Not only is The Shining my favorite horror film ever, it is also one of the best movies of all time. I know that is saying a lot, but The Shining has so many memorable moments in it that it has been referenced and spoofed many times. Sure it isn’t a faithful adaptation of the source material by Stephen King, but Stanley Kubrick took it and made it his own and it was his own masterpiece.
The movie is a mixture of supernatural and psychological horror. It gets under your skin, but also bares its horrors right in front of your eyes. It might not be horribly scary for the modern age, but it does still have the power to creep you out. Jack takes a job at the Overlook hotel as the winter caretaker. He brings his wife and kids up too and then things start to go wonky. Jack starts to lose his mind and the hotel seems to be causing it. Most of this is pretty common knowledge at this point. People usually refer to it as “that movie in the hotel.” They aren’t far off, but there is really so much more.
I mean, where do we start? From the haunting opening scene, to Danny’s “redeem.” to Jack going insane, to “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy,” to the twin girls in the hallway, this movie has as many iconic moments as some of the other greats. It is really crazy to think about the detail put into each and every frame of this movie, with Kubrick having his assistant writing hundreds of pages of the previously quoted line, or the 100 or so takes of the staircase sequence.
The Shining is just an astounding film. It has stood the test of time (over 30 years) and it is still a cultural icon that is referenced time and time again. Jack Nicholson’s performance is one of his greatest too, and he is also one of the best horror villains of all time. If you haven’t seen this movie, please do. It is absolutely incredible.
And there you have it. My top 5 horror movies of all time. I hope you have considered watching one or all of them, they all have a special place in my heart around this time of year. Have a happy Halloween.