“The Shining” (1980)

“Here’s Johnny,” is probably the most famous lines from said to be one of the best horror movies of the 80’s, The Shining. The Shining is a movie based off of a Stephen King novel by the same name. The movie takes place in the Colorado Rocky Mountains, where a family of three, Jack, Wendy and Danny are in search for a better life. The movie starts with a job interview to be a caregiver for the Overlook Hotel. Jack is quick to accept the offer even after being told that the previous caregiver experienced a form of cabin fever and murdered his wife and two daughters before turning a shotgun to himself. Before the family moves in we learn that the son, Danny has telepathic powers and can speak to others through his mind that have the same ability, and he can see into the future. Viewers also get more of an insight of what Jack was like as well and is described as a former alcoholic and a domestic abuser. A story is told throughout the movie of Jack dislocating his son’s shoulder. Over time, we see that Jack is slowly succumbing to the craziness of the hotel and is being forced into his bad habits of abuse and quick temper. In other words, Jack completely loses his mind and tries to kill his family. Before this though, viewers will see that the ghosts of the hotel start to mess with Danny before his father. After being told not to go into room 237 by the head chef who also has “The Shining” (the name of the telepathic power) Danny does it after being lured in by a ball. He goes to his parents with a ripped shirt and bruises on his neck, which gives Wendy the impression that Jack is going back to his old ways and is hurting Danny. When Jack goes into room 237 on the other hand, things do not go as good, because this is the part where Jack starts to go crazy. After that, comes the part that many people remember the movie from. The scene where Jack chases his wife and son with an axe and breaks down several doors to get to them. Danny luckily escapes to the outside of the hotel and make it to a maze where him and his mother walked before the winter came. Jack was following him though in an attempt to kill him. After being outsmarted by footprints, Jack will slowly die in the frozen maze and Danny and Wendy will drive away in a snow plow truck. Many would say that Jack became this way because he had the same powers that Danny did the whole time, but he wasn’t warned like Danny was, which made him more vulnerable and easier to manipulate.

This movie is probably one of the better horror movies on this list that I have seen before. I chose not to do a jump scare or a kill count for this movie, simply for the fact that that’s not what made it scary. The only reason why this movie was scary was because of director, Stanley Kubrick, and his visions on how the movie should be made. Kubrick didn’t stop filming until he got exactly what he wanted from the actors. An example would be Kubrick’s experiments with camera angles and lenses with the cameraman on various shots, like the steady tricycle follow shot through the main hallways of the hotel. These follow shots gave the people who were watching suspenseful shots with the only sound being the wheels transitioning from the hardwood floor, to the carpeting on the floor. With all of the sharp turns in the hallway that happened throughout the movie, a viewer would never expect the scene where Danny turns to see the two ghosts of the girls standing there menacingly. Something that I also saw differently was the actors in these movies compared to Halloween’s actors. The acting in this movie was much better and made the movie feel so much more real than other movies. At first glance, I would place the blame of this on the actors, but after doing further research, I found out the truth. The reason why these actors were so perfect and genuine with their parts is because of the time that they went through these scenes over and over again. The mental strain that these actors went through was probably unimaginable. After over 100 takes for some scenes, the actors were tired of doing it wrong so they forced themselves to do it right. Even the classic “Here’s Johnny” scene was amazing because whenever the actress who played Wendy got the scene wrong she would be verbally and emotionally abused until she was actually scared and terrified. After the experience of watching The Shining, I have learned some new things about these horror movies and that the key to these movies aren’t “which one has more blood, kills or jump scares.” And like many other things, these movies need more time to perfect. This means that after this, I will be looking into how long it took these movies to be made along with all of the other things I previously was looking for.

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The iconic “Here’s Johnny” scene from “The Shining”

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The incredible steady shot scene from Garrett Brown. This brought the audience so much suspense and made them jump every time the boy on the tricycle made a turn.

The Scene

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