Sunday, August 16, 2015

The Shining (1980)

Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) takes the position of off season caretaker of the Grand Overlook Hotel. Turns out the former caretaker had some troubles, and those troubles seem to be following Jack and his family. But, as they say, all work and no play ...

Somehow I had managed to miss seeing this horror classic, and while I've watched the famous scenes to death, there was a good deal of the story I did not know. Young Danny (young Danny) has "The Shining", which means he can hear thoughts and pick up impressions left before. And other stuff. He has an imaginary friend named Tony (Redruuuum!) He only had one other acting credit, a TV movie about G. Gordon Liddy. He played young G.

I was thrilled to watch this at Movies on the Block, but towards the end, when Wendy (Shelley Duvall) was at wit's end running from Jack, people laughed. I was offended. I wanted to find Duvall, hug her, and tell her everything is going to be all right. All performances here were stellar, but her's surprised me.

Based on the Stephen King novel, this is a Stanley Kubrick movie, make no mistake. Tone, character, and story elements are changed to agree with the director's genius (King hated his treatment of the material). His attention to detail is legendary, as are his tactics. Duvall was treated poorly on camera and off to give her a beleaguered feeling. The scene on the stairs when she waived a baseball bat, it was said, was done in 127 takes.

There is way too much to say about any Kubrick movie, The Shining in particular, so I will again leave with someone else's video. There is no end to interpretations on its meaning. This is a spectacularly well made horror movie, one of the best in the genre. Room 237 is crap. AMRU 4.5.
"Wendy, I'm home."

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