Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Shining 1980

One may have expected a horror film from Kubrick to have something more than just shrieks but this is purely in the horror/ghosts/insanity genre and reasonably scary and suspense laden even at it's marathon two hours and a half. It is as though the director is saying, look, I can do these too. A couple and their psychic son are isolated in a large hotel cut off by snow from the world. Insanity and spooks take the field and "redrum" (murder) armed with knives, axes and baseball bats spills through the corridors and over the staircases. There are deluges of  blood (literally) and a pair of spooks (see picture), former murderees, invite the psychic Dan, "Come play with us, for ever and ever and ever." Jack Nicholson is at home playing himself with leers, grimaces and speech mannerisms and extracts a few laughs along with the fear and suspense. Duval in the female lead does a competent job as a perpetual shivering jelly. Certainly not in the class of  Exorcist, Silence of Lambs or Repulsion. But good enough to pass an idle afternoon and excellent if this happens to be your chosen brand of caffeine.


Literary Dreamer said...

The book is much better, but the film is quite creepy.

S. M. Rana said...

My complaint is not it's insufficiency of spookiness, which it has enough of, but with spookiness for spookiness' sake. Time dissipated leaves me with a queezy sensation.

Seongyong Cho said...

It is like "A Madness Odyssey". In the space looked insanely vast in subjective view, all of main characters seems to be floating around and then plunged into the madness. People complain about the lack of the reasons for that, but who can be remained sane in that suffocating space?

Like "Barry Lyndon", Kubrick wanted to hold us for a long, long time with his techniques. He may be arrogant, but he is talented enough to try that, and he succeeded in both movies. To me, "The Shining" is one of the creepiest movie, if not the scariest.

S. M. Rana said...

@ Seongyang

No dearth in creepiness, agreed. And the awesome splendour of the natural surroundins does contrast with the hellish claustrophobia of the palace/hotel/dungeon. The child tri-cycling noisily through the empty corridors gives a feeling of the macabre.