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The Month of Horror Day 17: The Shining

Basement contributor Matt Bellamy has taken it upon himself to watch and review at least one horror movie a day for the month of October . . . because he's awesome that way! Tonight, Bellamy goes with the unpopular opinion on Stanley Kubrik's The Shining. Kinda.

Yeah, OK, Stephen King wasn't happy with this adaptation but what does he know about film--did you see his 'Shining' TV movie? Or 'Maximum Overdrive'? I think I'll stick with Stanley Kubrick on this one.

I don't love this movie.

Collect yourself if you must, I like 'The Shining' but don't hold it up on a pedestal like everyone else seems to. I see more positives than negatives here though so don't freak out too much! I'll get to the negatives first because they're not all that long but, in my mind, I feel they're valid. My first issue, and it's a big one, is Jack Nicholson. He's not playing a character, he's just playing an exaggeration of himself and he doesn't get "crazier" as the movie goes along, it appears that he's already gone off the deep end right at the beginning of the movie, all he does is yell more as the runtime progresses. Next, another acting complaint, and this one much more common, is Shelley Duvall. Be honest, do you really want to see her survive to the end? Really? She's annoying, she won't shut her trap, she's constantly meddling, and when you get to the point that you don't care and want her to die, where's the suspense?

Those are two fairly large reasons why I don't think 'The Shining' is the horror masterpiece that it's made out to be but there is still a lot to admire about it! This is one of the most aesthetically pleasing movies ever made, visually it's just about perfect and the shot compositions are orgasmic, if that kind of thing does it for you. Love, love, love all of the tracking shots, such as the camera following Danny on his tricycle as he peddles all throughout the Overlook Hotel. I love the garden maze. I love the hopeless, barren atmosphere once winter really hits and the hotel and mountain pass become locked in from all the snow. And I love Scatman Crothers because he's a righteous dude with a poster of a naked afro'd chick hanging over his bed. I like watching 'The Shining' simply as a way to soak it all in, to let it wash over me and I have watched it many, many times just for that--it's a good experience!

Disagree with me if you wish, many will!

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