in any way. He over acts in every scene he is in, cancelling out any sense of horror that has been attempted (but also failed miserably) and just makes things even more laughable.

Just imagine if this film hadn't been made by Stanley Kubrick. Do you think it would be as universally praised as it is? I have the feeling it wouldn't. I feel critics and audiences would be out in droves, tearing the film down any way they could. But because everyone likes to analyze and read more into Kubrick's work than what is actually there, the film is unfairly held on a pedestal. No other director would have gotten away with making this movie. Only Kubrick.

Kubrick stuffed this movie with cheap visual scares and cliched performances. It fails because he never left any room for the audience to use their imaginations. The ghosts all come across as harmless, preferring to stand there and converse/cackle at Jack rather than attack him.The film is also incredibly lacking in any type of subtlety. The Shining is pure style over substance, and no matter how many times I sit through it, I have never changed my mind. The ending is a joke. Why, when there is such a huge hotel that would have been the perfect place for a cat and mouse chase, does the director decide to take the finale outside into a maze and have the main protagonist freeze to death. It really does make no sense to me.

The Shining is easily the most overrated horror movie in the entire genre. I am a huge horror fan, but this movie contains absolutely nothing that I would even dream of being horror. Kubrick obviously had no grasp of the horror genre, and just threw cliche after cliche at the audience, hoping that something would work. Unfortunately, nothing did.

In my opinion, anyone who say's The Shining is one of the greatest horror films ever made, obviously has no idea what horror really is.

Darkest regards......Dani.


  1. Um, The Shining is my second-favorite horror film of all time - so, does this make me a horror noob? NO EFFIN' WAY!

    Just because you think it's overrated doesn't mean that all the Shining-fans are dimwits who have no idea what horror is...

  2. I never said anyone was a dimwit. It being your favourite, and being considered one of the greatest horror films of all time is totally different. This is my opinion, as any review I write is. Thank you for commenting, and I am sorry it made you feel like I was calling you a dimwit. That certainly wasn't my intention.

  3. That's right, you never said anything about dimwits. I just wanted to show you what could happen when you post statements like this.

    Yes, a "statement". The last sentence of your review isn't your opinion, it's a "statement", and a provocative one too.

    It's like saying:
    "Anyone who says The Avengers is one of the greatest comic adaptations ever made, obviously knows nothing about comics."

    "Anyone who says The Godfather is one of the greatest movies ever made, obviously knows nothing about the Mafia."

    See what I did there?

    Just watch out what you're writing (unless you're a troll). People can take such a statement the wrong way.

    You don't like it? That's totally ok, but don't piss off people who love this movie, by saying they know nothing about horror. It's insulting.

    1. Good lord man. He appologized, what more do you want? Let me add my opinion. In my opinion people that take a movie reviewers opinion personally,need to grow a pair. And yes, the shining is the most overrated horror movie my opinion.

  4. No, it's definitely an opinion. Hence why I wrote "in my opinion". Out of all the people who have read this piece, you are the only one to take offence. In my opinion, The shining isnt a horror movie, so that opinion reinforces my opinion at the end of the piece. I will in no way change the way I review things. People getting pissed of is all a part of it. I am not about to not give my opinion because it might offend someone. We are all entitled to our own thoughts.

  5. Let me make something clear. I am not saying fans of The Shining shouldn't be considered horror fans. I said anyone who considers it to be one of the best horror movies ever. There is a vast difference between the two.