The Shining (1980)

 

All Work and No Play, Makes Jack a Frightening Boy…

 

Jack Torrance, a writer takes on a caretaker’s job in an isolated hotel over the winter. Accompanied by his family with his small son able to see the horrifying, murderous, events surrounding the hotel. As his father’s mental health worsens.

 

 

 

 

The Shining – Official Trailer [1980] HD, Stanley Kubrick, http://www.youtube.com

 

So I can happily reveal the 2 Reel Quirky Cats poll winning Horror movie is – thanks to all those Twitter votes – The Shining (1980). With this Jack Nicholson eighties horror beating the others hands down. This one of those films I’ve enjoyed and not just because it’s Nicholson, a favourite actor in this one of his more terrifying roles.  With this the final horror review aptly being shared with you on Halloween. Here’s another reason to be afraid…

The new topic for the 2 Reel Quirky Cats will be revealed very, very soon. With a lovely guest post revealed later in November… and my blogathon with the lovely Thoughts All Sorts. So in the meantime Here’s Jack……

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About the plot…

Writer, Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) takes on a job as a caretaker in a hotel over the winter. His wife Wendy  (Shelley Duvall) and his wee son Danny accompany him. However Danny has the Shining, this the ability to see the frightening events surrounding the hotel in previous years. The hotel cook shares this shining ability and can communicate with the child telepathically. As the past reveals the former caretaker became unwell with mental problems killing his family with an axe. Jack’s mental health deteriorates…

 

About the trailer…

The trailer starts showing an aerial view of car travelling through the woods and an isolated hotel seems harmless enough. On this opening it could even be a National Lampoon trip with Chevy Chase’s Clark Griswold and his family. However this along ominous voice of the owner, telling of the hotel’s part in those  tragic events of winter 1970 in the narration accompanying this that gets your attention. This telling of Grady, a previous caretaker who murdered his family at the hotel after he became unwell with mental health problems over that winter.

Our first view of Nicholson’s Torrance of a composed writer, at work also seems placid and non frightening scene. Yet immediately after this we see a contrasting side to his personality which could merely be put down to a rant over writers block.  But we see Jack looking menacing with an axe, which may be a bit extreme if we continued this writer’s block theory. All these  scenes kinda replaying the accompanying narrator’s words, but acted out with the Torrance family. With the axe being thrust into a door just as the word axe mentioned. This along with the music increasing your fear…

But hell, as Jack says  in the next scene – it’s not going to happen to him. The word “not” echoing in our ears. Which we know it inevitably will, with the opening of the trailer now seen in a new light. And it will be a wonderfully hammed up Nicholson horror performance. And it will surpass that scene with those cherries, and where those witches upset him in The Witches of Eastwick (1987). And one that you couldn’t see any one but Nicholson pulling off. Especially with other actors considered including Robin Williams and Harrison Ford. As to the remake with Steven Weber  in the role of Jack Torrance. Not seen it but it does seem Wendy would be more forboding with the star who creeped me out in her role in The Hand that Rocks the Cradle (1992) namely Rebecca De Mornay.

Returning to the trailer’s scenes again emphasising the physical isolation of the hotel, and introducing Jack Torrance’s wee family. There’s his young son,  Danny – with his cool wee tricycle – and wife Wendy played by Shelley Duvall. And that ultra funky conspiracy laden carpet. Duvall always reminds me of a doe trapped in the headlights, and she does here in every scene. Even in a scene I know is where jack hasn’t gone bat shit and on a rampage with an axe yet. Cue wee happy family shots of mother, father and son.

However the isolation again is no mentioned – possibly for those who didn’t pick up those all important clues. Cue supercreepy Jack,Jack, Jack. With music and camera effects.  Cue more snow than Finland, as the music increases in eeriness…  Danny asks if something gone bad in the hotel (and he’s not talking about the food). And this with the cook Dick Hallorann (Nicholson’s One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest co-star Scatman Crothers).

Leading lots of horror shots with both Danny’s parents looking armed and dangerous. So if you don’t know this story you could misunderstand that Duvall’s character Wendy is just as frightening. Especially, if you are one who works from home. And punctuated with scenes and the chilling music hammering in the fear. More scenes from the Torrance family with Jack looking more than a bit pissed off. I’m in fear for his wee family as tbh Jack is scaring the crap out of me too. But then so is Wendy.

Maybe he’s more than a bit pissed off as little writing is being done. And when it happens it’s dully repetitive.  And as for the ending of the trailer, Jack has the last laugh… as not just the curtain falls.

So what an end to our horror previews, now i can safely say the next of our themes is a lot less scary, or maybe it is dependant on your point of view…. but what is scary is that someone in a moment of madness used some of that aerial opening panorama to the hotel as one of the many endings to Blade Runner (1982).  And that’s not a Blade Runner version I’d take a shining to…

 

And tune in next time for more reely random reviews with those 2 Reel Quirky Cats.

Now CLICK HERE to join the discussion on Twitter at @2QuirkyCats or add your comments below x

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Or CLICK HERE to read what the other Quirky Cat thought at Thoughts All Sorts.

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