May 23, 1980 - 2020: 40 years of: The Shining.
Produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick: a masterpiece of modern horror.
A silent massacre.
The most shocking psychological-thriller since 1973's unholy cult-classic: The Exorcist. The original 1977 Stephen King novel came and went, yet Kubrick had other twisted ideas. Later Mr. King went on record for his personal dislike of Kubrick's mad-scientist adaptation. It didn't weight much, as fans and critics of the genre rapidly made The Shining one of the most respected and worshipped horror-movie of all-time.
Hours away from civilization, winter-bound and locked-up for 6-months, the Torrance Family are the usual next-door middle-Americans. And as caretaker, having to oversee the humongously quiet Overlook Hotel sounded like a relaxing venture. Yet the true evils in this isolated carnage, slowly, very slowly, suffocate Jack and make's him theirs.
The brutal past lives and repeats itself, thru the hotel and thru the Torrances. Danny-boy has initial doubts, but Wendy is enjoying the place. Through Jack's Faustian-bargain, in the end, the only sane savior would be Tony, Danny's other-self, whom his shining-powers would ultimately manage to bring help from an outside party.
Perfection in image, perfection in sound, perfection in execution, perfection in pacing and perfection in delivery, The Shining is a long, tense and eerie journey into the mind and souls from within and beyond. Some clever Kubrick-tricks are hidden in plain sight: impossible windows, doors that switch hinges, endless corridors and too many left-turns inside the maze-like hotel messes with your mind and spatial-orientation. Genius, convincing and deadly, just like the ghostly inhabitants of the freezing Overlook.
Heeeeere's Johnny ! Is one of the few improvised line actor-legend Jack Nicholson got away with on set. It opens up Nicholson's stellar exhibition and bi-polar mindset in this trend-setting performance. Poor on-screen wife Shelley Duval, gives chills and is left tormented by herself, under the invisible yet palpable dark cloud overhead. 8 year-old boy-hero Danny Lloyd is harmless and lovable, with is mesmerizing grin. The superb supporting-role by real-life jazzman Scatman Crothers, brings a much needed warm earthly feeling into this cold situation.
Music-wise, the score is supplied by keyboard visionary Wendy Carlos. Having already worked for Kubrick on the sociopath-driven 1971 epic A Clockwork Orange, this new collaboration hits another tour-de-force. Other musical cuts includes late-1920s big-band and slow-swing posh music.
Various interpretations and conspiracy-theory aside, the Stanley Kubrick legacy dazzles the mind. Whether it's 2001: A Space Odyssey, Dr. Strangelove, A Clockwork Orange or his last epic offering in Eyes Wide Shut, the Kubrick-signature is forever immortal. Through incredible visual sights and incredible captivating sounds, the human-psyche according to Kubrick has since become one of the most discussed and revered cinematic-repertoire of all-time.
Rated R ...for REDRUM !
RIP Stanley Kubrick (1928-1999)
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