As i’ve said before, Horror may be one the second most subjective genre. And now i will add that what is scary can change over time,which means for a horror to maintain it effect decades after its release can be tough. But i think “The Shining” manages to still be pretty effective even today. I don;t think i would say it make me jump out of my seat, but it still maintains a unsettling atmosphere.
Of course, with the Shining Kubrick wasn’t trying to make a typical horror film. What it actually is about is family, and the destruction of it. And i think it executes this theme rather well.
The movie basically begins with a tale of of complete family destruction. And gradually we see the tale repeat itself with the Torrance family partially due to the hotel and partially due to fractures that existed before the Torrances got to the hotel. The presence of alcoholism is as big a demon as the hotel itself. While recounting a tale of abuse Jack committed while drunk, Wendys obvious optimism in jacks changed ways is in direct conflict with the doctors look while listening. Its obvious Wendys hope is not shared.
And when Jack takes first drink in the film, the audience knows there will be no coming back. One thing i’ve heard about the film is that people find Wendys character weak,which i totally disagree with. I feel she just tries to hold on to the hope Jack has changed for the better as long as she could. And when it finally becomes obvious there is no hope for him,she fights back and does everything she can to save Danny.
The directing in this one features a lot of tracking/moving shots(When the family is first checking out the hotel,Dany riding his toy,et.),which to me helps represent the hotels foreboding influence. It manages to create the feeling they are being watched by the hotel.
In a way similar to Eyes Wide Shut, for me this one managed to be ambiguous without being frustrating. This is no easy feat, as for me most arty classics just end up annoying me(Including Kubricks 2001). Im not sure exactly what it means, but it kept me enthralled all the same.