Saturday, May 28, 2016

The Shining

No lie, this movie creeps me out.

What a wonderful adaptation of a novel. A horror novel at that, it's been done before yes and many times with Stephen King novels (although Stephen King hated this adaptation and went on to do his own rubbish miniseries.) but this one was done damn well. Major props to Stanley Kubrick, who already makes creepy and uncomfortable movies and now makes it 1000 times worse. The plot follows Jack Nicholson who plays a character named Jack (It's common.) and his wife and son played by Shelley Duvall and Danny Lloyd, who are tasked with caretaking a hotel during the winter. Not very long after that, mysterious and downright terrifying things start to happen as Jack slowly starts to lose his grip on reality. Gee, a Jack Nicholson movie where he goes crazy. Never seen that before. Honestly, I joke because his descent into madness is quite possibly the most unnerving thing I have ever witnessed. It is both scary and kinda funny when he loses his mind but the one single, solitary scene I remember most is literally a long take of a close-up of his face staring outside a window with this fraking creepy ass background noise going on. Just...ugh friggin' scary! Playing opposite side of him, Shelley Duvall has the most realistic and genuine reactions to all the bizarre stuff going on around her. It's a great performance that wasn't entirely all just acting. Stanley Kubrick himself targeted Shelley Duvall and made the shoot very difficult for her, causing her almost to have a nervous breakdown and it really does show on film! You have this real feeling of a woman who is going through hell and the insurmountable amounts of isolation and paranoia that she is experiencing! I really almost don't want to call it acting, since her performance mirrored her real life experiences on the set. When you hear people say this is a scary if not terrifying film, they are not exaggerating! The film has an almost surreal atmosphere to it, and that's the core element of the story is the atmosphere. You get the sense of isolation, and paranoia, and terror that these characters experience. I heard about the reputation of this film for awhile before I finally sat down and watched it, and really I couldn't disagree much. The movie got to me, not to the point of other horror films like The Strangers or It Follows but it stuck to my subconscious and that's the worst thing a horror movie could do to you. When a horror film gets stuck in your subconscious, it constantly rattles around in your brain, like an almost over-arching entity or presence that continues to haunt you. Most people see horror films because they enjoy to be scared, they love the rush of adrenaline, but some of them have lingering effects that you can't exactly get out of your head. The Shining did that to me! Not many horror films have that achievement, but the ones that do are the movies that truly stick with us. The movies that pop into our head when we are alone, or in the dark. And that is the most terrifying thing of all, nothing is more scarier or horrifying than our own imaginations. Until next time viewers, unpleasant dreams....

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