I took up Sir’s offer to do some extra credit work over the break and the choice of movie to watch was almost a no brainer. I thought that, being the scaredy-cat I am, if I were to watch a horror movie, it may as well be a (bleeping) good one. So I went for a classic – The Shining. The Shining is a psychological horror directed by the great Stanley Kubrick.
I was surprised to find out that it was fairly predictable. In the first 10 minutes of the movie, you can already guess what is gonna happen to the Torrence family. But the fact that despite knowing where the movie was going and what could possibly happen, every turn and every entrance of a character into a new hall or a new room in the Overlook hotel made me cover my eyes in fear. The direction and the score of the movie was just so well done that, though predictable, you were still kept at the edge of your seat.
What I did appreciate was the subtle yet encompassing idea behind the film that evil has the power to make week men do as they please. Jack, being a recovering alcoholic known for physical and verbal abuse within his family, could be seen, as early as a few minutes into the film, to be of weak moral character. The fact that the “ghosts” of the hotel were able to convince him that despite doing nothing wrong, his family needed to be “corrected”, was truly haunting. You kind of root for him to hopefully not make the same mistakes the previous caretaker did but seeing evil win out was easily chilling.
For a movie with little to no fancy aesthetics nor fancy plot twists, I can understand why it is a classic. It really gets under your skin – the suspense, the music, the camera movements, the actors. Everything was timed and executed perfectly to really get you scared even before something scary even happened (which most of the time, it didnt!) It was amazing at building the suspense and then making you almost feel foolish for covering your eyes because, at times, there would be nothing – no ghost at the end of the hall, no killer at the next turn. But that is exactly what makes this movie scarier than it would first appear – it gets you to feel fear even where there is nothing to be fearful of. You’re always on your toes, always with one eye closed. That, i believe, is the real magic of The Shining.