Director: Stanley Kubrick
In The Shining Jack Nicholson plays Jack Torrance, a novelist who accompanied by his wife Wendy and son Danny, takes a trip up to the grand and isolated Overlook Hotel to take the position of the caretaker during the winter months. Jack hopes that the isolation of the hotel will be just what he needs to write his new novel without any distractions getting in the way. Jack’s dream of hours of uninterrupted writing quickly collapse as his psychic son begins having terrifying visions of two young girls that were murdered in the Overlook by their father, a man named Charles Grady, a care taker for the same hotel a few years before hand. Jack also experiences his own paranormal visions as the family’s time in the hotel grows longer and the Overlook’s many corridors become more and more disorienting, sending him into a psychotic rage and attempting to murder his wife and son with an axe.
The Shining’s continuing theme of isolation is set up right from the film’s opening sequence, which has Jack, Wendy and Danny driving through the largely unpopulated and lonley mountain ranges while a dark and immensly foreboding orchestral piece plays over the top. The film also makes an amazing use of Steadi-cam in many of the scenes where Danny is riding his little bike through the Overlook’s numerous and sprawling corridors, while the camera floats eerily behind him, as if from the veiwpoint of one of the hotels many spirits. The Shining isn’t your typical horror movie, it relies far more on the psychology and state of mind of it’s brilliant characters, rather than how fast and grusomely they can all be killed off, while it’s slow and hypnotic pacing makes it almost impossible to pull away from.