A family of three heads to an isolated hotel for the winter, only to find
a host of evil spirits who slowly drive the father insane and murderous.
The Shining (1980)
Directed by Stanley Kubrick
Written by Stanley Kubrick and Diane Johnson
Starring Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd,
Scatman Crothers, Philip Stone, Barry Nelson, Joe Turkel
Based on the novel by Stephen King
The Shining is without a doubt one of the most frightening, unsettling, and well-made horror films of all time. While it may not have the same vision as Stephen King's classic novel, Stanley Kubrick uses the pieces of the novel to craft his own terrifying masterpiece with the help of Jack Nicholson and Shelley Duvall.
Jack Nicholson delivers one of the strongest performances of his career as Jack Torrance, recovering alcoholic father and aspiring writer who slips slowly into madness over the course of a single winter. Kubrick's unorthodox directing methods impacted both Nicholson and Duvall's powerful performances, almost to the point of driving them both insane for real. The end result is nothing short of filmmaking genius and has become one of the most influential horror films ever made.
The atmosphere is king in The Shining. The isolation of the Overlook Hotel, the uneasy feeling that something is off about this place but you don't know what, and even the mannerisms of the characters, all of it helps create the world of horror that is the Overlook. Ghosts are not even the main source of terror. Most of it comes from Jack himself, who is clearly unhinged before they even arrive at the hotel. His dead eyes and his random smirks help to remind us all that he is not a sane man, just as Kubrick reminded us that he too is not a sane man by giving us The Shining. This is the defining ghost movie of the century and it will never stop scaring us.