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The same can be said about the movie as well, which is packed with plot twists, suspenseful moments, and psychological thills.
For those who haven’t seen The Shining, the plot goes as follows: One of the main protagonists, Jake Torrance, is a recently sober alcoholist who decides to move his family to isolated mountains in a haunted hotel called the Overlook. Due to harsh winter conditions, snow blocks all the roads, making the hotel cut off from the outside world.
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Seemingly, at first, the hotel provides perfect sanction for Jake and his writer’s block. The tranquility helps set him in the mood to write for his newest novel. However, viewers soon learn that the hotel was built on top of an ancient Indian cemetery, causing ghosts to inhabit the place. Throughout the movie, Jack is heavily influenced by numerous spirits, causing him to go insane. Jake is soon compelled to try to murder his wife, Wendy, and son, Danny but fails to do so and dies at the end, with his family escaping with their lives.
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In my opinion, Stanley Kubrick successfully maintains the never-ending feeling of fear creeping up your spine all throughout the movie. Not only that but also, he manages to capture the true essences of isolation and detachment that is experienced by the Torrance family, who, as I mentioned before, are cut off from any communications due to the weather climate. Although the Overlook is furnished to look fancy, it gives the viewer an impression that of a graveyard, due to its empty hallways and secret whispers. With each scene, tension is slowly built up as Jack begins to lose his mind and sanity. However, one of the most horrifying scenes, was when Wendy discovers her husband’s manuscript- all the papers are littered with one phrase: “All fun and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” It is then that Wendy realizes that her husband has gone completely insane. Further thickening the tension, Jake then appears with a creepy smile on his face, slowing inching closer to Wendy as she mounts up the stairs. He chillingly says, “I said I’m not gonna hurt ya. I’m just gonna bash your brains in.” Kubrick perfectly conveys the feelings of desperation and terror to his audience as Wendy tries to escape from her husband’s clutches, highly speaking in the film’s favor.
Although the film captures important feelings vital to its audiences, the acting is not top notch. In my opinion, I believe that Jack Nicholson, the man who plays Jack Torrance in the film successfully plays the part of a delusional father and husband. However, the same cannot be said for the other two actors, Shelley DuVall and Danny Lloyd, who play Wendy and Danny Torrance respectively. Both these characters stay rather static all throughout the film, while Jack is the only protagonist that’s dynamic. It’s understandable for Lloyd to not be at his best due to his young age and lack of acting experience; Shelley, on the other hand, remains stimulated and at times, I found her acting rather bland. Nicholson, however, truly embodies the character of an insane psychopath and it is evident on the screen, especially in the horrific scene where Jack murders Halloran, a chef at the Outlook who had come to help the Torrance family, in the lobby and chases Danny outside in the blizzard, an ax in hand, which makes it one of my favorite moments in the entire movie.
Although The Shining’s acting may not be the best, the cinematography is. During the filming, Kubrick shoots Danny’s scenes with all stills through the point of view of a small boy, which helps the audience see his character more realistically. When seeing ghosts and whatnot, a viewer is more able to understand the terror behind the eyes of a child. Also, Kubrick uses a SteadyCam, which helps stabilize the picture in more dramatic settings, such as the scene where Danny is riding his bicycle in the hallways of the Outlook. Stanley also manages to convey the feeling of total isolation to his audience when he makes the Overlook at the end of a long road, all the while removing everyone but the Torrance family from the film, trapping them in a snowstorm, and shutting down the escape routes by blocking the mountain pass. This cinematography, tagged with suspenseful music, creates tension and unease all throughout the movie, giving it a “disturbing” feeling. This, in my opinion, also speaks in the movie’s favor and makes up for the semi-acting.
All in all, The Shining is a critically renowned horror movie, directed by a prominent director, based on a famous author’s novel. The film successfully captures the feelings of isolation and desperation, along with terror and suspense and conveys it to its audience perfectly. Not only that but also, the cinematography helps enhance the movie with its still shots and dynamic pictures by using technologies not used often, such as the steadycam. Although the acting was not at its best from most of the characters, those being the ones that play Wendy and Danny Torrance, Nicholson convincingly plays the role of a crazy writer that is genuinely scary on screen. All of these elements combined together create a perfect horror film to be watched during the month of October. The Shining is an iconic movie known by many and will continue to be one in the many years to come.
The Shining Never-Ending Feeling Of Fear. (2022, Apr 21). Retrieved from http://studymoose.com/the-shining-never-ending-feeling-of-fear-essay
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