Critiquing Film, Television, and More

Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining (1980): Explaining the Best Horror Movie Ever Made

I finished reading Stephen King’s classic last night, so it only seemed right to re-watch my favorite horror movie of all-time: Stanley Kubrick’s blood pulping adaptation of, The Shining. 

I unreservedly understand why King detests this movie now. I mean, if my work was tampered like this, I would assuredly be pissed. But I’m not the author, so I have the potential to relish this malicious braintwister. The book is beyond any doubt, better in terms of its story components and character developments. Having said that, I think Kubrick’s revamp handles its horror ingredients more psychologically, and arguably, more dexterously. 

The main reason I personally think that The Shining, towers over any other horror movie in existence, is because of the methods the film employs while incorporating the soundtrack into the sequences. The vital timing, the detail to tension, and the evolution of the music is key to exhibiting such an excruciating feeling of angst. 

Here are a couple of other noteworthy techniques that make, The Shining, stand from the crowd: The impulsive snap-zooms, the one-take stalking shots, Jack’s topsy-turvey facial expressions/mannerisms, Danny’s interactions with “Tony”, Jack’s unexplained link to the Overlook Hotel, the interlacing cuts of multiple scenes, the drawn-out, gripping, one-on-one dialogue segments, and the spontaneous imageries. 

Like I divulged before in my recent review of Luca Guadagnino‘s, Suspiria, the modules that make horror movies scary are the ones that fiddle with normality. Tinkering with what is morally ethical or what is bearable is what makes a film frightening. The Shining deviates from convention more flawlessly than any other thriller out there. 

Kubrick may have butchered King’s vision but in doing so, generated the most effective horror movie to date due to his atypical perception. The Shining is the definitive sugar-daddy of the entourage of cinematic fear factors that came after it. (Verdict: A+) 

This Movie is Placed at #21 on My List: My Top 44 Favorite Movies of All-Time

This Movie is a Part of My List: The 24 Best Horror Movies Ever 

This Movie is a Part of My List: Ranking Stanley Kubrick’s Films From Best To Worst

“The Shining” is now available to rent or buy on YouTube, iTunes, Google Play, and Vudu.

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