Flashback Friday: “The Shining”

Flashback Friday: The Shining

Since its release in 1980, Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining has topped pioneer horror lists for decades. The movie, which is based on Stephen King’s novel of the same name, is widely considered one of the most terrifying and artistically brilliant films of all time.

Now, forty years since its initial release, the question must be posed: is The Shining still worth the watch?

As a person who does not typically indulge in the horror genre, I didn’t necessarily find this movie ‘scary,’ rather more so creepy. It’s not as bloody or gory as a typical horror film would be today, but that certainly does not take away from the deeply unsettling feeling it leaves in your stomach. Although it begins slow, the action quickly gains momentum, sweeping you up in the whirlwind of a plot.

One of the most disturbing aspects of the film is the many questions it leaves the audience with long after the credits have rolled. Is Jack really going crazy or is it just a result of his prolonged isolation? Why is he in that photograph taken in 1921? What exactly is in room 237? How many more families have suffered a fate similar to the Torrance’s? There are several fan theories that attempt to explain the many mysteries we are left with, but none seem to fully eradicate the chill that’s left running up your spine.

I’ve always read of Jack Nicholson’s iconic performance, but watching it firsthand is something else entirely. His interpretation of Jack Torrance’s descent into madness is frightening and exhilarating – he truly brings the character to life. While some may argue that it’s a bit overacted, I think it’s perfectly fitting for the film and I couldn’t imagine it any other way. 

Kubrick really knocked this film right out of the ballpark. Every scene is so masterfully crafted that it just sucks you right in. His experimental means of filming are truly a spectacle to watch, especially as the camera skillfully whips around the many twists and turns of the hotel’s hallways, adding to the audience’s sense of disorientation. The cinematography is so simple, yet so effective. 

As someone who detests overbearing scores with every fiber of my being, I was pleasantly surprised by the subtle effectiveness of the music in this film. The compositions were both repulsive and alluring at the same time, creating an interesting effect for the audience as they try to piece together what exactly is happening. The suspense begins to build from the very first note of the opening scene, which merely depicts a car driving through a beautiful mountain range. 

In conclusion, The Shining is most definitely worth watching, especially for a new generation craving a great horror film. This movie has something for everyone, regardless of your preferences. Although it may not be scary in the modern sense, it certainly does strike an inharmonious cord and leaves you wanting more.


If there are issues with this article, report it here.