View Full Version : Reviews: The Shining

11-16-2001, 07:34 PM
JoBlo's 9/10 review of THE SHINING can be found here: http://www.joblo.com/shining.htm
Your past movie reviews from May 1998 - November 2001 can be found there as well.

And what did you think of the movie? Add your comments below.


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11-17-2001, 04:46 PM
A decent suspense thriller/ghost story, but still one of Kubrick's weaker efforts. The pacing is uneven, to say the least. Specifically, the first act is slow as molasses (and somewhat of a bore), while the last part is actually quite effective. This film demonstrates how tough it is to make a Stephen King movie, I mean, even Stanley Kubrick couldn't quite pull it off? Jeez.

However, this is as good a visual interpretation of the novel as anyone could hope for. The enormous sets and Stedicam photography are a treat for the eyes. Jack Nicholson is fun to watch as a possessed madman.


PS: Anyone else hate Shelley Duval? Her acting was okay, but she wasn't the best choice for the part!

[This message has been edited by Cyclonus (edited 11-17-2001).]

12-21-2001, 12:46 PM
I watch movies a lot. I like horror and thriller movies, but i dislike boring movies. When i watched The Shining i was praying that it would end! The movie is much to long for such little entertainment. It's never scary or surprising. I don't get that people call this a masterpiece, it's so boring......... :-(

12-28-2001, 09:43 PM
A unstable family man. An abandoned hotel. Months of ice and snow. Isolate the man and his family in the said abandoned hotel for months and watch to see what happens.

The Shining essentially uses that simple equation to create a semi-scary film. Jack Nicholson plays a wannabe writer who is going to spend the Winter at the Overlook Hotel to write and care for the hotel. Shelly Duvall is his skittish and yet loving wife. With them comes a small boy named Danny who's finger says redrum.

Stanley Kubrick and Stephen King seem an odd match. King churns out potboilers at a shocking rate. Kubrick labored over his films for years. King hated this version feeling Kubrick destroyed some of his plot points and character motivation.

I think though it may be one of Kubrick's most accessible films. The goregous sets allow ample room for the camera to drift and to allow the audience to fall into the spell off a man losing himself in the vastness of winter.

And though the pacing is slow it is not the super slowness of some of Kubrick's other films. The story and performances move along at a reasonable pace and the tension does build (unlike in say Eyes Wide Shut where Kubrick allows the pacing to go slack and destroy the tension).

As to the performances I think Nicholson either by his own choice or Kubrick's becomes too wild. Jack goes from doting daddy to loony bird far too quickly. And by becoming so wild the film becomes ultimately less scary than comical. I think the chats with a phantom which worked beautifully in the book become cumbersome in the film.

The film does have enough interesting moments though to carry the viewer through. Also it's probably the best scored film Kubrick did. It's more a frightening than terrifying film.


03-04-2002, 09:38 PM
Man, oh man..this is what awesome filmmaking is all about. Truly a classic in the horror genre. I loved the sets, the camera work, and the performances. Jack Nicholson at his BEST!!! And with a pretty decent supporting performance from Shelley Duvall (though I think she could have done more with the part), and that creepy kid!! *brrrr* The movie did seem a little too long for my taste, but for what it is worth, it was worth every minute of it. 8/10 http://www.joblo.com/ubb/biggrin.gif

03-11-2002, 01:41 AM
I had grown up hearing about The Shining from my dad, from the time I was eight. He had always said it was his favorite horror film, next to Theatre of Blood. I had very high expectations when I finally did get to see it, and it certainly didn't let me down.

Jack Nicholson was born to play the caretaker who takes a downward spiral into insanity. He couldn't have done better. Shelley Duvall came off as whiny and annoying at times, but she fared alright. Little Danny Lloyd was great and despite the few scenes they were in together, had good chemistry with Scatman Crothers, giving the great performance you'd always expect of him. God rest his soul.

The sets were mesmerizing, especially the hedge maze. And I loved how the ending really left you thinking. A great movie all in all that should be dug out of your video collection at least every Halloween.


05-09-2002, 10:45 PM
To Put it as simply as I Can. This is simply the scariest movie of all time. The eerie feeling that I get when I watch this movie is like no other. I have to say the book is good, but the movie is scary!!! Whether it holds true to the book or not, this is scary movie. Great acting, and the scene on the stairs is the best of the movie.

05-23-2002, 12:16 AM
I haven't read the book, so I can't make any comparisons, but I thoroughly enjoy this movie. The scenery, the acting, the plot...everything about it creeps me out. I first saw this movie when I was about 12, and I still enjoy it a couple of decades later. The Shining has a lasting "creepy-ness power" that has withstood the test of time for me anyway.

[This message has been edited by Dorian (edited 05-25-2002).]

05-25-2002, 06:26 AM
this is one of my favorite movies of all times. and contrary to what has been said in some of the previous comments (slow, boring, ect...) these are the very elements i enjoy, even after having watched it more then a dozen times: the slow but oh-so-methodical pace, the perfect timing, like that of a well aged clock... i simply would never use the word boring talking of the shining.
the editing in this movie is simply brilliant and i have as much pleasure watching it for its sheer creepiness as well as its technical (in the cinematic sense) virtuosity - slow pannings, studied angles, close ups, perspective shots ect...). the opening sequence always leave me breathless.
And in these days of copycat-cookie-cutter directors i find that It only gets better with time... give me my shining anytime over any screams.

one of the very few i'd rate with a 10/10

[This message has been edited by belphegor (edited 05-25-2002).]

Kurtz' Killer
05-28-2002, 05:22 AM
Anyone who calls a Kubrick film boring needs "to go back into the woodshed" as Spike Lee says. "The Shining" IS a masterpiece.
The camerawork is flawless. Literally flawless. Point to any scene- any- and tell me that what you see is not perfection. (I'm talking composition). The acting is absolutely riveting- by all players. Maybe I'm an art-house snob, but I cannot find fault with this or any other Kubrick film. You have to come to this movie on STANLEY's terms. If you don't, you won't 'get it'. (Whatever that means)

Jerk Shapiro
01-20-2003, 04:53 PM
This is the epitimy of horror movies. Jacky gives one of the best performances of the 80's. As a crazy guy, of course.

I love it. It used to be in my top ten. But was tragically bumped out by some new arrivals.

Just like every other Kubrick this one is dragged out a bit far, but still, an amazing film.

Shelley Duvall is one ugly bitch, though.


10-01-2003, 05:08 PM
this movie was literally the scariest film I've ever seen. I dont agree with some of the comments which said it was slow, I think that the gradual building of the plot is all part of the fear. It forces you to be there and feel what its like to be alone, in the quiet stillness of the house.
the acting was exeptional, really everything about this movie was great. i give it an a +

10-12-2003, 08:36 PM
The Shining
Directed by : Stanley Kubrick
Starring: Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Scatman Crothers
Rating: ***1/2

Plot crunch:
A reformed alcoholic takes a job at an off season hotel with his wife and kids in tow. Featuring severe writers block and an urge to explore the place, said reformed alkie turns the place upside down, as the hotel's demons start to invade his body.

Jack Nicholson is the shiznit. I swear, the man is a god. Our saviour from the seventies delivers again in another orgasmic performance. Shelley Duvall, even though I don't care for her especially was decent, as was the child. Scatman Crothers was creepy, despite getting little screen time and an untimely death. Especially hating Stephen King's boooooring book (but then I've hated most of his stuff), I didn't have high expectations for The Shining, but I was pleasently surprised. Especially the second time around, I was impressed with how Kubrick and his writers were able to take the drollness of the book and transform it into a highly recognizable and delightfully visual masterpiece. The isolation of the hotel in Colorado's icy mountains was very exciting for me, as it created a snug atmosphere, a place you wouldn't suspect of any sort of this nonsense. Overall, The Shining was a spooky, but atmospheric and creepy entry to modern horror. Taking it's place along Psycho, The Exorcist and Halloween as a classic of the genre.

10-13-2003, 02:23 PM
The Shining is one of my top favorite scariest movies of all time and favorite films of all time. I thought Kubrick did an excellent job on this and its one of Jack Nicholson's best performances. I dont feel he went "over the top" at all and felt he nailed the role perfect.

It does kind of drag in the middle, but the ending makes up for it.

I always figured this movie could use a good sequel. I liked Kubrick's version a lot better than the tv series version even if it was a little more true to the book. :)

I'd rate it easily, 4 1/2 our of 5 stars. :)

11-23-2003, 04:57 PM
Classic Kubrick. Just plain scary and has a mood that no other horror movie can imitate. Any horror director with half a million and half a brain can create suspense, but no one could create mood like Kubrick did. This movie knocked the pants off me the first time I saw it and still kicks ass to this day. Jack Nicholson is the best choice for this part and looks scary as fuck. Shelly Duvall is my only beef in the movie, there were alot of scenes that would have been better downplayed and I think her performance was a little melodramatic at times, but when nessecary to be scared shitless, she came through. Danny Lloyd did a good job playing the little kid (a little dated, but hell, still did good) and Scatman Crothers pulls off his small part with ease. Nice job on the acting (especially Nicholson) but the directing is what is so brilliant. Kubrick could make a fucking candy store look scary for gods sake. What a brilliant director.

11-25-2003, 10:19 PM
classic horror movie the first time i saw it with the two little girls i was looking out my door all night!

by far one of the best horror movies ever made and javk nicholsons performance is outstanding

8/10 in general 10/10 for horror movies

08-29-2005, 03:31 PM


The Shining is the perfect horror movie, to me. Jack Nicholson, playing the part of deraigned father Jack Torrance, comes across as the ultimate horror movie villain. The here's Johny scene and several others, in which he shows of the absolute insanity of his charachter, all make add to the frightening sense of Nicholsons charachter.. Set in a hotel that is isolated from the rest of society, the element of claustraphobia comes to play in this movie. The scare factor in the movie is high enough, although, I wasn't really scared by it, but there are enough scenes in this movie that will make the hairs on your neck stand up. Excellent acting, a good story, and fantastic shock scenes, all make this movie a classic in horror and filmaking.

I highly recommend The Shining to any movie fan.

09-03-2005, 09:38 AM
I can understand why some people call The Shining over-rated, slow, boring, etc....I however am not one of those movies. Although I do feel it is one of Kubrick's weakest projects, I still love the film, and love the fact that everything feels bland right up until the use of Danny's vision sequences, and Jack Nicholson's incredible performance(although Jack's performance gets mixed reviews, Kubrick is said to have written Jack's character using James Cagney as inspiration. Though weak in some points, I can watch this film again again...and to let people better understand Kubrick's The Shining, i always use Richard Schikel's quote on it from the fantastic documentary "Stanley Kubrick: A Life In Pictures"...."I dont think the shining is what a typical horror movie is, which is usually a realistic portrayal of supernatural spookiness...i think whats going on in the shining is largely going on in Jack Nicholsan's head.."


09-03-2005, 06:01 PM
aside from the ending, which i really dont like adn it really ruins what is created before it, The Shining is a great film. the central performances (even from the kid) are excellent, Nicholson is especially great as his character slowly goes crazy. the film is full of atmosphere and the huge, empty, lifeless sets build up a lot of suspense and make the house feel like a character in itself. sound is also used very well such as when Nicholsons character is playing with the ball or the kid is riding his tricycle. the hedge maze is also great and very well done