I’ll be honest, I saw the movie “The Shining” before I read the book. Saw it on channel seven, ABC’s channel here in the New York area. I’m not sure how old I was, but I must have been in high school because the movie was in the theatre in 1980.
That movie frightens me to this day, even when they show it on the Arts and Entertainment channel.
The whole idea of being snowbound and trapped while the “strongest” of your party goes slowly mad and there’s nothing you can do about it is frightening enough. The fact that the HOTEL itself is making it impossible for you to escape from him is even scarier.
There is also the helpless feeling you have that not only is there “no escape”, but it’s your spouse/someone close, the one person who you love and trust the most in the world, is the one who is menacing you.
The soundtrack adds to the dread with its Native American chants, droning underchords and well-used scare chords.
The most well used scare chord is at the very end. No matter how much I anticipate it, it gets me EVERY SINGLE TIME.
Of course, YMMV (Your mileage may vary). Each person watches a different movie.
Here’s a taste of Jack Nicholson, before he became the Joker. I must say, no matter what is said about Kubrick, he got excellent performances out of his actors. You can feel Wendy’s fear of her husband. However, no matter how afraid she may be, she’s still reluctant to really hurt him.
The miniseries remake with Steven Weber (from the show WINGS of all places) didn’t half faze me. I mean, this is the dude from Wings against Jack Nicholson for heaven’s sake. It’s a no brainer.
“Come play with us, Danny. Forever. And ever. And ever.“
The movie was made in 1980, but I’ll say SPOILER ALERT anyway.
The Shining is an example of chillingly great horror movie. The final shot of Jack Nicholson frozen in the hedge maze…that haunted me for quite a few nights after that!
So what’s YOUR favorite scary movie????