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Blog posts : "the shining"

A Closer Look at The Shining: A Masterpiece!

Heeere's Johnny! appals a horrifying and maniacal Jack Torrance, played by Jack Nicholson in one of the most memorable scenes in film history, also in one of the more influential, inspiring and the best Horror Movies of all time, The Shining (1980). Directed by the Legendary Filmmaker, Stanley Kubrick, the film seems to follow a simple narrative of the Torrance's moving into the aesthetic spectacle known as the Overlook Hotel as Jack Torrance is the newly appointed caretaker for the entire season of winter. With nobody else around, things start to go downhill for the Torrance's, as Jack's psyche quickly begins to deteriorate and eventually becomes a horrifying threat to both Wendy (his wife) and Danny (his son).

When I say the most influential film of all time, The Shining and director Stanley Kubrick inspired generations of filmmakers and movies for a wide variety of different reasons. Firstly, the visual marvel of the Steadicam. Invented by Garrett Brown, The Shining is the first Horror film to use the Steadicam throughout the runtime and is one of the first generation films to utilize the format alongside movies like Bound for Glory (1976) and Marathon Man (1976). The fluid tracking shots and the seamless panorama that Kubrick created using Steadicam captivated not only the viewer, but also gave the movie a chilling feel from beginning to end. 

The Shining is also notoriously famous for its ominous background score which basically is an amalgamation of vexatious sounds and no rhythm or tune whatsoever. It only surges up the disconcerting vibe and creates an unsettling atmosphere, that Kubrick intentionally wanted to create even for his cast and crew on set. Sound Mixing and Editing is also yet another significant aspect of the film, particularly noticed when Danny strolls through the meticulously designed hallways of the Overlook Hotel. The sooth-calming sound of the carpeted floors and the irritating sound when he rides on his tricycle on the hardwood floor is so-well mixed and edited, which also displays the incredible attention-to-detail that Stanley Kubrick showcased in this Horror Classic.

Adding to all the technical efforts were the story and the performances. Despite the fact that the base storyline is conventional, the screenplay written by Kubrick is complex to the core. The dialogue and certain clues or messages that Stanley direct towards branches out tons of questions, be it the ending and other character cameos inside and out. Jack Nicholson's terrifying performance is one of the best, and the most talked about in his illustrious career so far. His dialogue delivery, demented body language (especially during that staircase scene with Wendy) cements the fact that we're dealing with a fickle psychotic character on-screen. Shelley Duvall's character is the one that we (as an audience member) can root for in the midst of this madness, and she portrays her fragile petrified character flawlessly as we can see the appalling look on her face in company with Danny Lloyd, who is another standout of the film.

Overall, The Shining is a masterpiece of a film from top to bottom and brilliantly displays the incredible ability of the genius that is Stanley Kubrick. A Horror Classic which will remain remembered for generations to come.

-An Editorial by Surya Komal aka KM (@SuryaKomal)
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