Sunday, October 10, 2010

Mocking Halloween: The Shining

The Shining is probably one of the more surreal and horrifying films that the general public acknowledges. Kubrick’s 1980 masterpiece is definitely surreal but is it horrifying? Is it scary? Is it a slasher as some would consider it? The answer to these questions is no. The Shining is a very dated horror movie and much like The Exorcist it is a very slow moving film that has hardly any type of scare whatsoever. In fact, the film may bore you and put you to sleep faster than it would scare you. It’s a case in which the time period in which this was made is definitely shown since it was made during an year were people had their imaginations.

One of the film’s biggest problems comes from the fact that it cons you out of a scare. The score builds up the tension and you are on the edge of your seat waiting for something to happen but when the score reaches its climax… the biggest thing that happens is ‘Tuesday’ appears on screen. Hardly anything happens until that final 10 or 15 minutes. Unfortunately, that’s not the only thing that this film does to make the viewing experience that much more boring.

Some of the scenes just drag on and on and on and after a while you just want them to stop. The scene were Danny is riding around the hotel won’t stop. The scene where Wendy and Danny are walking through the maze seems endless, much like the maze itself. When Jack checks out the forbidden room, it seems like Kubrick is taking his sweet dandy time to get to the bathroom. Also, there is surprisingly a lot of talking scenes and these also carry on and on. When Doc is talking to Danny about the Shining, when Jack is talking to Grady or the bartender, when Wendy is talking to the sheriff… they all seem to last forever.

If this film came out today, it would have failed miserably because the audience would be lost and completely bored. There are too many slow moving scenes, there are too many exposition scenes and the reasoning for a lot of the actions are too convoluted. It may have been feasible for the early 80s but in this day and age… it would probably be categorized as a drama. Only one person dies and for today’s standards that’s not enough. The bare minimum should be at 5.


Anonymous said...

I watched this recently, and kept thinking that I would really like to see Wendy take an axe to the head. She has a terribly irritating personality and I found it very difficult to be sympathetic to her character. Oh well, Jack Nicholson still plays a great psycho.

Andy Buckle said...

I still find it to be one of the creepiest films to watch, and no film experience has scared me more than my first viewing of The Shining. It's a masterpiece! Few horror films have been made that are as effectively chilling as The Shining. Sure, it moves slow, but it succeeds in creating suspense and establishing a plot but also offers the shocking jolts we all love from the horror genre. Also, a huge body count doesn't justify a film to a part of the horror genre. The Shining, if released today, would be an independent cult success, but likely wouldn't be a big box office hit. But something truly disgusting in 3D that makes you reel in shock doesn't necessary make it a 'scare' either, and this is the trend of modern slasher films. Some films are just bloody, not scary. I'd take something as surreal and uncanny as The Shining over most of the ridiculously bloody, plotless pieces of crap released today.

Cool blog though buddy,


Mr. Johnny Sandman said...

Andy, you are right on everything! Though I still like to take down a peg once in a while to demonstrate my point that there isn't a film that is 'perfect' in my eyes.

Thanks, man! :)

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