Thursday, October 29, 2020

31 Days of Halloween - Day 29 - Movie

Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) takes a position as the winter caretaker at the Overlook Hotel. Located in the Rockies, the hotel will be completely cut off once winter sets in. Aside from the isolation, Jack and his family (Shelly Duvall and Danny Lloyd) must also deal with the malevolent hotel's ghosts, Jack's descent into violent madness, and young Danny's psychic abilities called the shining.

The Shining (1980) directed by Stanley Kubrick and based on the novel by Stephen King, is a movie that I disliked for years, but gradually, over time, have learned to enjoy for its merits. As a stylishly made film full of fantastic imagery it's wonderful. The acting is great and it has incredible discordant music selected for its score. As a horror film, it's pretty much a bust to me. Kubrick's style of directing always keeps the viewer outside looking in, and not an active participant in what is going on, so there is a remove that keeps the viewer from engaging on the visceral level necessary for a good horror story to work. Nicholson is exceptional as Jack Torrance, but is presented in a way that does not suggest a caring family man trying to build a life before being undermined and influenced by the Overlook's malevolent nature. Nicholson's Torrance seems like he's just one step away from madness from the beginning. I've been training myself to get past those two negative aspects and to allow myself to enjoy The Shining for its strengths.

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