Friday, 28 November 2014

"The Shining" Movie Review

(Fig. 1 – Movie Poster)
“The Shining” created by Stanley Kubrick in 1980, based on the novel by Stephen King, is an amazing horror film that scares not with special effects, but incredible subtlety and a threat that is as real as everything in the film. Insanity created by isolation and surroundings that evoke the worst in the already mentally unstable Jack (Jack Nickolson).
The Guardian talks about the unique set and lighting used in the film: “The Shining is another chance to savour, first of all, those magnificent interior sets. Instead of the cramped darkness and panicky quick editing of the standard-issue scary movie, Kubrick gives us the eerie, colossal, brilliantly lit spaces of the Overlook Hotel (created in Elstree Studios, Hertfordshire), shot with amplitude and calm.” (Bradshaw, 2012)
The Empire Online talks about Kubrick’s quest for perfection and the challenges the actors needed to endure in order to achieve it: “In accordance with the Kubrick legend, the process of making the movie took meticulousness to staggering levels — Shelley Duvall was reputedly forced to do no less than 127 takes of one scene; Nicholson was force fed endless cheese sandwiches (which he loathes) to generate a sense of inner revulsion, and the recent invention of the Steadicam (by Garret Brown) fuelled Kubrick's obsessive quest for perfection. The result is gloriously precision-made.” (, 2014)

The movie is full of symbolism and symmetry, but in every scene with perfectly aligned objects and almost always portrayed using a 1 point perspective there is something slightly moved to one sight, as if to create more tension in a seamlessly perfectly symmetrical scene as shown on fig 2. where the carpet extends to the left or the “exit” sign hangs above the right.

( fig. 2 – movie still)
Roger Ebert Talks about the film: “The movie is not about ghosts but about madness and the energies it sets loose in an isolated situation primed to magnify them. Jack is an alcoholic and child abuser who has reportedly not had a drink for five months but is anything but a "recovering alcoholic." When he imagines he drinks with the imaginary bartender, he is as drunk as if he were really drinking, and the imaginary booze triggers all his alcoholic demons, including an erotic vision that turns into a nightmare.” (Ebert, 2006) The movie is an incredible example of collaboration and adaptation. Stanley Kubrick not only created a film based on a novel, but made a masterpiece which was equally his and Stephen King’s.
(Fig. 3 – movie still)

Fig. 1 -, (2014). The Shining posters. [online] Available at: [Accessed 28 Nov. 2014].
Fig. 2 -, (2014). THE SHINING (1979) analysis by Rob Ager. [online] Available at: [Accessed 28 Nov. 2014].
Fig. 3 - The Book Smugglers, (2013). Old School Wednesdays: The Shining by Stephen King. [online] Available at: [Accessed 28 Nov. 2014].

Bradshaw, P. (2012). The Shining – review. [online] the Guardian. Available at: [Accessed 28 Nov. 2014]., (2014). Empireonline Reviews | Reviews | Empire. [online] Available at: [Accessed 28 Nov. 2014].

Ebert, R. (2006). The Shining Movie Review & Film Summary (1980) | Roger Ebert. [online] Available at: [Accessed 28 Nov. 2014].

1 comment: