A family heads to an isolated hotel for the winter where an evil spiritual presence influences the father into violence, while his psychic son sees horrific forebodings from the past and of the future.
After a space merchant vessel perceives an unknown transmission as a distress call, its landing on the source moon finds one of the crew attacked by a mysterious lifeform, and they soon realize that its life cycle has merely begun.
Signing a contract, Jack Torrance, a normal writer and former teacher agrees to take care of a hotel which has a long, violent past that puts everyone in the hotel in a nervous situation. While Jack slowly gets more violent and angry of his life, his son, Danny, tries to use a special talent, the "Shining", to inform the people outside about whatever that is going on in the hotel. Written by
J. S. Golden
Stanley Kubrick's perfectionism extended to insisting that the cast members be on-set to be measured for the lighting of the scene, something that is normally done with stand-ins. Jack Nicholson claimed that Kubrick was the only director he ever worked with who required the actual cast members to pose for the lighting, which required that they arrive on-set several hours earlier than usual. See more »
The last picture of the arrival sequence in the beginning of the movie is an aerial shot. During this shot the helicopter rotor is clearly visible as the upper half of the view is shot through the rotor disk. See more »
Hi, I've got an appointment with Mr. Ullman. My name is Jack Torrance.
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The movie's opening titles are also the only instance in any Kubrick film where scrolling credits, rather than title cards, are used. See more »
When Jack Torrance (Nicholson) is offered a job as winter caretaker for the Overlook Hotel he accepts it as an opportunity to work on his novel in an isolated environment. He is told stories of the last caretaker going mad and butchering his family but isn't deterred. He arrives at the Overlook Hotel with his wife (Duvall) and child Danny (Lloyd) and is shown around the hotel by the cook (Scatman Crothers) who has the gift of perception. The cook warns Danny that the hotel can be of particular danger for those with the gift. It's only a matter of time before Jack begins to act increasingly erratic.
This is one of Jack Nicholson's finest roles, his increasingly unhinged character is amusing and terrifying in almost equal measures. Duvall plays the role of the terrorised wife quite well - she does look like she's genuinely filled with fear - but doesn't have much else to do. Lloyd is excellent as the boy, although he doesn't have too much emotion to express. However no doubt that this is Jack's show.
The story doesn't stick to King's novel and is better for it; this is Kubrick's Shining. The film has plenty of genuinely scary moments but manages to keep a creepy atmosphere all through - especially as the ghosts come out and Jack begins to move between his reality and the reality that is gradually claiming him.
Kubrick is excellent here, his cold direction adds to the overall creep factor of the film. It's one of the best examples of his masterful touch.
Overall this is an excellent horror movie - because the focus is on horror and fear rather than gore alone (as with modern horrors). Jack is excellent in one of his best roles ever and the whole package is delivered in a cold creepy manner by a sadly lost director.
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