The Shining - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Shining Reviews

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April 23, 2017
Very long for no reason
April 23, 2017
Completely overrated case of style over substance. Great Set design does not make a good movie.
½ April 18, 2017
I fell asleep during this movie did not invoke any kind of emotive reaction, how this managed to reach the number one spot for channel fours 100 greatest horror movies is beyond me,I was totally shocked.
½ April 15, 2017
WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: Now normally I start reviewing a film by talking about what I like about it, but in order to do that with 'The Shining,' I firstly need to highlight my problems with it. Yes as much as there are many great elements that I'll get into in a moment, for me, if this film is viewed as the straight horror it's supposed to be, it massively lets you down. Why? Well frankly, try as I might, I just can't buy Jack's descent into madness, and that unsurprisingly makes the whole piece feel rather fruitless. Now it would be easy to put all that down to Nicholson's off-the-wall portrayal, and it certainly is a culprit of the problem, but for me the real issue lies in the lack of grounded narrative through-lines, and the seemingly abrupt nature of his change thereafter. As a result, as the film advances, one drops any serious investment they may have, and is left gazing in amusement at the absurdity of the final act. Which rather neatly brings me to my positives...
WHAT I LIKED: Yes, as much as The Shining fails me as a horror as it goes on, the one place this thing really excels is as a black comedy. Now I realise that many horrors are somewhat appealing in this way, and in this case that's probably even more of an insult to lovers of this film than all I've said before, but frankly the film's lack of believe-ability in its own setting forced my hand. Thing is, as is often the case, I'm quite glad it did. Does that seriously mean it's a case of 'so bad it's good' then? No, it's definitely more of a case of 'so MAD it's good,' as the silly appeal of its last hour is at least backed up by a masterfully tense set-up that grounds everything which ever way you look at it, and yet more unsurprisingly expert technical direction from Kubrick. Indeed the sense of place, the initial confusion and the way the camera moves - as well as the manor in which all of that changes throughout - is frankly perfect, and I'm glad this film gets the recognition it deserves in that department.
VERDICT: Huge credit should be given to 'The Shining' for its technical achievements, but sadly it struggles to live up as a horror on its own. In fact, I prefer to look at it as a black comedy, for which I'm very, very sorry indeed.
½ April 14, 2017
The Shining is a gorgeous movie, the editing, the set, and all of the interpretations. Kubrick made The Shinning such a suggestive movie, I have my speculations, but surely there is more to this story than just a suspense film. However, even without any deeper meanings The Shinning is an amazing horror film, not because of the gore, but because of the eeriness that continues to build up throughout the film. This movie can send the viewer into the camera, feeling as if you're stuck in a horror movie yourself.

As for my interpretation of the film, I haven't quite pieced it together but here goes:
I do follow the "Jack is a gay pedophile" story-line to a point, I think the scene with the rotten old lady was Jack finally extinguishing the fact that he is straight. However, I think Jack lusts more after being a child and wanting to play with Danny, which is actually how some child molesters are. Sadly Jack knows he can't be a child because he's suppose to be the father figure which causes some obvious anger: "Have you ever thought about my responsibility to my employers!" (Jack is also constantly frustrated with his writing job). An example of this is in a scene where Danny and Wendy are playing outside you can see Jack watching them with envy. It's also shown Jack playing with a ball in the beginning that later the same ball rolls to Danny to "play". Also the "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy" can directly correspond with Jack's need to play like a child. Additionally, I think the multiple scenes of Danny riding his toy bike around signifies Danny teasing Jack. Although Danny doesn't directly offer to play with his father, I think Danny does connect to his father in a way that Danny might fall into his father's pattern in the future. The "family pattern" theory is also one I enjoy, since we see at the end that "Jack" is shown in the hotel in 1921. I think there was a pattern of the "crazy axe father". Danny's weird "seeing ability" could be something Jack witnessed when he was young that made him the psycho he is, and sooner or later Danny was going to become that; it's possible that Danny could have unlocked the door for Jack. Finally, when Jack and Danny are in the Maze and Danny clears his past footsteps and get's out, it could signify Danny escaping the pattern of his father and potentially his grandfathers.
½ April 11, 2017
Classic re-runs... Not many films can mess with one's mind even on a repeated viewing.. They say that classics should remain untouched... But I would really be interested in a spin-off featuring Mr. Halloran... the only other character with the 'Shining'
April 10, 2017
Well-made horror film of demonic possession. The last part paled by comparison to the first half's uncanny built-up.
½ April 4, 2017
I'm not a fan of Stephen King but what Kubrick has done was strip away all the nonsense of the original novel and create a great film. However, despite my love for Kubrick, I still don't love it.

After a writer and his family agrees to watch over the "Overlook Hotel" for the winter, a haunting presence causes him to go slowly insane as the claustrophobia builds up around him.

However, it, admittedly, does many things right. This movie doesn't rely on cheesy jumpscares and unnecessary gore that many other modern horror movies rely too heavily on. The Shining builds up its scare factor with suspense and claustrophobia. This leads up to terrifying and well-executed domestic violence which is done phenomenal thanks to Jack Nicholson's outstanding performance and the great execution of it. His great acting contributes to several great scenes especially the iconic "Here's Johnny" one.

Kubrick uses camera movements and techniques, sound design, disturbing visuals, lighting, colors, foreshadowing, and attention to detail to make this a truly frightening horror film which contains so much suspense. Also, the score is one of the most eeriest movie scores ever written because it contains sharp, high-pitched sounds, and it is perfectly timed throughout the movie.

Sure, this movie did deviate from Stephen King's novel, but Kubrick expanded on the novel. It changed the things in the novel that didn't work that well and he changed them to make sure each aspect of it was as effective as possible.

However, my issue with it is with the character arc. The second Wendy mentions how Jack injured their son while he was drunk, my anticipation quickly faded into disappointment. At that point, I had a feeling where Jack's character was going to headed right at the start. By the end of the film, there was nothing surprising about how he ended up. I wished that his character would have started out softer.

While this film can be terrifying with its clever uses of suspense, claustrophobia, and frightening camera techniques, the character arc has always bugged me, and I don't like it as much as many other people do. I prefer character arcs to be unpredictable. I will always love Kubrick, but this movie was a miss for me.
½ April 1, 2017
The horror and suspense embodied in a movie.
½ March 29, 2017
Stanley Kubrick's The Shining is a great thriller masterpiece based on Stephen King's book. The Shining is a great movie with GREAT acting and a very scary and suspenseful story. Jack Nicholson is outstanding in his role, Shelley Duvall is phenomenal, and Danny Lloyd is Perfect. The directing in the film is remarkable by Stanley Kubrick, and the theme to this film is really well done. I give this movie an 96%
March 26, 2017
I don't care what anyone thinks about this movie. The Shining is definitely the best horror movie in history. Stanley Kubrick's adaptation of Stephen King's novel went to a slightly different way compared to the book and Stanley Kubrick has really improved his benefits of being a genius director for this film and Jack Nicholson really pulled it off as Jack Torrence (The main antagonist) in this film.
March 25, 2017
I can't watch this movie at night alone. I'd go crazy. Easily my favorite horror movie and one of my favorite movies of all time.
March 24, 2017
Best psychological horror movie ever made and my favorite horror film.
March 14, 2017
One of my favourite horrors of all time about one man slowly turning insane constantly making me paranoid. Great acting great scenes overall a classic masterpiece.
March 11, 2017
Although this movie is a retelling of Stephen Kings classic Novel (in the fact that there are a lot of differences between the book and the film) this still manages to capture the uncomfortable presence that the novel had. This by far is one of the scariest and creepiest movies I have ever seen, the atmosphere is perfect as it has very little music creating a sense of isolation. The performances are great, especially Jack Nicholson as Jack Torrance who at the beginning of the film is an ordinary likable hardworking father and later becomes a psychotic alcoholic killer with an ax. This movie has a Creepy 60's feel during its creepy moments as it has random shots were it just zooms into Nicholson's devious grin for no reason, which in any other film would feel out of place but here feels completely natural as we are dragged to the break of madness along with these characters. I loved this film even with the changes they made from the book. Some changes include the use of an ax instead of a mallet like a book, and the ending that I won't give away. But anyway these changes are appropriate, as those aspects would not work very well if they copied the book exactly. Anyway, this is up there as one of my favorite horror movies of all time. 5/5
March 4, 2017
Though a fan of Kubrick, but not a fan of scary movies, I waited a long time to see The Shining. I enjoyed the imagery but did feel it was reminiscent of David Lynch, which I later learned Kubrick was inspired by (Lynch's Eraserhead) prior to making The Shining. I wish there was more of a distinct character change in Jack Nicholson's character. There didn't seem to be a huge arc from when he began. I read that King (whose novel the film is based on) was hugely disappointed by how Nicholson's character seemed to change based on the hotel's 'evil spirits' rather than because of the natural stress factors that would cause any person to insanity.
Perhaps Lynch's eerie style over-influenced Kubrick, and made him underestimate his own ability to show psychological impact and change (which we saw in A Clockwork Orange).

I agree with King that it would have been more interesting (or maybe cliche... not sure) to see the effects of 'cabin fever' (isolation) driving a relate-able character who was struggling with alcoholism to madness. However, despite originating from an interesting semi-autobiographical book by King, I enjoyed the departure, and Kubrick's manifestation of King's story. I tend to be one that prefers to the exploration of departing from original material (books), rather than merely being a visual copy of the original manuscript/book. The open interpretations and deviation from the original material make both versions (book and movie) independent, creative entities; two works of art from the same source, told in different ways. That to me is more interesting.

The film is definitely memorable; and in my opinion, the sound design and cinematography are at least 60 to 70 percent of what contributes to its impact. Nicholson is great as usual; and I did not mind the weird appearance of the female actress Shelley Duvall. In fact, the annoying naivete of her character made it more understandable for her to drive her husband mad. Her big eyes and narrow face made her expressions of terror contributing factors to the insanity inside the hotel. It reminded me of Edvard Munch's The Scream painting.

Overall, I found this film to me the one to convince me of Kubrick's brilliant versatility in covering a wide range of genres. His satire is prevalent in Dr. Strangelove, Barry Lyndon; but this film went deeper into psychological darkness; further than Clockwork Orange, and I enjoyed it.
February 26, 2017
Ime guna bash your brains in haha. Very scary film with some brilliant funny bits put in from Jack Nicholson. Classic
February 25, 2017
One of Kubrick's all-time masterpieces, The Shining does not present us with serial killers, monsters or ghouls, but reality. With use of psychological horror up to an eleven, and Jack Nicholson's terrifying performance, Kubrick has crafted one of the most disturbing and horrifying films of all time.
February 25, 2017
Can't say much else that's already been said about this masterpiece
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