Thursday, 26 May 2011

the shining film review

this is a short film review focusing mainly on how psychological terror is used within the film rather than how good or bad the film was. 438 words.

The shining is a classic horror film made by Stanley Kubrick. Unlike many well known horror films the shining does not use gore and blood to create suspense but the characters own mental state, fears, guilt and emotions. The film is based on the novel by Stephen King, a famous horror novelist and at the time of the films release it was considered dark and scary. To this day the film remains a classic however, by word of mouth rather than by viewings. Compared to films today the shots in the shining are long and slow with little dialogue in places. This is an obvious attempt to create the psychological terror that the book suggests but, to generations today it makes the film boring and uninteresting. Younger viewers do not seem to have the attention span needed to appreciate this film due to modern films flashing between shots every 10 seconds. With this in mind the film seems strange and long however, unique. Jack Nicholson’s character uses the long shots well to show his growing insanity. The character Danny uses them in places as well to show his own mental instability. There are certain uses of repetitiveness in the film such as the hallway filling with blood and Danny riding around the hotel on his tricycle. This breaks the film up nicely and shows the viewers that they are not stuck in a long film about a family in a hotel but a horror film depicting a families decent into madness.

As the title suggests, the shining is a psychic power that the chef and Danny seem to possess. However, being the title of the film this power is not portrayed much at all. It is used memorably, twice. Once in the kitchen when Danny and the chef meet, and once at the end when the chef comes to rescue Danny. It is not explained particularly well and was a disappointment and it could have been used further. However the fact that the power is there further suggests the psychological terror at hand. Not only is Danny mentally ill, but also he possesses a power that not many know about. The film is strongly set within the minds of the characters and in turn, in the minds of the audience. Although the little use of the power within the film it may have been in the films best interest as the genres may have crossed from psychological horror into the realms of supernatural.

The shining was a good film and is obviously a classic however I feel that its classic status may wither in time with newer generations.

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