What in my opinion makes truly a great director is a person who can direct different movies in different genres and make them all equally work out as great ones. Stanley Kubrick was truly one of those directors. He did science-fiction, drama, comedy, war movies, documentaries and basically everything else in between. With "The Shining" he delivered his only horror production, which is among his best movies. But then again; is there really truly such a thing as a bad Kubrick movie in the first place?

Yes, if you haven't noticed, I'm a real Kubrick fan. Looking back at his career, he probably was the greatest director that ever lived and he delivered masterpieces over the course of 5 decades. Not a whole lot of directors can say that. But even more remarkable is that he always sustained his own style. Each and ever of his movies have the same feeling and approach to it, which isn't necessarily following all of the 'Hollywood-rules'. He always continued doing his own thing, which makes all of his movies very consistent with each other, as well as unique and originals ones, due to its uncommon approach.

Also this movie really isn't a very typical horror movie. It's very slow in its build up, which at the same time is also the movie its biggest strength. If you have to compare this movie to anything else it probably would be Robert Wise's "The Haunting", which features a sort of similar concept and build up and just like "The Shining", was an unique and unusual horror movie for its time.

Its slow build up ensures that the movie has a constant feeling of tension and danger looming over it. You never know when a person is going to snap or when something creepy will happen. It makes "The Shining" a real unsettling movie to watch, which is one of the biggest compliments you could give any horror movie.

The approach and build up of the movie also ensures that this movie is true beautiful one to look at. The hotel and the eeriness of its emptiness and remoteness gets captured really well on film. They really found the perfect locations for this movie. The movie features some real great cinematography in it, especially the steadicam work really contributes to the movie its many great moments.

The movie probably also features Jack Nicholson's most definitive role in it. Yes, he has played some truly great and memorable roles and characters over the years but his performance as Jack Torrance is probably his most recognizable and best known one. But also the very young Danny Lloyd was real great. He acts very natural and acts like a true kid of his age, which is something not a whole lot of horror movies are able to get right. All of the characters in this movie feel and behave very natural and also interact that way with each other. All of their relations feel real, which is also one of the powerful aspects of this movie.

In my opinion a movie everyone should watch at least once in their lifetime.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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