#2 The Shining (1980)

Where to begin with the masterpiece that is Stanley Kubrick’s the Shining? Well, one should know that it isn’t terribly accurate to the book, but one was made in the mid 90’s starring Stephen Weber which is really fucking good, but also 4.5 hours. It’s good, I recommend it. Don’t let your rose tinted glasses deter you from enjoying both. Now is the time where I need to mention that I think Stanley Kubrick is tied with Quentin Tarantino as my all time favorite director. Kubrick was the genius behind Full Metal Jacket, Dr Strangelove, Spartacus, 2001 A space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange, and Eyes Wide Shut among others. Yeah, he’s awesome, and his style does not disappoint in this all time horror favorite.

If you don’t know the story, just watch the damn film, I am not gonna provide a synopsis, aside from Jack goes crazy, and his son Danny talks to his finger and Scatman Crothers, and there is an awesome hedge garden maze. This movie has so many iconic elements that I can’t do it justice, and it is creepy as hell. The little girls, the bloody elevator, room 237, and sooo much more. Speaking of Room 237, there is a documentary by that name, and a few other ones actually regarding the Shining, and how some people have theorized the movie was Kubrick’s admission to having helped film and fake the moon landing. The clues are all there if you want to believe in it, and there some compelling arguments. And the one reason why you can’t quickly dismiss the theory is that if one person was smart enough, artistic enough, and visionary enough to make a whole film, based on a popular book by Stephen King, into an artistic admission of faking one of America’s biggest accomplishments, or possible scandals, it would have been Kubrick. I have heard that he was the most meticulous director to work for, and his attention to detail was unprecedented. Quite frankly, I love the conspiracy theory and I support it because it’s sometimes more fun than the truth.

Normally I would tackle the acting here in great detail. Then you remember that Shelly Duval was annoying, Danny was creepy and sometimes annoying, and that is two thirds of your main cast. With that being said the other third is Jack F’N Nicholson, and he gives what many consider his greatest performance, which says a lot for a guy with a great career like his, and he turns in one of horror pop cultures most iconic performances and beloved characters. Now the side characters keep this movie rolling despite Danny and Wendy being bland as hell. From Dick Hallorann, to the woman in 237, the girls, Lloyd the bartender, and last but certainly not least, Delbert Grady, this really has an underrated group of side characters.

Most posts won’t be so long, but this movie will always hold a special place in my heart, and that’s why it was for October 1st. This movie, along with Amityville Horror and American Werewolf in London, were my 3 first horror movies that I saw when I was like 4-7 age range, and I fell in love with the genre. The hedge maze always scared me as a kid and I would have nightmares about it. Of course, then I would go to the grocery store and would only look in the horror movie section, it became a lifelong love, and without this movie, I may not have been as big a fan. Overall, I give this movie a 8.5.

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