The Shining (1980) Movie Review

The Shining (1980)

1980 | Horror, Drama
144 minutes /

User Score: 56/100


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The Shining Review

Synopsis:

A family heads to an isolated hotel for the winter where an evil and spiritual presence influences the father into violence, while his psychic son sees horrific forebodings from the past and of the future.

The Shining (1980) is a British-American psychological horror film that was based on Stephen King‘s novel, The Shining (1977). Director and screenplay writer Stanley Kubrick (A Clockwork Orange (1971), 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), Full Metal Jacket (1987)) did a phenomenal job executing this classic movie that is loved by horror fans today. The Shining is a film that all horror fans has watched more than once and enjoyed it every time. The movie contains a haunted hotel, graphic nudity, sexual content, extreme violence, bad language, frightening scenes, jump scares, sitting on the edge of your seat moments, suspense, and thrills. There was also telepathy, psychological disintegration, insanity, freezing to death, haunting, psychopath, supernatural power, possession, dysfunctional family, nightmare, hallucination, premonition, domestic violence, extrasensory perception, and magical negro stereotype.

The Shining revolves around Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson - The Departed (2006), As Good as It Gets (1997), Chinatown (1974)) a writer and recovering alcoholic. Jack is desperate to get away from his everyday norm and applies for a job at a ski lodge in the hopes that he will have some quiet time since the hotel is closed from October to May. He became the new off-season caretaker of the isolated Overlook Hotel that was built on a Native American burial ground. Nothing good ever comes from a structure being built on any burial ground, so we know that the movie was going to be spectacular from this point on. Manager Stuart Ullman (Barry Nelson - Airport (1970), Hudson’s Bay (1959), Shadow of the Thin Man (1941)) informed Jack about the previous caretaker, Charles Grady, who developed cabin fever.

Jack’s son Danny (Danny Lloyd) has psychic abilities and can sometimes tell the future, the past, can also see ghosts, and other things. Danny had a deadly premonition about the hotel before they moved in but his premonition was dismissed by his family. The family met the chef, Dick Hallorann (Scatman Crothers - One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975), The AristoCats (1970), Chico and the Man (1974)) who has telepathic abilities. Dick called his gift "shining" and tells Danny to stay out and away from room 237. It only took a month for things to go wrong as the phone lines are down because of a massive snowstorm, Danny having a few not-good premonitions and Jack is acting very strange. Danny disobeys all warnings and visits room 237 only to encounter a female ghost that strangled him. Jack investigates room 237 and lies to his wife Wendy (Shelley Duvall - Annie Hall (1977), Time Bandits (1981), 3 Women (1977)) that there is no one there. Immediately after, all hell broke loose, and the family is stuck in the hotel as a snowstorm traps them in. Jack is easily manipulated by the supernatural presence and began acting mad leading him to attempt to murder his family as he listens to the ghosts. Will Jack succeed in killing his family or will his family kill him?

Jack Nicholson shines in this film and is one of his best roles, and his performance was excellent. Shelley Duvall did not fall too far behind Jack with her performance as she played a convincing terrified wife that will do just about anything to save her son. Danny Lloyd plays a cute little boy, but it shows that he does not have experience in the industry because he does not show much facial expressions or emotions.

The Shining did not go cheap on the scares as they were genuinely scary with scenes that will make you jump a few times while sending chills up your spine. Overall, this is one of the best horror movies from the 1980s that does not do the gore route but instead focuses on horror and fear.

I was interested in the filming locations and hope you would too:

  • Timberline Lodge, Mount Hood, Oregon, USA
  • Going-to-the-Sun Road, Glacier National Park, Montana, USA
  • Elstree Studios, Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, England, UK
  • Saint Mary Lake, Glacier National Park, Montana, USA
  • Glacier National Park, Montana, USA
  • Colorado, USA
  • Yosemite National Park, California, USA
  • Epcot Center, Walt Disney World, Lake Buena Vista, Florida, USA

About The Shining (1980)

Title: The Shining
Year: 1980
Runtime: 144 minutes
Type: Movie
Genre: Horror, Drama
Reviewer:
Score: 4.5 / 5 stars
Published:
Avg. Rating: 2.8/5 stars from 16 users.
Total Avg. Votes: 16
Starring: Jack Nicholson, Barry Dennen, Burnell Tucker, David Baxt, Derek Lyons, Scatman Crothers, Chris Parsons, Barry Nelson, Manning Redwood, Joe Turkel, Kate Phelps, Vivian Kubrick, Norman Gay, Bertha Lynn, Glenn Rinker, Shelley Duvall, Paul Desbois, Danny Lloyd, Anne Jackson, Lia Beldam, Tony Burton, Billie Gibson, Lisa Burns, Louise Burns, Philip Stone, Robin Pappas, Alison Coleridge, Jana Shelden
Writers: Stephen King, Stanley Kubrick, Diane Johnson
Director: Stanley Kubrick

The Shining Cover Poster Art