A Conversation for Great Horror Movies
Dr Deckchair Funderlik Started conversation Apr 9, 2003
I reckon that Stanley Kubrick's "The Shining" has to be the greatest horror film of the last century. Like all great works of art, it takes the genre that it works within and then promptly transcends it, showing us something new on the way.
The study of a writer descending into madness at an isolated hotel takes the standard horror trope: something nasty chases someone nice around a dark and scary place - and inverts it. The nastiness seems to come both from within and without the psychology of a family man. The setting is not dark and gloomy, but for the most part disturbingly bright and empty. The atmosphere of the uncanny is overwhelming.
It even takes the standard cliche at the end of the horror film: The monster is dead - no! its coming back! - and inverts that. The monster is dead, but, as the last shot pans in closer and closer to a photograph in the Overlook - it turns out that he never was really alive in the first place..
The Shining demonstrates that fear resides largely in the unanswered questions of the psyche, and it can be watched again and again, always revealing something new. Pretty much the definition of a classic, IMHO.
I totally agree. This is the only film that really managed to terrify/horrify me. I remember when I saw it at the cinema, I was literally sitting on the edge of my seat, ready to run out of the cinema at any moment (or so I thought). At the same time, probably through sheer terror, I just couldn't move, and I just had to see how the film ended.
It was shown on TV recently and that same feeling came over me once again watching Jack Nicholson running around brandishing an axe (it was an axe, wasn't it? I must admit I closed my eyes from time to time!)
Researcher 216133 Posted Apr 9, 2003
definitely the best horror movie i've seen
lots of shocks + overall creepy atmosphere
GreyDesk Posted Apr 9, 2003
A film that is unique amongst the horror genre in having a top notch director (Kubrick) a great cast (Jack Nicholson & Shelley Duvall) and a bit of cash spent on the script development and overall production. The net result being an excellent film that succeeds in its aim of scaring the pants off of everyone.
PaulBateman Posted Apr 9, 2003
It was certainly better than the TV version Stephen King wrote after being annoyed at having his book changed.
Rasa Posted Apr 9, 2003
That film is so brillant. Of course there are always people that don't appreciate films that don't include half a ton of severed limbs, but it's one of my favourite horror films and very definitely a classic.
Richenda Posted Apr 9, 2003
I have to agree. However, the score adds a lot to the film. Try watching closed-captioned with the sound off. Not quite as terrifying. I usually watch it with my finger poised over the mute button (1st class chicken here), and never, never, never watch it when you are home alone.
GreyDesk Posted Apr 9, 2003
Just to put this in the right place, we have a disenting voice in the house - F110476?thread=265539
Pandapig Posted Apr 9, 2003
Actually there are a few of us out here who appreciate both the 'splatter' side of the genre and the more mainstream horror movies like 'The Shining'. One of my favourites of the latter type is 'Carrie' but if you get the chance to see it, there is an early Brian de Palma movie called 'Sisters' (released as 'Blood Sisters' in some countries AFAIK) which is even better.
On the splattery side, you may want to check out my post on this thread entitled "Funniest Ever!" which is about Stuart Gordon's classic 'Re-Animator'. Not for the squeamish but funny as hell. IMHO.
PaulBateman Posted Apr 10, 2003
Izzybelle Posted Apr 10, 2003
I agree, I remember the carpets as well as being particulary creepy...I wonder why.
Mu Beta Posted Apr 10, 2003
*jumps onboard the Shining bandwagon*
Poor book; great film. Scares the willies out of me every time.
Dr Deckchair Funderlik Posted Apr 16, 2003
The carpets are definitely scary.
Their weird and obsessive patterns reflect the psychology of the main character for one thing. And Kubrick's use of the steadycam following the child on his tricycle around the corridors of the hotel - brings us very close to the child's pov - and the carpets figure pretty heavily there too..
Takes a great horror film to portray scary carpet.
Sheep in wolfs clothing Posted Jun 5, 2003
I agree with those of you who thought that this is one of the most frightening movies ever. I enjoyed the way it could terify you without too much gore or the standard "jump out at you" techniques.
I just couldn't help myself shouting at the boy on the screen to stop riding the bike around the hotel corridors. Now, when my three year old son puts on one of his 'scary' voices, I imitate him saying "redrum, redrum". One day (hopefully not soon) he will understand the oblique reference.
The only film to come close to The Shining for psychological shocks for me, has to be The Ring and Ring 2 (I have only seen the Japanese versions so far). I found them truly frightening, without any gore etc. I can't wait until I get to see the American remake.
erasershed1976 Posted Aug 4, 2006
Did you know that the shining was the first film to use the "stedi-cam"?
well do now!
Key: Complain about this post
- 1: Dr Deckchair Funderlik (Apr 9, 2003)
- 2: dancinglady (Life's truest happiness is found in the friendships we make along the way) (Apr 9, 2003)
- 3: Researcher 216133 (Apr 9, 2003)
- 4: GreyDesk (Apr 9, 2003)
- 5: PaulBateman (Apr 9, 2003)
- 6: Rasa (Apr 9, 2003)
- 7: Richenda (Apr 9, 2003)
- 8: GreyDesk (Apr 9, 2003)
- 9: Pandapig (Apr 9, 2003)
- 10: PaulBateman (Apr 10, 2003)
- 11: Izzybelle (Apr 10, 2003)
- 12: Mu Beta (Apr 10, 2003)
- 13: Dr Deckchair Funderlik (Apr 16, 2003)
- 14: Izzybelle (Apr 16, 2003)
- 15: Sheep in wolfs clothing (Jun 5, 2003)
- 16: erasershed1976 (Aug 4, 2006)