The Shining (1980) Review

Hello Adventurers!

I am going to be talking to you about a film that, one, I am posting thirty-eight years to the day of its release in the UK, and, two, that many think of as a horror film.  Seeing as it is October, I wanted to try and make all of the Friday ‘review’ blog posts about horror, or Halloweeny films.  I thought that this film would be a good way to start as I have never seen it before as I thought that it was horribly scary and would give me massive nightmares, however this isn’t the case.

I think that this film is fantastic.

I think it was really well done for its time, well edited and that the score is good but slightly overdone.  I was very impressed.  It’s an old school classic and watching it now, although I can say good things about it, I cannot see why it was such a big ‘horror’ deal when it came out.  I can however not really make a fair comment on this as I can compare it to films that have far more technoglical and CGI options, which can add a lot of different directions for films.

My opinion is that it isn’t a horror, but more of a psychological film.  Now, it could be that I am, as I said just a sentence ago, comparing the film to films that use far more advanced technology but I still don’t think that it is a horror… for me it could be a thriller possibly, actually, I am not really sure what I would class it as.  I do find the film to be creepy, just not scary but I think that regardless of that fact, it is a fantastic film.  However, while I was researching this film, I was getting a bit tired of reading that people, including people who were involved in this film, criticised it.

The actors in this film who take centre stage are:  Jack Nicholson (Jack Torrance), Shelley Duvall (Wendy Torrance), Danny Lloyd (Danny).  The actors who are secondary to the story are:  Scatman Crothers (Hallorann), Barry Nelson (Ullman), Philip Stone (Grady) and Joe Turkel (Lloyd).  

I cannot say how good everyones’ acting is in this film, and for me it is what makes this film so good.  I particularly think that Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall and Danny Lloyd are excellent and kept me riveted.

The film is nearly two and a half hours long, and if it wasn’t for their acting capabilities I wouldn’t have stayed watching the film.  I cannot think of anyone else who could have played the role, and played the parts as well as they did and, while doing my research, I loved to see how Jack and Shelley said good things about each others’ performances.  I also love how Shelley Duvall was cast, particularly as she isn’t a ‘looker’ and Hollywood’s typical ‘beauty’ for the role for this film.

I would absolutely love to read the book to be able to compare it with the film, but I am far too scared and definitely not brave enough.  Although I don’t believe that the quote is in the book, I really enjoyed watching the film for the line ‘here’s Johnny’ and that will forever be the thing that I remember from the film.

After watching the film there are a couple of things that I would have like to have seen done differently, although I don’t know if these things are explained more, or if they are even in the book, I would have liked the past of the hotel to be talked about more i.e. the burial site that it is supposedly built on.  I would have liked Jack Torrance’s descent into madness to have been explained a bit better, as I had no idea what was going on, and I felt that he went from being in a stable condition, to wanting to kill his wife and child with nothing in between.  I finally, would have liked the ‘psychic’ aspect of the film to have been explained a little bit more in depth as again I didn’t fully understand it.

Everything else aside, I would like to mention things that I loved about the film.  I liked how Jack’s descent into madness was shown by him typing the same sentence over and over again instead of supposedly writing a book although I was surprised that it showed up so late in the film.  I loved how the maze was brought into the film and how Danny was running away from Jack rather than Wendy and Danny just running around in circles in the hotel.


Let me know what you think of this film if you have, or are going to watch it, in the comments below!  Also, if you were looking to buy this film check out my shop for an easy link to do so!


Remember be brave, be happy, be kind, be you!

See you next time…

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