The Shining

the-shining-posterAmerican psychological horror from 1980.
Starring: Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd
Director: Stanley Kubrick
Writers: Stephen King, Stanley Kubrick, Diane Johnson
Bechdel test: Fail

Exposition

Jack and Wendy Torrance, with their small son Danny, move to a giant hotel up in the mountains to look after it for the winter when it is otherwise without staff or guests.

Reactions

I have seen “The shining” several times before and was a little less scared this time, simply because I know what comes next, but it is still plenty of scary. For me seeing it again made it bearable to watch, rather than too scary. The first time I saw the movie I turned away or watched through my fingers. (Which is stupid, I now, but still somehow a little more comforting when a movie is frightening.)

The movie mostly mostly takes place in the hotel, but there is a long setup where we get to know the family and why they’re moving to this isolated place. The part of the story that takes place at the hotel is told in sequence.

Contemplations

The footage is pretty and people are often filmed from their face height while they walk along the halls of the enormous hotel. It gives an closeness to the characters and not getting an overview of the scenes and seeing what they see is even more scary.

The hotel itself is very much decorated in the 70’s, and the costumes are from the same time. It is nostalgic and does not mark the movie as dated. It has held up very well and everything from the 70’s makes it seem like a movie about that time, rather than from that time.

The acting is brilliant and so is the direction. The music is a good underscore to the frightening mood, but the opening sequence has some seriously weird music that I could not make sense of. I do not know what that was supposed to mean, or what mood it was supposed to set.

The story in “The shining” is solid and builds quite slowly to a dramatic climax. The tension between the members of the family could have been reduced to a simple family drama, but I defy anyone not to be scared while watching “The shining”.

Judgement

I think “The shining” gets better every time I watch it. There are many little details that makes the movie rewatchable.

Epilogue

I would recommend “The shining” to anyone adult. It is one of the most scary films I know, and it is a really good date movie.

Over to you

If you’ve recently seen “The shining” or you’re watching along with my year of movies, please leave a comment below with your thoughts on the movie or note down your opinion somewhere else.

51 movies down. 314 to go.

If you want to get “The shining” from Amazon, here is a link for that. They probably have the movie many other places too. Maybe it’s on a streaming service you subscribe to already?

Tomorrow’s movie is “Princess Mononoke” (“Mononoke-hime”). Get some more information about this movie and the other movies on my watch list this week on the upcoming movies page. If you’re new to this site and are wondering why I’m watching a movie every day for a year, read more about my experiment.

Until next time; live long and prosper.

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Psycho

psycho-posterAmerican black and white psychological horror from 1960.
Starring: Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Vera Miles
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Writers: Robert Bloch, Joseph Stefano
Bechdel test: Fail

Exposition

Marion Crane steals 40 000$ from her boss and runs away. One night on the lam she checks in to Bates motel to get a nights rest.

Reactions

I thought many of the scenes in “Psycho” were quite meticulous and showed ordinary and practical events, such as unpacking or chatting. And still the scenes had a clear enough focus to not loose the tension in the story.  I was entertained through the whole movie, even though I at some point watched a woman eat some sandwiches.

I wonder how some of this movie was received in it’s time though. There was more naked skin and sexual content than I would have expected from this era. Not something we would react to today, but still surprising from 1960.

Contemplations

The sound was a very nice underscore of the rise and fall in tension. And the visuals were really fun with it’s use of mirrors and shadows. All the different ways of filming something through holes or mirrors was a nice way to break up scenes so they didn’t repeat a back and forth between characters too much and to let audiences see in new ways. It became part of this every day style where we saw what the characters saw.

The acting was superb, and specially Janet Leigh as Marion Crane and Anthony Perkins as Norman Bates were phenomenal. They had me at the edge of my seat the whole time.

The story was really good, even if it became clear what was going on quite early. Still I was excited to see what would happen next.

Judgement

“Psycho” was a really great movie that I would not mind watching again.

Epilogue

I would recommend “Psycho” to anyone over 18. It is a really exciting movie that didn’t feel dated even if it is 57 years old now.

Over to you

If you’ve recently seen “Psycho” or you’re watching along with my year of movies, please leave a comment below with your thoughts on the movie or note down your opinion somewhere else.

35 movies down. 330 to go.

If you want to get “Psycho” from Amazon, here is a link for that. They probably have the movie many other places too. Maybe it’s on a streaming service you subscribe to already?

Tomorrow’s movie is “Once upon a time in America“. Get some more information about this movie and the other movies on my watch list this week on the upcoming movies page. If you’re new to this site and are wondering why I’m watching a movie every day for a year, read more about my experiment.

Until next time; live long and prosper.