Stanley Kubrick • The Shining

“All work & no play makes Jack a dull boy.”

The Shining is known as “a masterpiece of modern horror” & I couldn’t describe it better. Based on a novel by Stephen King, it’s a story about Jack Torrance {a writer & recovering alcoholic played by the always amazing Jack Nicholson}, who takes a job as an off-season caretaker at an isolated hotel called the Overlook Hotel. I haven’t read the novel, that is slightly different from the movie, but I think Kubrick made a brilliant job with it. Here’s a famous quote by King about the adaptation: 

“Parts of the film are chilling, charged with a relentlessly claustrophobic terror, but others fall flat. Not that religion has to be involved in horror, but a visceral skeptic such as Kubrick just couldn’t grasp the sheer inhuman evil of The Overlook Hotel. So he looked, instead, for evil in the characters & made the film into a domestic tragedy with only vaguely supernatural overtones. That was the basic flaw: because he couldn’t believe, he couldn’t make the film believable to others. What’s basically wrong with Kubrick’s version of The Shining is that it’s a film by a man who thinks too much and feels too little; & that’s why, for all its virtuoso effects, it never gets you by the throat & hangs on the way real horror should.”

They had a few disagreements during the production & I love how Kubrick deliberately showed us what he did with King’s original play on the car crash scene, when the Torrance family was heading to The Overlook Hotel. Oh, I’m not telling anything about that, you’ll have to find out for yourself.

The Shining is a classic, a delicious thriller full of details & conspiracy theories besides the main plot & I highly recommend the “Room 237” documentary, because if you didn’t get obsessed with the movie, after watching this, you will. Think about theories about the genocide of Native Americans, Kubrick being contracted by NASA to direct the footage of the Apollo 11 moon landing or a message to remind all the horrors of the Holocaust. I love how creative people are.

The room for the movie was definitively the best, it was so awesome I forgot to breathe for a few seconds. You’d walk in dark corridors & open all these Hotel doors, only to find original scene objects, such as the Stephen Kings’ novel with notes from Kubrick himself, the Grady sisters’ matching dresses, Danny’s “Apollo 11” sweater, the infamous axe & knife & Jack’s iconic typewriter. Gasp. The original typewriter with the scariest horror lines ever written: “All work & no play makes Jack a dull boy.” I’m having the chills right now, I just love “The Shining” so much. 

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