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Synopsis: Stanley Kubrick’s horror masterpiece based on Stephen King’s novel. A family spends the winter alone at the Overlook Hotel, a haunted hotel in the Colorado mountains.

I am breaking away from the trend that I have set forth for this one. So far, I’ve only watched movies I haven’t seen before, but when the opportunity to catch The Shining on the big screen came up, I had to take it. It is, after all, my favorite horror film of all-time.

I’m going to keep this one short, because I don’t feel I need to discuss too much about how great this film is. And if you haven’t seen it yet, you really should.

Part of what makes this movie amazing is the score. I can’t think of a movie that relies so heavily on its music to truly bring the scares. Not much actually happens throughout the film, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t creepy, and a lot of that has to do with the wailing strings by Wendy Carlos. The atmosphere created is chilling, even before you start to notice that things aren’t exactly what they seem at the Overlook.

Central to the film is the performance put forth by Jack Nicholson. He somehow manages to be over-the-top hilarious while maintaining a truly chilling demeanor. When he finally breaks, it’s not only a perfect showcase for his talents, but it’s also scary as hell.

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There isn’t much that happens in this film that constitutes your average horror film, so the blood and guts is minimal but effective. Scatman Crothers gets it in the chest with an axe and we have some quick glimpses of some elevators full of blood, but that’s about it.

The Shining elevators

GORE RATING: 2 out of 5

 

scares

I’ve never really thought of this movie as all that scary, but I’ve always loved it. I saw this in theaters with my fiancée, though, and she was thoroughly terrified. The odd nature of the film along with the atmospheric score just adds to the creepy factor.

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SCARE RATING: 4 out of 5

 

sex nudity

There is the scene in room 237 where that ghost chick goes full frontal, but then you also get the old lady version of her. The nudity is there, but it’s pretty traumatic.

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SEX/NUDITY RATING: 2.5 out of 5

 

OVERALL

There is a reason that this movie is considered a classic. It’s the perfect haunted house film and the scale of it dwarfs anything else in that subgenre. Kubrick gets the atmosphere perfectly and Jack Nicholson gives one of his greatest performances. October isn’t complete without at least one viewing of this film.

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RATING: 5 out of 5

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