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The Shining: A movie to terrify and compel your eyes

Jack+Torrance+%28Jack+Nicholson%29+stares+directly+at+the+camera+laughing+as+his+mental+state+deprecates+inside+of+the+freekish+Overlook+Hotel.
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The Shining: A movie to terrify and compel your eyes

Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) stares directly at the camera laughing as his mental state deprecates inside of the freekish Overlook Hotel.

Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) stares directly at the camera laughing as his mental state deprecates inside of the freekish Overlook Hotel.

Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) stares directly at the camera laughing as his mental state deprecates inside of the freekish Overlook Hotel.

Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) stares directly at the camera laughing as his mental state deprecates inside of the freekish Overlook Hotel.

Juan Felipe Gaviria, Discoverer Staff Writer

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The Shining (1980) is the most important audiovisual event for one of the most criticized genres of cinema, the horror movie industry. Directed by Stanley Kubrick and starring Jack Nicholson and Shelley Duvall, the XXth century masterpiece is based on the Overlook Hotel where we get to experience its hauntings over the Torrance family. It is yet another example of how when all the elements of a movie are done greatly its end product is rewarded with a harmonious feeling. From an outstanding, innovating, soundtrack to emotional, raw acting,  to a unique, intriguing storyline to even mesmerizing cinematography The Shining is one of those movies your eyes never want to leave.

Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson), is the main character of the movie and he offers us a weak minded, ex-alcoholic that has abused his family but has now finished rehabilitation and has been free of incidents for some time. He has been given a job to guard the Overlook Hotel during winter. As the movie goes on he is consumed by the supernatural forces in the hotel and returns to his old ways but in an even more extreme manner. Similar to the megalomaniac Hannibal Lecter in the classic The Silence of the Lambs (1991), Jack starts acting in insane ways but in an even more unsettling manner as we knew that he was a normal family man. The interaction between Jack and his wife, and their responses offer raw scenes of pure fear that leave the hairs in your arms standing. We know characters drive the plot and this is a pure example of this, we are given relatable characters that fall into dark places and turn against each other. We grow attached to the family and their child and it is hard to see how they have to confront the difficult things the hotel implants into them. The acting itself is impressive, with some scenes taking more than 60 excruciating takes to get “right” (in Kubrick’s eyes) which put the mental and physical capacities of the actors on the brim.

The movie itself, its soundtrack and cinematography is composed of incredibly innovative tactics that haven’t grown old to this date. The soundtrack is similar to a movie like Jaws (1975), where we as an audience grow used to listening sounds more than actual music. Jaws (1975) itself has more of a melody to its soundtrack compared to the raw sounds that The Shining uses. Eerie, morbid sounds that leave ears ringing in suspense waiting for something to occur is recurring in the movie. The cinematography adds up to many still frames that gives the audience a feeling of impotence and an inability to help the poor souls looked in the hotel. To the mix several abrupt zooms are added bringing the audience close to the horror and scaring the living lifes out of them. The combination of these two elements is what makes the movie truly be a horror movie, and it’s these two those in charge of making the audience jump when the movie wants them to.

The themes and ideas explored by the visionary director here is what has kept the movie alive even to this date. Constant conversations have been held to discuss what Kubrick was trying to say through his carefully pieced work. Much like another one of his movies, Clockwork Orange (1973), fans believe that Kubrick wants to say much more that was spoken in the film. Both movies are said to be an admission of collaboration of Kubrick with the FBI (Clockwork Orange) and his acknowledgment that he filmed the moon landings (The Shining). Also, weird imagery is part of the movies and theories have come up stating even that the movie criticizes the way the american government treated the native americans at the time. All of the speculation and theories do give an strange aura of mystery behind the movie that (true or not) makes you want to watch it more times and more carefully.

Even though the movie is without a doubt amazingly crafted and has an admirable amount of thought put into it, it does have its flaws. So much is happening in the movie that isn’t obvious that to a typical movie goer that the mystery and aura might not be present and are probably replaced for them by simple boredom. The movie is also long and sometimes it may feel like a drag to keep watching if you aren’t completely into the plot (which might not be easy). It is a movie that is simply hard to watch, much like Schindler’s List (1993), it is long, heavy and with many unapparent plots. The movie definitely calls out for more than a single watch, but unless you truly want to appreciate it and dive into Kubrick’s masterpiece it might not be worth the time. Otherwise get ready to dive into the most thoughtful, terrifying and innovating movies in history that will leave you thinking for more than the movie has been released.

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The Shining: A movie to terrify and compel your eyes