The Shining (1980)

The scariest moments in The Shining are so iconic, they’ve become in-jokes: Jack Nicholson leering psychotically from posters on the walls of student bedrooms everywhere: ‘Here’s Johnny!’. Even so, Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece of execution and claustrophobia still retains the power to frighten audiences out of their wits. Nicholson is Jack Torrance, a writer working as a caretaker at the isolated Overlook Hotel in the Colorado mountains over winter. Stephen King, on whose novel the film was based, was famously unimpressed. The problem, he said, was that ghost-sceptic Kubrick was ‘a man who thinks too much and feels too little’. He resented Kubrick for stripping out the supernatural elements of his story. Torrance is not tortured by ghosts but by inadequacy and alcoholism. And for many, it’s as a study of insanity and failure that makes The Shining so chilling. CC
Dir Stanley Kubrick (Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall)

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