Film Critic: The Shining


Photo Credit IMDB

By Nia Rutledge

The Shining was originally a novel written by Stephen King. Stanley Kubrick directed this film adaptation of the novel. I have to say, Stanley Kubrick is proving to be my favorite director. Diane Johnson and Stanley Kubrick wrote the screenplay for The Shining. The movie is mainly focused on Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall and Danny Lloyd. Last Friday was my first time watching The Shining. It’s described as being a physiological-horror concoction, my two favorite genres. Also, it is considered a classic film, so I was really aching to finally see what this movie was all about.


Before I watched the movie I knew nothing about it. All I knew was that it was the kind of movie that left you pondering the plot. I’ve heard a ton of talk about the film, though. I seems as if it is a life requirement to see the movie. I see that infamous picture of Jack Nicholson looking like a crazy man in the door almost every time i’m on Tumblr.


The Shining is a really insanely confusing and odd thriller-horror film. There are so many things I do not understand and question to a remarkable level. The moments of terror were interrupted by weird, impossible to understand situations, so weird that for a brief moment it seemed to be fitting to laugh rather than be scared. Those brief moments of laughable actions had the lifespan of a second, then it was right back to the hand clenching and the teeth grinding.


I really love the cinematography of Stanley Kubrick films. It’s as if I can pause the movie at any moment, take a screenshot and mount the picture on my wall. Everything is so picturesque and the camera angles are unexpected and give a new point of view on the actions taking place in the shot. I really appreciate the scenery of every scene. Every object or piece of furniture is interesting to look at and are made of an abundance of color, design, and pattern. That’s the main problem I have with older films, they tend to be very neutrally colored and not much action in the shot besides what the characters are doing.


I really enjoy the acting in The Shining. Everyone, even Danny Lloyd who plays the little boy, are good actors. The Shining probably wouldn’t have been as scary or suspenseful if it weren’t for the great choice of actors.


As far as the plot goes, I was so sure that i had a grip on what was going on in the movie until the rising action got closer to the climax. There were so very questionable things that happened. It was the very ending that sealed the deal on the “I have no idea what is going on” package.


All I have to say is that the movie seems to follow Jack Nicholson’s character and the state of him mentality throughout the film. Besides that, i really have no clue what The Shining was all about. I’m sure that the story makes slightly more sense in it’s novel format. Even after reading posts online explaining The Shining there’s still so much I do not understand about the movie. There are many different interpretations and conspiracies about the film. I believe that this is the kind of film that gives the viewer the chance to fill in the holes and really make theories about what certain thing mean and why certain things happen. This movie leaves me guessing in a way that I absolutely adore, but also hate. I really want a prequel extremely badly, but I also don’t and enjoy never having a definite answer about what happens in The Shining.


If I had to describe this movie in short I would say: “I really have no freaking idea.” Usually, when a film makes no sense, it’s in a bad way. The Shining makes no sense in the most perfect way. It’s like you think you know what’s going on, but you don’t and you never will and it’s glorious. Even though the run time in a little over two hours, i would watch this film again, and again, and again, just to try and find any hints that I missed. I would recommend this movie, it’s great movie for those that just want to be a puddle of fright and confusion.


Overall Rating: 8.6/10