The Shining Reveiw

Figure 1: Poster (1980) 

Stanley Kubrick's The Shining (1980) is a strange film about a couple and their child watching a hotel over winter. The film focuses on Jack Torrance ( Jack Nicholson) transformation from a somewhat kind father to a Psychopath whose only goal is to kill his family. Wendy Torrance (Shelley Duvall) is his wife, she is some what melodramatic and her performance is seen as unconvincing to some, others see Duvall's acting as a correct depiction of someone who is truly afraid. Danny Torrance is Jack and Wendy's son, he has a gift the movie calls "the shine".The shine it is a mysterious power that allows the gifted to she the past, communicate with others who are gifted and see glimpses of the future.
Figure 2:Steadicam (1980) 

Kubrick's use of Steadicam is well placed, they also show his perfectionism "the invention of steadicam fuelled Kubrick's obsessive quest for perfection"(Nathan, 1980) his need for perfection resulted in a well made film that seems timeless. Kubrick's camera shots dwell on the scene for longer than is comfortable, this has the effect of unnerving the spectator, by making them think something will happen. The prolonged camera shots give the possibility of jump scares which keeps most most spectator at the edge of their seats. The sound alone creates an uneasy feeling, with a high pitched score which starts at what seem like random moments.
Figure 3: Danny playing (1980) 

The films set design is bright and colorful using pastel colors, this gives the hotel a distinct style . The colors make the hotel looks harmless, it becomes apparent that hotel is actually quite sinister as the story unfolds. As the hotels past is shown the hotel starts to feel more creepy, a example of this transformation is the scene where jack has an " exotic vision that turns into a nightmare"(Ebert, 2006) this scene can be seen as the hotel showing it's true colour. As the hotel begins to show it's true colours Jack slowly starts going insane, it becomes become clear that his sanity belongs to the hotel and it is some kind of puppet master.

The shining doesn't really show signs of being a horror "The shining doesn't look like a genre film"(Bradshaw,2012), instead it feels more like an art house film mainly becuase of Kubrick's perfectionism. Kubrick's need for perfection led to his actors hating the experience, and although he got the perfection he wanted it Comes of  unnatural at time like it was forced or perfection doesn't fit.

Illustrations list 

Figure. 1.The Shining poster (1980)[poster] At: (Accessed 10/12/2014)

Figure 2: Steadicam. (1980) From The shining directed by Stanley Kubrick [Film still]. At (Accessed 10/12/2014)

Figure 3: Danny playing. (1980)  From the shining directed by Stanley Kubrick [Film still]. At (Accessed 10/12/2014)


Bradshaw, P. (2012). The Shining Reveiw. At: (Accessed 10/12/2014)

Ebert, R. (2006). The Shining Reveiw. At: (Accessed 10/12/2014)

Nathan, I. (Date unknown). The Shining Reveiw. At: (Accessed 10/12/2014)


  1. Hi Ryan,

    Make sure you proofread before you post - you have a few doubling-ups of words here, and some minor (but distracting) spelling mistakes. You want to make sure that your writing looks as academic as possible :)


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