Shining, The

Hotel Crazy!

Main Cast: Jack Nicholson, Shelly Duvall, Danny Lloyd, Scatman Crothers

Director: Stanley Kubrick

Creepy, horrific adventures at a snowed-in hotel, this movie based on the famous Stephen King novel slowly gathers steam until our main character finally snaps and does what we all knew he would do: pick up an axe and start hunting.

the shiningJack Torrance (Nicholson) is a former teacher, now writer, who decides to take on a job as caretaker at a very remote hotel lodge in the hopes that the quiet and isolation will help bring inspiration. He will live there for half a year with his wife Wendy (Duvall) and son Danny (Lloyd). Acing the interview, the current manager hesitantly brings up delicate matter. Apparently the last caretaker went crazy and killed his family and himself. “Don’t worry, sir, that will not happen to me,” he says confidently.

Meanwhile, back home, Danny is acting strange. Speaking to an “imaginary friend”, this friend seems to know what is happening with Danny’s father, and the poor kid has a nightmare vision of death and blood. As it turns out, he should have been listened to.

That’s all about the plot. The mood is dark and brooding, slowly building up to a shocking conclusion. It all hangs on our belief that Jack is slowly losing his mind, and Nicholson pulls this off perfectly. He has a weight and presence that forces you to believe everything he says, even when it seems silly, and his sly, wide grin is both famous and extremely effective at conveying volumes of emotion. Duvall is less effective at his wife, although she has little to do other than act concerned through the first half and then run around screaming through the second. Lloyd as Danny has much more to do, and he delivers a solid performance as a confused boy who has strange powers. These powers are explained to him by Dick Halloran (Scatman Carothers), an old cook who shows up later and has his own role to play in the drama.

By today’s standards this film is slow, but I enjoyed it, and it is a worthy addition to any horror film lover’s personal library.

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