127. The Shining (1980)

Date First Watched: 1/04/2002
Date Last Watched: 27/11/2011
# Viewings: 5+

I had seen the mini-series before I first watched this and I always loved the mini-series and the 217 thing scared the poop out of me and to this day, 217 is my unlucky number and it is literally everywhere. Anyway, when I first watched this – at 11 years old – I wrote in my diary ‘it was ok, but the wife was ugly’. I revisited it some years later and appreciated it a lot more, but she really is goddamn hideous.

And she is the weakest aspect of the film. She is quite terrible as it is, but when she’s next to Jack fecking Nicholson, she stands out even more. Her acting is bad, her face is horrific, her character is unlikable… I’m not sure what Kubrick was thinking with her. It does make you sympathetic to Jack I guess, but I’m not sure if you’re supposed to. The kid isn’t great either, but is passable.

It says a lot for Nicholson that he manages to be so damn amazing that he distracts from them most of the time. I mean, it’s partly Kubrick’s awesomeness too, but without Nicholson I don’t think it would’ve worked. My favourite scene is the one I’ve used in the screenshot. I can’t imagine anyone else doing that so fecking well. I often quote the ‘I’m not gonna hurt ya, I’m just gonna bash your brains in’ line because I love it so much. Nicholson’s performance in that scene is probably the greatest thing ever filmed. Also Jack Nicholson is super hot, especially when he’s all crazy.

Although I’ve always found the mini-series scarier, I actually haven’t seen that in 15 years or so and only remember the 217 scene – which I definitely think is scarier in the mini-series than this film. However, this film really does have a great ominous tone. The score is amazing for one, and the cinematography is beautiful. This film seems to get more unsettling to me the more I see it and the older I get. I need to rewatch the mini-series to make a fair comparison at some point, though I think that one will seem more cheesy to me now.


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