The Shining is one of those films that has just always existed for me. It's always been there. Kubrick took a great novel by Stephen King and made it beautiful for our eyes instead of just our heads. With colours as bright as A Clockwork Orange and a script that was often improvised, it's still as fresh as the day it was born.
Jack has landed himself the job of temporary caretaker at the Overlook Hotel, while it's closed for the winter months. He takes his wife, Wendy and young son, Danny. Jack is told at the interview that a few years ago they had what they called a tragedy at the hotel, when the caretaker was overcome with cabin fever and killed his wife and children. "Do you think you will be suited to this kind of solitude, Mr Torrance?" But it
becomes apparent that there is more at work here than just weak personalities losing it, but something else may be controlling their minds.
A month passes and Jack begins to display all the signs. The hotel has a life of its own and that busy place it is during the summer soon disappears and the empty building takes on a whole different feel. Thoroughly worked on and wound up by the ghosts, Jack goes about correcting his family. And in this instance correcting means killing if a stern talking to doesn't suffice.
This is a Kubrick film through and through. Although it still retains the typical Stephen King subtle-as-a-brick setting up of the story with "How did you know we called him Doc? We never called him Doc in front of you" and "Part of the hotel was built on an Indian burial ground, ya know." So many of the striking dreamlike images are now ingrained in cinema history; Danny riding his trike down the corridors, the twin girls, blood pouring through the lift doors, the typewriter, the baseball bat, the axe, the baseball bat... I feel like I should go outside for a while...
Don't forget my contest to win a Shining mug ends this Saturday the 10th! Click here to enter.