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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 11.43%
Average: 2.45%
Pretty Bad: 4.9%
Total Crap: 3.27%

7 reviews, 203 user ratings

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Shining, The (1980)
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by MP Bartley

"I wasn't scared at all. And neither was my friend hiding behind the couch."
5 stars

Horror films are like comedies in that they're one of the most subjective genres around. What's one mans terror is anothers man kids show. But then there films like this. I defy anyone to attempt to watch this without having their nerves shredded at least once.

A lot of horror films can lose their impact over time. If it wasn't for it's infamous masturbation scene would 'The Exorcist' be as highly regarded in the history of horror flicks? Hell, even Heather and Josh's camping trip in Burkitsville has lost some of it's power. But not this puppy,oh no...

It took me three attempts to watch it all the way through. Each time I was just too un-nerved and creeped out to watch it all the way through. I lasted about an hour probably before turning it off with the words, "Well, that's more than enough for me". Eventually I did make it all the way through in one of my later teenage years, and boy I did sleep with the lights on that night.

Then last year I showed it to my flatmate, 23, and one of the biggest cynics I've ever known, who'd never seen it before. He lasted about an hour into it before mumbling something about "having to be up early" and then quickly vanishing to bed.
It's that powerful.

Baed on the Stephen King novel, 'The Shining' is how wannabe writer Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) takes a 5 month job as a caretaker at the Overlook Hotel, during the off season. It'll be completely deserted apart from him, his wife (Shelley Duvall) and his young son Danny (Danny Lloyd). This is just what Jack is after: complete isolation from the outside world to concentrate on his writing. But there are a few dark clouds on the horizon...One of the previous caretakers at the Overlook went beserk and butchered his family during a similiar season. And Danny is a very strange little boy. He seems to see things no-one else does and has a creepy talking finger (this could have easily been so laughable, but works horribly here). The departing caretaker O'Halloran (Scatman Crowthers) knows what this gift of Danny's is. He shares it too and calls it the shining. O'Halloran leaves Jack and his family and takes off home. Everything seems to be fine at first, but then the quiet and the isolation begins to prey on Jack. And it quickly becomes clear that they're not alone in the hotel...

Like all the best horror, 'The Shining' takes a simple premise and twists it into one of the most nerve-wracking two hours you'll ever experience. From the opening shots of a winding country road to the Overlook and bathroom shots of Danny talking to himself via his finger, there's a sense of dread and impending violence, which just builds and builds until you, Nicholson and the film snap into fully fledged terror. Critics argue that Nicholson hams this role up, but he puts the fear of God into you like Jason and Freddie couldn't in a million slasher flicks. He's a tightly wound up ball of frustation and nerves that you just know is about to be pushed over the edge.
He's most probably remembered in this role for the 'Here's Johnny!' line but it's a far more effective and subtle performance than that line would suggest. After battering the door down to get to his wife he announces romantically, 'Honey, I'm home'. It's one of the few sprinklings of humour in the film, but it comes naturally and acts as one of those moments of comic relief that manages to be terrifying at the same time.

He's ably supported by the supporting cast. Danny Lloyd manages to outcreep both Haley Joel Osment and the kid from Poltergeist, as the kind of kid you would just not want to be friends with. And even the shrieky Shelley Duvall is fine in her role. Check the scene where she's forced to lock Jack into the freezer. She's equally scared out of her wits and heartbroken by her husband.

But it's not the cast that's the main star or what makes 'The Shining' so scary. It's the actual hotel itself and Stanley Kubrick. Kubrick just has the uncanny knack of making the seemingly ordinary, disturbing. There's just something about that ballroom. There's just something about those long corridors. There's something about the grounds of the place. This all adds up to an environment that just keeps the audience on a permanent state of unease and dread. Even scenes of Danny trundling around the corridors on his bike are turned into something uniquely haunting by Kubricks roaming camera. And the scene where Duvall finds out just what Jack has been writing for the past few weeks is easily one of the most effective scenes in any horror film. And there's no blood or people jumping out of shadows. Just a stomach clutching realisation that Jack is going laa-laa. Kubrick takes numerous horror cliches (doors slowly opening, figures behind curtains) and gives them fresh, scary quality that never lessens for a second.
And the less said about the two murdered girls that Danny keeps glimpsing the better. I actually physically reacted to them the first time I watched it, and to this day I can barely look at them, there's just...somethingabout them.

He also knew how to get the right edge of hysteria from the cast. He filmed endless re-take upon retake of Shelley Duvall walking down a corridor until she collapsed in tears, sobbing "What do you want? What the hell do you want Mr.Kubrick?". He also fed Nicholson endless cheese sandwiches, which he hated until he actually was in a rage. This real sense of anger and desperation permeates the whole film and filters to the audience. 'The Shining' is one of those few films where you feel you actually exist in the film. You're as glad to make it through the film as the actors are by the end. Only 'The Blair Witch Project' comes as close to it's intense and gruelling journey.

Kubrick films were always some of the coldest films around and this style suits 'The Shining' perfectly. There's no time for sentimentality, Kubrick just wants to scare us witless and he manages it effortlessly. He also plays it like the master he surely was at the time, and has no intention of playing to the audience by explaining it all. He leaves questions hanging in the air.

Is Jack simply mad or is the hotel really haunted? What does it have to do with Danny's shining and the final shot asks us has Jack always been part of the Overlook? We get no answers, but when it comes to true horror, 'The Shinings' the only answer we ever need. It gets you every time.

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originally posted: 04/04/02 22:22:16
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User Comments

3/23/20 dupadoit redrum 4 stars
8/10/18 Christopher Howley The best horror film I have seen. This film is as deep as the ocean. 5 stars
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
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
4/22/06 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
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'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
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  23-May-1980 (R)
  DVD: 12-Jun-2001


  13-Nov-1980 (MA)

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