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The Shining Film Review
The first film we watched was The Shining (1980) directed by Stanley Kubrick. The film is based upon the book The Shining by Stephen King it is of course a classic, A film that everyone knows about and many have seen. And one of Jack Nicklesons greatest roles.
In terms of horror in the 1980s this was massed watched and is definitely a classic physco film, it uses non-diegetic sound, long shots and the use of actors to build suspense. You know something is going to happen but don't know when, this is what makes you think, pay attention and really watch this film.
The story follows the events that occur at the 'Overlook hotel' during the winter something which automatically makes you think of isolation and cold. Ironically the hotel is closed to the public in the winter due to terrible snow storms that cut it off from civilisation. though not populated the hotel needs to be maintained and writer Jack Torrance a recovering alcholic, his wife Wendy and his psychic son Danny agree to look after the hotel and keep it running. As Jack is being interviewed for the role of caretaker he is told of the horrific tale of a caretaker who, many years ago, brutally murdered his family, knowing that this is always going to repeat its self somewhere in the film and the audience is already prepared for a brutal murder to take place possibly involving the Torrence family.
Danny has visions which are filled with torrents of blood and gore. A psychic link has been established with the hotel's past, Jack ignores these warnings as is hoping to have a peaceful place to write his book and the Overlook Hotel seems perfect.Little do they know that the hotel is built on Indian Burial Ground and the evil spirits that live in it.
The film deals with the subject of abuse and betrayal as well as the supernatural it portrays the inner phsyco in Jack Torrences mind. He has already hurt his son in a drunken episode and then Danny is injured and visibly traumatized after going into room 237 Wendy's thinks in must be Jack that has been abusing Danny. The character Danny seem to always be aware of what is happening but is quiet even and still traumatised by the events in which he sees an feels are happening in the Hotel and through Danny the audience really start to feel this fear as he roams the hotels endless corridors on his bike shadows seem to fill darkness creating a sense of being watched.
The clip above shows how camera angles helps change our perception of the situation as the shot is from behind the child on the bike seem to appear small and the never ending corridor adds to the isolation of the small boy a sense of paranoia of what will happen next, a perfect example of the effect that can be created using long shots and shadows.