Why it’s famous:
One of the many influential films in Stanley Kubrick’s body of work, The Shining is widely regarded as one of the greatest horror films of all time. It features unhinged performances from Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, and child actor Danny Lloyd, and is punctuated by a stunning score that makes you feel like you are going crazy along with the characters.
Why you haven’t seen it:
You’re a millennial movie enthusiast. Thanks to today’s movie magic, you’ve seen it all: CGI aliens, digital camera tricks, and found footage poltergeists. There’s no way this 80s flick could possibly scare you.
Why it might be tough to get through:
Simply put, this film is two and a half hours of uncomfortable, nail-biting cinematic horror, which at times borders on the agonizingly scary. The film’s climax also basically boils down to that recurring nightmare you get where you are being chased by a crazed killer.
Why you should see it anyway:
Not only is The Shining a classic, it’s also a brilliant and complex commentary on violence and abuse. Outside of terrifying the viewer through its use of shocking gore or references to the supernatural, The Shining is also unnerving because it taps into our most basic human fears: the fear of never truly knowing those we love and the fear of change.
Jack Torrance: Here’s Johnny!
Jack Torrance: (After smashing a door to bits with an axe) Wendy, I’m home.
Danny Torrance: Dad?
Jack Torrance: Yes?
Danny Torrance: Do you like this hotel?
Jack Torrance: Yes, I do. I love it. Don’t you?
Danny Torrance: I guess so.
Jack Torrance: Good. I want you to like it here. I wish we could stay here forever… and ever… and ever.
Danny’s practice of moving his finger when he is speaking to his imaginary friend Tony was actor Danny Lloyd’s idea. He did it spontaneously during his first audition.
The snowy maze near the conclusion of the movie was made of of 900 tons of salt and crushed Styrofoam.