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31 Days of Horror Movies: The Shining


With the possible exception of Suspiria, all of the films I've written about this month have been personal favorites. It's my blog, so that makes sense. But if one is doing an overview of a particular subject, there are some entries that must be made which may be admired, rather then liked, by the person doing the write-up. And that brings us to today's horror film...

The Shining

Y'all know the drill with this one. Jack Nicholson and Shelley Duvall as husband & wife Jack and Wendy Torrance, and Danny Lloyd as their strange son Danny, who talks to his fingers. Oh, and the woefully under-used and too-easily dispatched Scatman Crothers as a chef with special powers.

Anyway, the Torrance family arrives at the isolated Overlook Hotel so they can look after the place while it's closed during the winter. Some weird stuff begins to happen: Jack writes a very simple book. Wendy walks around looking goofy and concerned. Danny generally acts creepy, except he's little, so it's not so bad. Odd bartenders and freaky twin girls show up, and some blood gushes down the hallways.

If it comes across as though I dislike The Shining, that isn't the case. It's just that I view its sums to be better than its whole. It certainly has some wonderfully horrific moments: the 'Redrum' bit, the aforementioned creepy characters and bloody hallway, the mental deterioration of Jack Torrance and, of course, the maze behind the hotel. But as an overall movie, The Shining has always seemed a bit lacking.

I do think it possible to appreciate something while not really enjoying it. Thus we have my view of The Shining. It has riveting performances by the three leads (Duvall, Lloyd and Nicholson), and features a pretty nifty melding of Kubrick & King (even if the latter has issues with it). It should definitely be included in a month of horror films, but more out of respect than anything else.

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