And, alas, like Night of the Living Dead, The Shining was a disappointment.
Look: heckuva lotta Filmmaking going on here. No question about that. And no doubt it stressed me out. But it was just too much. Which may seem like a funny thing to say, me being a wild Wes Anderson fan, but you don't want a silly scariest-movie-of-all-time, do you? No. Of course you don't. Then it wouldn't be the scariest-movie-of-all-time, would it?
Does that music get you scared? Sure. I guess. It's better than most Halloween sound-effect tapes, for sure.
Does that almost-symmetrical-but-not-quite framing keep you off guard? Yep. Sure does.
How about Danny riding his bike around and around and around?
How about the All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. manuscript?
How about the lady in the tub?
How about the running through the hedge?
The use of mirrors?
Yes, yes, yes. All very well done. The sudden cuts made me jump almost every time (although the last one to the iconic image of frozen Jack just made me snort), but aren't you wasting tension, making me jump just to tell me it's Tuesday?
I can see where the influence of this film has shown up in everyone from my boy Wes to Twin Peaks, but come on. The slow build of terror was so slow it finally fell apart and collapsed. The sudden death of Dick provided no payoff or release. Having Mom see ghosts got in the way of the true source of the terror. The room of skeletons just made me laugh out loud. And that photograph at the end? Oh yeah. Very artsy. Whoopdefreakindo. That does nothing for me, Kubrick. Stop patting yourself on the back.
Some great acting from the leads, though! Even though the direction included lots of needless pauses. Jack Nicholson was born for this role. I'm glad other people like it....
I know I'm grumpy. Sorry. But really. For all it's merits, when you add them all up, the film kind of sucked.
There it is.