Second Union

Second Union

Second Union’s 31 DAYS OF HORROR: Day 15 – The Shining (1980)

Welcome to the Second Union 31 Days of Horror event! Every day leading up to Tuesday, October 31st, (starting Sunday, October 1st) we will post a review of one horror film.

Today’s Film: The Shining. Enjoy!

The Shining is directed by Stanley Kubrick and stars Jack Nicholson as Jack Torrance, a man who interviews for the job of an off-season caretaker of the Overlook Hotel. His interviewer warns him about how the previous caretaker got cabin fever, went insane and murdered his family. Jack thinks that would never happen to him, so he accepts the job. He brings his wife, Wendy, and his son, Danny with him and soon the isolation begins to set in.

Now, this is the rare film that comes along for me where I have a small nitpick, but it doesn’t relate to the film itself. That one problem is the character of Wendy, who I just thought was a plot device. She really doesn’t do much in the film. All she does is scream and whimper constantly, and it really got on my nerves, if you couldn’t tell already. Aside from that, this film is perfect. It’s a flawless masterpiece and it does what no Stephen King movie I’ve seen has ever done. It transcends the horror genre. It’s thrilling. It’s slow-paced but never drifts into nothingness, overcome by the plot.

Frankly, the character development is some of the best I’ve seen in a film. Right off the bat, you learn a lot about the characters and their relationship with each other. There is some exposition dialogue in the very beginning, but the rest of the film is flawless. The film knows how to portray a character slowly going insane, and that’s quite amazing. Jack Torrance is so iconic because Jack Nicholson is given so much to work with, and his dialogue becomes one of the best parts about this movie. In the midst of the dark, psychologically demanding story, there’s humor thrown into the mix as well, which creates a balance not many horror films know how to do nowadays.


Kubrick’s stellar direction and the increasingly great cinematography makes this film even more easy to get invested in. Honestly, it’s hard to put into words how much of an impact this film has had on pop culture and horror films in general. It’s a perfectly crafted vision with smart writing, an effective story, and an ending that will leave your jaw gaping open. I’m going to give it an A+.

The Shining stars Jack Nicholson, Shelly Duvall, Scatman Crothers, Danny Lloyd. Directed by Stanley Kubrick.

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