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Overall Rating
4.56

Awesome78.19%
Worth A Look: 11.11%
Average: 2.47%
Pretty Bad: 4.94%
Total Crap: 3.29%

7 reviews, 201 user ratings


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Shining, The (1980)
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by Jack Sommersby

"Stanley Steamer"
2 stars

Regrettably, it talks a way better horror film than it's actually able to deliver. While it's certainly not a hack piece of cinema, for all the time and effort that went into it, the end result is noxiously negligible.

As messy and meandering as Stanley Kubrick's The Shining so quintessentially is, it's got a few things in its favor, the best of which is the spectacular production/set design. For the uninitiated, the story revolves around a family of three -- a husband, wife and young son -- doing caretaker duty at a huge, five-star hotel called the Overlook high up in the Colorado Rockies for five months during winter while it's closed down due to budgetary reasons. The husband, Jack Torrance, is a recovering alcoholic whose job prospects since leaving Vermont and relocating to Boulder have been dim; he used to be a schoolteacher but (for reasons the film doesn't explain) he left that and has been stuck taking mostly menial jobs ever since. So landing the caretaker position is quite the plum: not only because the pay is probably good with virtually no living expenses (there's enough food to last two winters), but the isolation is perfect for Jack, who's outlining a new writing project. But before granting him the position, the hotel manager feels obligated to tell him that ten years earlier the former caretaker apparently went crazy with "cabin fever" and hacked up his wife and two daughters with an axe before turning a shotgun on himself. His wife Wendy is supportive but a wee bit wary of Jack's occasional spouts of anger (while in Vermont, Jack accidentally dislocated Danny's shoulder when he drunkenly pulled him away from some school papers strewn over the floor); and son Danny has an imaginary friend named Tony in the form of his index finger who he talks to and is able to provide brief flashes of happenings in the future. When introduced to the hotel's head chef, Hallorann, before he leaves for Miami, Danny finds that they can read each other's minds; Hallorann calls it "shining," an ability where its possessors can also pick up remnants from the past that have left traces behind -- some of the good variety, some of the bad. After about a month, Jack finds himself being driven mad by some kind of malicious, ghostly force harbored in the hotel for quite some time that tries to manipulate him by appealing to his darker nature to destroy his family; in essence, he's left teetering on a mental-stability tightrope while cut off from civilization and imprisoned inside a stadium-size structure that's both flat-out beautiful and understatedly unnerving.

And what a structure it is! Lounges the size of a cathedral, a ballroom large enough to host a football game, long hallways that seem to go on forever, a grand kitchen with as many winding walking paths as the labyrinth, fourteen-foot-high-walled maze outside that takes about an hour to get through, a waiting area that could accommodate a high-school pep rally, all have been flawlessly designed with the utmost attention paid to seemingly every conceivable detail. The Shining is a haunted-house tale, alright, but it certainly doesn't look like other entries in this genre. As with all Kubrick films, it's garishly overlit to the point where even the table lamps look to be using thousand-watt bulbs; and because of this going-against-the-grain visual approach in a horror film -- even eschewing conventions like menacing shadows, old, creaky doors, dark attics and dank basements -- the audience may take some time getting used to it. For a while, we're thankful that Kubrick has taken his time in laying out the different sections and levels of the hotel; we feel we're soaking up necessary spatial-logistic information that will have some related bearing later on down the line. (With the possible exceptions of the spaceship in Alien and the Nakatomi building in Die Hard, I can't think of another central setting that's been used as effectively to the point where it eventually becomes a character in and of itself.) As a result, the first-half proceedings are given a you-are-there vitality that cannily taps into our sense of apprehension of pondering just what's in store behind this disarming facade of apparent normalcy that's tonally disarming. And the bravura opening-credit sequence, where we track Jack's tiny VW bug, seen from high above, as he drives through roads up the spacious mountains on his way to the job interview, perfectly coalesces with the workman-like, cramped interior of the manager's office -- already Kubrick is using physical contrast to give us the sense of isolation that Jack and his family are soon in store for, which is further accentuated by the VW also feeling cramped when the whole family is packed into it on their way to the Overlook a few scenes later. As to be expected from a talented director, Kubrick shows craftsmanship and cunning in laying out the early rudiments of the story while thinking it out in visual terms that suitably serve it without uncouthy calling too much attention to al the effort behind it.

Unfortunately, there's that thing called a screenplay, and the inchoate one Kubrick has concocted with first-timer Diane Johnson, from Stephen King's best-selling novel, is nothing short of a shambles. It's absolutely riddled with inconsistencies, dropped story points, and an absence of logic to the illogical (as writer/director L.Q. Jones wisely commented on his brilliant sci-fi fantasy A Boy and His Dog, "The more out-there your story premise is, the more rock-hard the inner logic supporting it needs to be."), and to such a considerable degree that a lot of the time it's as if Kubrick were simply making things up as he went along; and unlike, say, an Altman or Spielberg, he's not the kind of free-associative director who can pull workable improvisatorial miracles out of thin air (he's much too literal-minded and unspontaneous). We're told that the hotel was built in 1907 on an Indian burial ground and that the builders had to repel some Indian attacks, and that's perfectly fine for the mere basis of the horror -- some evil spirits that didn't take kindly to this have decided to enact revenge on the Overlook's inhabitants. But it's still rather sketchy, and we're not sure why merciless havoc hasn't been wreaked on all the guests and staff instead of saving it all for that special annual caretaker unlucky enough to be susceptible to their innate evil; in essence, Jack, I think, is supposed to be just that man -- one with the dark side and dark impulses who's vulnerable to them. But again, why, if it's such a powerful force of evil, would it not be able to find any number of suitable victims on a regular basis in this very posh and popular hotel during the open season, or at least from the variety of caretakers in the past ten years since the murderous one named Grady? Or have they? Danny's told by Hallorann that some of the guests over the years before his time at the Overlook have done some bad things there, but are we to infer they arrived there bad and the evil spirits fed off of them or they were transformed into bad people who did bad things? In King's novel this was made clear: rich businessmen and mobsters committed unspeakable acts that were kept hush-hush by the greedy owner afraid of bad publicity, and the spirits plaguing Jack manifested and intensified from this. Kubrick, though, skips right on over it -- at least in the final cut: for if you look close on Jack's writing table you can see an old scrapbook with what appears to be newspaper clippings, so we expect Kubrick is following King's route and wait to be let in on some of the bad things Hallorann was referring to, but apparently Kubrick deemed it unnecessary and jettisoned it. Certainly the audience doesn't need every morsel of information spoon-fed to them, but even in a supernatural horror film it's still necessary to lay some kind of groundwork where we can get our bearings.

And what about the gift of "shining"? Being that it's the title of the film and the set-up for it is considerable, it's amazing that so little is actually done with it, and what there is is of very little consequence. If Danny can pick up horrific images of the Overlook (the slain daughters of Grady's; tons of blood pouring out of an elevator) from all the way from Boulder hundreds of miles away, and later Hallorann can connect with Danny all the way from Miami, then why, when Jack is on a rampage with an axe to do in his wife and son, and Hallorann's made it to the inside of the hotel, isn't Hallorann able to pick up on the danger Jack presents, and why doesn't Danny sense Hallorann's presence and warn him not just by then but earlier when Jack first started on the rampage? And why, pray tell, didn't Danny and/or Hallorann get visions of Jack's transformation into madness before it happened? Earlier, Jack is informed by the ghosts that Danny has a great power (they actually seem quite threatened by it), yet, when all is said and done, we remain nonplussed at just how ungreat it actually is, with the real corker that Danny ultimately succeeds in defeating evil incarnate not by shining but by some rather nifty ingenuity of retracing footsteps in the snow. And when Kubrick isn't fouling up this aspect, he's applying double standards to the ghosts in terms of their capabilities. When Danny is shown physically hurt by something after venturing into room 237, a place he'd previously got a horrific vision of and which Hallorann warned him to stay out of, later on we're confused why Wendy isn't similarly dealt with while proving resourceful and has gotten the upper hand on Jack. Kubrick apparently wants us to think that the ghosts want Jack to do all the wet work, but as the film lumbers on and on and on and things start getting repetitive, this seems less the case and more that he's desperately clinging to this to prolong what there is of the scattershot story. And how do the ghosts know to warn Jack that Danny has summoned Hallorann? Do they "shine," too? When you get right down to it, for all the pathetic mishandling of this "shining" device, you could cut out all mention of it by clipping about three scenes, eliminating about five quick shots, switch the film title, and I'd dare anyone to notice much of a difference. It were as if Kubrick subconciously wanted to sabotage his baby by doing an anti-Carrie or anti-The Fury, both of which aptly dealt with the power of telekinesis.

Like fellow ultra-perfectionist filmmaker Michael Cimino, Kubrick, as Cimino did in his notorious flop Heaven's Gate, is concerned more with the visual life of the material than the contextual value. Which might explain something so careless as to have Wendy tell a doctor in Boulder that Jack hurt Danny five months ago, and then to have Jack later on say it was indeed five months but two minutes later saying it was three years ago to the very same person. (Then again, hey, those ashtrays and carpet certainly look right!) Kubrick isn't all-thumbs in all of the second-half scenes, though. There's a good one where Jack, wrongly accused by Wendy of hurting Danny, retreats to a deserted ballroom for some solace, takes a seat at the bar, groans about wanting a drink, looks up from his hands and sees a bartender figure who he somehow knows by the name of Lloyd, who proceeds to pour him drinks that Jack eagerly downs while bitching about his family troubles. When Wendy tracks him down we see that Jack has been hallucinating all this, and this payoff is just fine. (It also helps that the actor playing Lloyd, Joe Turkel, displays one of those evilly curling smiles that's the stuff of nightmares.) But Kubrick can't resist another scene there a while later, with the difference this time the room being packed with hundreds of people dressed in formal wear from a few decades ago (Kubrick isn't even witty enough to have Jack hallucinate himself a tuxedo), and that Jack gets the chance to talk to a waiter who calls himself Grady in the empty men's room. It's a long scene, with Jack insisting that Grady used to be the caretaker here and Grady denying it, insisting that Jack has "always been the caretaker here." Very little actually comes from it, with most of your attention drawn to the incredibly bright red walls that look so psychedelic you feel you've walked into the middle of Kubrick's futuristic-set A Clockwork Orange. And there's a truly dreadful one that's even longer that you could time a dozen eggs to where Jack holds Danny in his lap on a bed and the two listlessly ask each other dull questions. Dialogue scenes have never been Kubrick's strong point, and the scene could have ended in half the time if Kubrick didn't insist on so many pregnant pauses in between the lines -- it plays out like an avant-garde acting exercise where the instructor has challenged the actors to try to add variety to words spoken with their mouths full of oatmeal. This, too, reminds of Orange (Kubrick's career-best) in the equally-prolonged dialogue scene with bad-boy Alex and his parole officer conversing also on a bed in a single one-shot. Suffice to say, Kubrick could never be accused of not repeating himself.

Yet his biggest fault here -- and it's quite the detrimental one -- is not lending a dramatic interpretation onto the material. The central conflict should be Jack's struggle within himself: his dark side enticed by the ghosts stoking his inner demons, and his good side fighting to retain his humanity for the sake of the safety of his family; and we the audience should be emotionally caught up in his tumultuous plight. But Kubrick's treatment of it is so off-puttingly opaque that we find ourselves outside Jack more often than not. There should be gradual levels to the stages of his ever-increasing madness, yet the director employs an obtuse, sledgehammer approach that all but empties out the goodwill reservoirs carried over from King's novel. Kubrick's idea of subtlety is to have the camera slowly pan toward a shit-eating-grinning, buggo-eyed Jack in close-up as he stares out the window at Wendy and Danny playing outside. And those who've seen other Kubrick films should recognize this, for he used the exact same thing zeroing in on the faces of Orange's juvenile-delinquent Alex and Full Metal Jacket's psycho-soldier Pyle. To Kubrick, apparently, all crazies are the same and have no more nuance than a standard movie monster. (Suffice to say, he'd make a lousy Secret Service agent on protective detail -- he'd look only for the glaringly-obvious ones in the crowd.) And compounding this problem is Jack Nicholson's bothersome performance that's grossly overscaled and disappointingly obvious coming from such a phenomenal talent. He starts out okay during the job-interview scene, but the next time we see him, driving with the family to the hotel, he looks unaccountably deranged with a seriously pissed-off look as if he'd just been overcharged for gasoline at the filling station. Perhaps we're meant to sense fissure in the marriage, but Nicholson's even over-the-top when he's shown his son's roomy bedroom during the hotel tour ("Perfect for a child," he quips, which is maybe to convey that Jack had a humble upbringing but is still too strange to really belong.) Wildly arching his eyebrows like semaphores, Nicholson seems to be operating on his own weird wavelength, and it's a colossal miscalculation -- we never get a sense of the "before" Jack so we don't feel any sense of loss when he turns rabid; and when he does, Nicholson's so extroverted we expect to see smoke blowing out his ears, rendering the character more laughable than terrifying. (He actually gave a much, much better performance of a flawed Everyman up to his neck in emotional turmoil in The Border.)

The lasting question is why Kubrick was attracted to King's novel in the first place, especially since it's a largely character-driven piece and Kubrick has previously shown he's not particularly good at dramatization. Maybe it was to work in a genre where he could try his hand at creepy imagery, and he does succeed with a couple, like when the hotel is unleashing its full array of ghosts near the end and Wendy comes upon a room where someone in a bear suit looks up at her from suggestively going down on a well-dressed man on the bed (speaking of Wendy, Shelly Duvall, usually an acquired taste, expertly conveys both fright and strength whenever called upon), and one of an overturned semi on an iced-over highway during a heavy snowstorm that has a strange beauty; but others, like a waiting area with skeletons and spider webs and that blood-spewing elevator, don't have the graphic vitality that they should. And then Kubrick feels obliged to throw in aspects of eternality and reincarnation to spice things up (remember, Grady told Jack he's the one who's always been the caretaker), but it's too vacuous for us to even remotely bother contemplating. If anything, Kubrick appears to have fastened onto Jack the same theme he did with Alex in Orange and Joker in Jacket: that man's primal instinct is to kill, and he doesn't need a whole lot in the way of provocation; and if he's willing to surrender to it, it can be intensely satisfying. (Come to think of it, Ryan O'Neal's title character in Kubrick's enervating Barry Lyndon didn't exactly lose a whole lot of sleep over the men he challenged to shooting duels and killed.) One could comment on this, sure, but why bother -- it's too boring. Kubrick's early crime pictures The Killing and Killer's Kiss weren't exactly classics, but at least they were economically built and engineered with snappy precision with little to no flab, which can't be said for the amorphous The Shining, which is as flabby and directionless as a punctured plastic life raft floating in the ocean. It didn't have to end up this way, if only Kubrick had not seen himself as above King's work and not gotten so fancy-pants on us with bathetic bouts of the pseudo-intellectualism variety that can turn audiences off movies altogether. For better haunted-house fare, there's always Dan Curtis's Burnt Offerings, Gus Trikonis's The Evil, and Brad Anderson's Session 9. While they may not boast the production values of Kubrick's film, at least they're seductive and scary, and minus any alienating put-upon airs.

For successful Stephen King film adaptations, try "The Dead Zone" and "Cat's Eye" and "Dolores Claiborne" and "Creepshow."

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=1383&reviewer=327
originally posted: 09/15/10 00:11:23
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User Comments

10/29/16 morris campbell no its not faithfull 2 the book but its still great 5 stars
3/31/15 stanley welles a spellbinding horror epic 5 stars
12/11/12 Jilly Wildly overrated. Nothing happens, just camera operators walking around. 1 stars
6/06/11 the truth kubrick does horror. a hallmark of the genre 5 stars
2/20/11 Ark Saw it at age 19 and scary as hell! 5 stars
11/17/10 ant and rich (In film studies) Classic film! Not quite what Stephen King envisioned, But a masterpiece never the less! 5 stars
11/15/10 Chad Dillon Cooper Great film from a great film maker 5 stars
11/10/10 Steve Benkin i have never understood the high acclaim this gets. Left me cold. 2 stars
1/13/10 Jeff Wilder Ridiculous and changes A LOT from the book. But still good. 4 stars
1/08/10 BOB THE BEST! 5 stars
10/03/09 art OVERRATED!,NICHOLSON IS SO HAMMY! 1 stars
10/01/09 brian The perfect horror film. Bone-chilling. 5 stars
9/21/09 Aaron Direction and acting are great, but pacing and script are uneven. 3 stars
7/29/09 Knightfox21 CLASSIC!!!! A true representation of what a horror film should be! 5 stars
7/23/09 Steven M The best horror ever made! good eerie creepy music!! jack nicholson at his best!! great! 5 stars
7/14/09 faiche13 Creepy kids, axe wielding psycho, anorexic Shelley Duvall - what more could you ask for? 5 stars
7/14/09 FrankNFurter A clausterphobic, pervasively creepy masterpiece.Goosebumps galore! 5 stars
7/09/09 art A SICKO MOVIE! 1 stars
2/26/09 PAUL SHORTT GRANDIOSE GHOST STORY, BRILLIANTLY MADE 4 stars
9/22/08 don Great 5 stars
5/14/08 John Jack Nicholson is the shit and this movie is the balls 5 stars
11/03/07 jake My favorite horror movie, one of the scarriest films ever made, great cinematography 5 stars
6/13/07 al smith very scary nicholson gives the greatest performance ever 5 stars
5/19/07 fools♫gold Thegreatesthorrorflick, indeed (that'snottosay manydon't matchuptoit). Bttr thn the "Dr." 5 stars
4/14/07 zenshark It's horror for the brain... and it works. 5 stars
4/04/07 LoveShining Absolutely the best horror ever made. Goes directly to your psyhce and not to your stomach. 5 stars
2/24/07 George Enjoyed the sense something was going to go awfully wrong and the build up towards it. 5 stars
2/06/07 David Pollastrini brilliant, frightening 5 stars
12/22/06 Quigley didn't scare me, but it was pretty creepy. music ruined it sometimes. Nicholson was amazing 4 stars
11/20/06 chris. duvall SUCKS. lloyd is okay (his only movie, he's just a kid). nicholson is phenomenal. 5 stars
11/11/06 Bill Hi all 2 stars
10/30/06 Homer J. Fong about as scary as a fluffy orange kitten 2 stars
8/18/06 Nix the music makes the movie scary as hell 5 stars
7/14/06 David Cohen Actually improved on the book in my opinion 5 stars
6/25/06 George Scared the hell out of me 5 stars
6/22/06 TB Nicholson was the best 4 stars
6/19/06 marysue great!!!!! 5 stars
6/16/06 Josh Racine The best horror movie ever! 5 stars
6/11/06 Billy So good it scares the hell out of me 5 stars
4/30/06 John So scary I shit my self.......LITERALLY!!!!! 5 stars
4/29/06 TERRY AWESOME AND SCARY 5 stars
4/22/06 Jack This is an Awesome horror film 5 stars
3/13/06 Joshua W. Great thriller, a classic 5 stars
12/22/05 MrsVoorheesBabyBoy Still one of the Greatest horror movies ever 5 stars
12/22/05 Ethan M. "Here's Jonny!" A classical horro film. 4 stars
12/21/05 Carolyn Rathburn Classic Nicholson, eerie, good movie 5 stars
12/11/05 chris brilliant movie nicholson actually made me beleive he was mad thats how good he played it!! 5 stars
11/20/05 John Dog "Here's Johnny!!!" 5 stars
11/11/05 zeitgeist Kubrick owns King 5 stars
11/06/05 Ben Best horror movie ever! 5 stars
11/05/05 farnqwo aler 5 stars
11/04/05 Meryl read the book... it's much scarier. Even the remake is much scarier. 1 stars
10/16/05 Moctezuma A true horror classic 5 stars
9/29/05 Ape It is a masterpiece, this movie is a must see if you haven't already, 5 stars
9/26/05 The Overlooker Scary as hell! 5 stars
9/13/05 Total Crap Oh My GOD. The Little Girls, the Crazy Lady in Room 217, Scary Shit. Nightmarish! 5 stars
9/02/05 Tom Burns Very creepy, and very good. 5 stars
8/26/05 Michael no no no 1 stars
8/23/05 Isaac Baranoff Of course, it's not faithful to the book, but it's a great Stanley Kubrick film! 5 stars
8/23/05 Martin a true masterpiece of eeire, inexplicable terror! brilliant! 5 stars
8/20/05 ES The saving grace of this movie is jack's dementia, his ghostly conversations are hilarious 4 stars
8/06/05 Pierre Masterpiece! 5 stars
6/22/05 rachel schauer its totaly creepy 5 stars
6/12/05 Manu Ginobli woot 5 stars
6/11/05 Anthony G Masterpiece, its jack nicholson for fucks sake! 5 stars
5/26/05 Jake A Horror movie masterpiece 5 stars
2/23/05 robin de loxley great film 4 stars
2/16/05 Wilt Chamberlin Heeeeeeere's Stephen King! 5 stars
12/15/04 kelly! adair! wohoooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
12/09/04 Kristina Williams Jack fucking Nicholson 5 stars
10/30/04 HL So Bizarre and Nicholsen Too. Not for Everyone. 4 stars
10/26/04 some guy My favorite horror movie, just the atmosphere makes you want to crap your pants 5 stars
10/24/04 UMER jack is at his sinister best and the movie really SCARES 5 stars
9/05/04 henro wonderful 5 stars
9/03/04 T.B. This Movie make me laugh 4 stars
7/03/04 nortika great horror flik. 5 stars
6/28/04 john bale Manic Jack with unnerving soundtrack and disturbing visuals. One of few great Horror movies 5 stars
6/27/04 FIN A Classic. Good Horror, Brilliant Screenplay, Jack Nicholson's performance is amazing! 5 stars
6/19/04 J HERES JOHNNY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
6/13/04 Monster W. Kung Unbeatable for atmosphere, good not great as a story. Way better than King's crapola, tho. 4 stars
4/27/04 Ryan The best horror flick ever made 5 stars
4/11/04 valerie hart fantastic film one of the best and creepiest fils ever made!!!! 5 stars
4/07/04 Sig "Here's Johnny!" - Jack Nicholson, 1980 "The Shining" 5 stars
4/02/04 re a great film 5 stars
3/31/04 American Slasher Goddess Excellent horror classic. 5 stars
3/24/04 Lord Haw Haw Brilliant psychological horror. Excellent all around. 5 stars
3/23/04 Trannon Goble One of My Favorite 10 Films 5 stars
3/21/04 movieguy a great film 5 stars
2/24/04 Dr.Lecter So chilling it's nearly hypothermic 4 stars
1/31/04 gretchen gamey Have watched it many times,Really creepy 5 stars
1/28/04 Helios Those morons who love "The Ring" so much need to stop by and feel the true power. 5 stars
1/26/04 Eric Olive oil almost ruined this movie.I would have rather seen Pam Grier.Thank God For Jack. 4 stars
12/03/03 ROY L. CAIN,JR. Jack Nicholson at his best. Makes you wanna bash the f*** in somebodys head! 5 stars
12/02/03 Pin Steadycam + The Arbus Twins 5 stars
11/27/03 John a bit long winded perhaps but the good parts are some of the best you'll ever see 5 stars
11/07/03 Samuel One of the greatest films of all time... 5 stars
11/06/03 American Slasher Goddess One scary rollercoaster ride. 5 stars
10/20/03 Josh Standlee When you are in the mood for a good horror fest, look no further, my friend. 5 stars
9/22/03 Darryl Best adaption of a King story. A classic. 5 stars
8/25/03 Allison H. This is an awesome movie, SCARY!! 5 stars
7/12/03 Indrid Cold I love Stan the Man, but it's thoroughly unscary. (He's IN THE PICTURE, gasp!) 3 stars
7/04/03 Dave Hopman Good movie, although Stephen King's mini-series (1997) was far superior! 4 stars
6/19/03 Francisco Lombo much more than a horror movie, a master piece on the problem of evil, thoroughly excellent 5 stars
6/14/03 Alice One of the greatest 5 stars
4/20/03 defranco71 Not only one of the best horror movies, but one of the best movies ever. 5 stars
4/19/03 Jon "Thumb the Toad" Lyrik Here's Johnny! 5 stars
4/18/03 Andrew Carden Nicholson Is Over-The-Top, The Film Is Overlong...but Still Pretty Scary. Duvall Is Good. 3 stars
4/05/03 Zach Jack Sommersby: You're an idiot. 5 stars
2/15/03 Hi there Here's Johnny!!! 5 stars
2/05/03 TheChronic fucking fantastic 5 stars
1/24/03 Almira Gandhi Really good. Jack Nicholson adds a lot of comic relief. 5 stars
12/31/02 Jack Sommersby Never boring, but nonsensical and clunky as hell. Nicholson is a disgrace. 2 stars
12/15/02 R.W. Welch One of the few really spooky movies out there. Top drawer direction. 4 stars
12/14/02 the Grinch Overrated, but still a great watch. Not Kubrick's best, though... 4 stars
12/04/02 Aaron I love the freezer scene. Nicholson is nuts!!! 5 stars
11/24/02 Kyle Nicholson rules! Seriously, this is one of the best horror films ever! 5 stars
11/11/02 ricky charlesworth an excellent film 5 stars
11/09/02 Michael Bolton Nicholson kicks ass. 5 stars
11/04/02 Del Why does the bitchslap have so many fucking pop-ups. Now that sucks all ass. 5 stars
11/02/02 T Boring 2 stars
11/01/02 H.A.G I did not write that previous comment. It was just one of my "friends" being an asshole. 5 stars
9/19/02 Joe Angelucci What the fuck is in room 237??? 4 stars
7/11/02 .Choadushouse. One of the true classic horror films. And an example of a GOOD horror film, unlike Scream. 5 stars
7/10/02 Henry Ginsberg HAG I get boners from watching this film. OH YEAH. HARDER PLEASE. OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO 5 stars
6/06/02 I'm in (L) with a Jedi all work and no play makes jack a dull boy.... 4 stars
5/19/02 john waite check out the close up on jacks face in front of the fire...proper horror film 5 stars
5/16/02 Dark Baron Nicholson is the horror flick himself 5 stars
5/15/02 Brandon :D No TV and no beer make Homer something something... 5 stars
4/27/02 maximal01 Aaaaah...nothing like sex with a corpse...What? (read: this movie rocks). 5 stars
4/26/02 Charles Tatum Bloated and dull- like Kubrick himself 2 stars
4/07/02 Film Dude Whoa. See this, all of you. 5 stars
4/05/02 Imaginer Worth seeing only for its art direction. Don't believe the hype. It didn't scare me a bit. 3 stars
4/03/02 Ellisa Rhodes On The Edge of my seat 5 stars
3/17/02 K y L e One of the best horror movies ever made. 5 stars
2/25/02 Cat Creepy Fun! 4 stars
2/20/02 Xaver Nicholson was great. Duvall's shrieking was tiring. The book is better. 3 stars
2/16/02 murat Kubrick's only good film.Jack gives the role of his life. 5 stars
1/15/02 maja a film that you've got to see......the music is undescribable 4 stars
12/23/01 karlisha monday chillingly frightening to the soul no matter how many times you see it 5 stars
11/01/01 Tam A classic. The "Here's Johnny" scene really sticks in the mind. 5 stars
10/23/01 glenn rinker Best horror movie of all time. Kubrick was a genius. This movie plays with your mind. 5 stars
9/28/01 Henry Ginsberg Great music.Jack Nickolsen is the definitive psycho. 5 stars
9/23/01 Larry Smith NICHOLSON....Scared Shelly Duvall's wits out of her! 5 stars
9/23/01 Matthew Bartley took me 4 attempts to watch this all the way through.I've seen it scare grown men still 5 stars
8/30/01 I love movies if you see only one horror movie in your life... 5 stars
8/30/01 Gary Nicholson gets too hammy, but it doesn't spoil this tense, artistic and very creepy horror. 4 stars
8/06/01 E-Funk Kubrick and Nicholson are both fucking briliant...don't miss this. 5 stars
8/04/01 Matt The only movie that can still scare the shit out of me after multiple viewings! 5 stars
7/05/01 Connoisseur actually is is quite funny (and also very scary... best horror film i've ever seen) 5 stars
6/23/01 JON so well done... simply a classic 5 stars
6/14/01 Bada Bing Crosby Opening scenes ALONE better than most full-length movies 5 stars
6/13/01 King Jackass j. mortell WHO SAID THIS MOVIE WAS FUNNY?! THE ONLY THING THATS FUNNY IS HOW DUMB YOU ARE!! 5 stars
5/10/01 the scarecrow J.MORTELL it isnt supposed to be funny retard 5 stars
4/29/01 Dom Corleone a masterpiece 5 stars
4/24/01 BGuha It's a Sunday Afternoon Movie 3 stars
4/04/01 j.mortell i didnt think this movie was that funny at all 1 stars
3/31/01 Erik North An epic horror film from Stanley Kubrick, a master. 5 stars
3/30/01 Scoogy My favorite motherfucking movie of all time 5 stars
3/23/01 TNT-6 Not Kubrick's best, but still very good. 4 stars
3/21/01 bterry Gotta love Nicholson! 5 stars
3/18/01 Beetlejuice Well...It's very.....homey. 5 stars
2/26/01 skye not my favorite kubrick, but loads of fun. 4 stars
2/18/01 Soggy Bottom Boy No, I'm not gonna hurtcha... I'm just gonna bash your fuckin brains in! 5 stars
2/17/01 Michael Nicholls Kubrick reworks King's haunted hotel novel as a very dark sitcom 5 stars
2/10/01 Golbez Simply the greatest horror movies of all time. 5 stars
2/06/01 Classicdog A Kubrick classic. Nicholson is awesome. 5 stars
1/22/01 scorekeeper words can not express how good this is. Trust me, you'll have a pillow over your eyes. 5 stars
1/15/01 Skip excellent 5 stars
1/13/01 A. Riopel Not scary at all, even if it's well done 4 stars
12/16/00 Winky YOIUSUCWK~ 1 stars
11/24/00 The EVIL Penguin My favorite horror film; Kubrick RULES! The mini series sucked. 5 stars
11/18/00 salvo Well done Stan, well done 5 stars
8/01/00 KLS One of the best pictures in history!! 5 stars
7/11/00 Matthew Bartley If you're not scared...you're dead 5 stars
5/10/00 charlie harrison a cult horror classic, Kubrick and Nicholson at their best!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
4/12/00 kohawk scariest film to date 5 stars
4/06/00 PSUshorti This movie is the epitome of what a horror film should be. Kubrick keeps our hearts racing. 5 stars
1/02/00 Nice Guy Eddie One of the best horror movies of all time, incredible acting, directing and camera work. 5 stars
12/18/99 Zeitgeist I first saw this movie when I was 5. Bad Idea. The twins still scare the shit out of me. 5 stars
12/18/99 Dick Laurent In my opinion this film is the scariest horror film currently in existense!! 5 stars
12/17/99 Fenris The dead, naked, fat lady frightens me. 5 stars
12/12/99 Tyson Stewart Just a fine, well-acted (Jack), and entertaining film, with a few unforgettable scenes! 5 stars
10/26/99 Karahde Khan Scariest movie ever. King disowns it, but I disown anything with a script written by King. 5 stars
10/24/99 Matthew White Awesome. Excellent film. 5 stars
9/17/99 strike Not one of kubrick's best, but still...IT'S KUBRICK!! 4 stars
9/13/99 K Pillsbury the twins!!nothing more needs to be said 5 stars
9/07/99 Glitter Berry A disgrace to anything and everything that made the book a classic. T-O-P-I-A-R-Y 1 stars
7/17/99 soccer_mum Classic Kubrik. Scared the bejesus outta me...Scarey in a good way...leave a nightlight on! 5 stars
7/11/99 Daria This movie scared me shitless. And I'm not scared easily at all... 5 stars
7/04/99 J-Dogg Some people don't like this but I think it's a masterpiece in horror. Eerie and disturbing. 5 stars
6/28/99 Chris Gianaras Greatest horror movie ever made. Nicholson's over the top performance is dead on. 5 stars
6/22/99 Elizaveta eerieness... 5 stars
6/07/99 Elizaveta Kubrick strikes again!!! 4 stars
4/19/99 jimmy jam REDRUM---Rent me 5 stars
4/15/99 Jon Jackson Pretty classic, a little tedious, snoozer ending. 4 stars
4/07/99 tom scary, disturbing, fun for the whole family 5 stars
3/10/99 Go Swans Heeeeeerrrrrrreeeeeeee's Johnny! The late Kubrick's greatest. 5 stars
2/02/99 Matthew Bartley Pisses all over the Exorcist 5 stars
12/09/98 little jerry Feels like we're trapped in those rooms at the end of 2001.These two are Kubrick's greatest 5 stars
11/28/98 Mr.Pink Kubrick's worst movie AND it's still GOOD!! 4 stars
11/27/98 Lord Of The Dunce A seriously fucked up movie. Nicholson was awesome. 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  23-May-1980 (R)
  DVD: 12-Jun-2001

UK
  N/A

Australia
  13-Nov-1980 (MA)




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