The Shining (or stylized as THE SHiNiNG) is a 1980 horror film produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick and co-written with novelist Diane Johnson. The film is based on Stephen King's 1977 novel of the same name. The film was released in the United States on May 23, 1980, and in the United Kingdom on October 2, 1980, by Warner Bros. A sequel, Doctor Sleep, was released in 2019.
Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) becomes winter caretaker at the isolated Overlook Hotel in Colorado, hoping to cure his writer's block. He settles in along with his wife, Wendy (Shelley Duvall), and his son, Danny (Danny Lloyd), who is plagued by psychic premonitions. As Jack's writing goes nowhere and Danny's visions become more disturbing, Jack discovers the hotel's dark secrets and begins to unravel into a homicidal maniac hell-bent on terrorizing his family.
Why It Rocks
- Well-done acting, especially from Jack Nicholson and Shelley Duvall.
- Good-to-passable casting choices.
- Interesting characters, such as Danny Torrance and Dick Hallorann with their psychic powers called "The Shining".
- Impressive cinematography for the early 80s.
- Amazing character development, especially with Jack Torrance.
- Many unforgettable scary scenes, such as the iconic scene where Danny encountering the ghost of identical twin girls down a long corridor and Jack getting attacked by a rotting naked woman.
- Excellent jump scares.
- Memorable quotes and iconic dialogue, such as "Redrum! Redrum! Redrum!", "Gimme the bat, Wendy." and more famously, "HERE'S JOHNNY!".
- A couple of creative adjustments from Stephen King's novel that benefit the film.
- Amazing designs, effects, and appearances for the spirits in the Overlook Hotel.
- It was also referenced, cameoed and mentioned from the movie Ready Player One.
- Stephen King (the author of the book the film was based on) despises and criticized this film as it wasn't really loyal to how he pictured "The Shining" in his book.
- While Shelley Duvall's performance was great, she wasn't a good casting choice as she doesn't resemble the Wendy Torrance from the book.
- Kubrick was extremely abusive towards Duvall. Her stress got so bad, her hair fell out during production (some she would give to Kubrick). Her torment definitely showed on screen.
- Not only did Stanley Kubrick become a Razzie nominee, but Shelley Duvall as well.
At the release, Reactions to the film at the time of its release were mixed; Stephen King criticized the film due to its deviations from the novel. Critical opinion has become more favorable and it has become a staple of pop culture. In 2018, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant". On review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a score of 84% based on 93 reviews, with an average rating of 8.39/10. The sites critical consensus reads: "Though it deviates from Stephen King's novel, Stanley Kubrick's The Shining is a chilling, often baroque journey into madness -- exemplified by an unforgettable turn from Jack Nicholson."
- Stanley Kubrick reportedly shot one scene in the movie 127 times in order to get it right.
- The quote "Here's Johnny" was ad-libed.