Kubrick"s intense, gothic horror film The Shining, is based loosely on the book written by Stephen King. The story follows the Torrance family as Jack (Nicolason) takes a caretaker job at the Overlook Hotel in an effort to rebuild his life. Unfortunately, things are not what they first seem.
What follows is a story that basically maintains the same narrative as the novel, but focuses less on themes such as the breakdown of the family and the dangers of alcoholism, and more on imagery and visions, after all, reading the novel has no images and so the film must adapt to this. The film has its differences from the novel; the room number for example changes from 217 in the book to 237 in the film. One element I felt was lacking was having the hedge animals come alive; the director chose to insert a maze instead. The animals were put together in the TV mini series so well and were a great effect.
This haunted hotel film is an amazing piece of work that defers away from the bloodletting and gore that a lot of modern horror films have come to rely on, and waits until its climax to provide the bloody violence. There are the odd visions of gore and rather stomach turning images such as the naked corpse in the bathroom, and the two dismembered young girls. But the intriguing thing about these images is their time on screen. The earlier gruesome images are only seen for a few seconds before the viewer is given another shot to focus on. The majority of the blood and violence is saved or the finale.
The way this film gained its audience was through the amazing imagery, and the soundtrack music surrounding it. Suspense and anticipation are created through the music, even though at times it creates a false hype, specifically as Danny approaches the room.
The acting in this film I felt was slightly unbelievable at times. The mother portrayed by Duvall was lacking in her credibility as a wife let alone a mother. She seemed frail in her appearance and it surprised me she lasted to the end of the flick. Nicholson was a known actor when he slipped into this role as recovering alcoholic Jack Torrance. He was half convincing as a father but more so as a raving loony. Lloyd is an amazing character in this film. He showed real emotion and depth in his acting and was very believable as a scared and misunderstood child.
Kubrick made a solid film with memorable imagery and one-liners throughout. One thing to come of this film that has lived on, as a cult icon is a line Nicholson says. After he has chopped away one of the bathroom door panels and sticks his head through he screams "Heeeere's JOHNNY!"
This is a film that has managed to pass through the generations as a cult hit and will continue to do so for many years to come.
Brilliantly atmospheric, Stanley Kubrick's adaptation of the Stephen King novel is one of a handful of truly outstanding horror films. Although it has as many detractors as it has admirers, it is consistently voted as one of the best of its genre. Jack Nicholson gives one of the definitive performances of his career as Jack Torrance, hired to act as caretaker for a hotel which closes down during the harsh winters. The hotel has a bloody history associated with it however, and begins to take effect on Jack's mind... On the surface, the story seems like the usual horror hokum, but in the hands of Kubrick it becomes a tale thick with ominous music, spooky settings and bizarre imagery. With his extraordinary trademark visual style, he has fashioned the ultimate haunted house tale, never getting bogged down in exposition or resorting to hackneyed scare-jump tactics, and leaving interpretations of what we see up to the audience. The unease we experience as a result, combined with that wonderful classic ending, only makes this film all the more memorable.
The dvd features very good picture quality and excellent sound, plus Vivian Kubrick's contemporary 'making of' documentary with optional commentary and a trailer.
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Please note this is a region 2 DVD and will require a region 2 (Europe) or region Free DVD Player in order to play. Think of the greatest terror imaginable. Is it a monstrous alien? A lethal epidemic? Or, as in this harrowing masterpiece from Stanley Kubrick, is it fear of murder by someone who should love and protect you - a member of your own family? From a script he co-adapted from the Stephen King novel, Kubrick melds vivid performances, menacing settings, dreamlike tracking shots and shock after shock into a milestone of the macabre. In a signature role, Jack Nicholson plays Jack Torrance, who's come to the elegant, isolated Overlook Hotel as off-season caretaker with his wife (Shelley Duvall) and son (Danny Lloyd). Torrance has never been there before - or has he? The answer lies in a ghostly time warp of madness and murder. Actors: Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd, Scatman Crothers, Barry Nelson Directors: Stanley Kubrick Writers: Stanley Kubrick, Diane Johnson, Stephen King Producers: Jan Harlan, Martin Richards, Mary Lea Johnson, Robert Fryer Language: English Subtitles: Arabic, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Spanish Dubbed: French Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English Number of discs: 1
Stanley Kubrick directs this chilling adaptation of the Stephen King shocker. Seeking solitude in order to write a novel, Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) takes a job as an off-season caretaker at the remote Overlook Hotel in Colorado. Eager to get started, Jack disregards warnings that the isolation drove a former caretaker mad, and moves into the massive resort with his wife Wendy (Shelley Duvall) and son Danny (Danny Lloyd). But Danny has a supernatural gift which makes him aware of an evil lurking in the hotel, and sure enough, as winter storms cut the hotel off from civilisation, Jack gradually becomes murderously insane.