The Shining is my all time favorite Halloween movie. That’s it. End post.
I take that back. Let’s dwell on what works so well and why everyone you know should watch this movie on October 31st. 1) The Shining stars Jack Nicholson. Yeah, I know. You’re already sold. Jack Nich has made a career on playing the insane. (Have you seen One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest? Or Mars Attacks? Or Batman?) How can you not love a man who plays the line between sanity and bonkers so well? JJ Nich, major props from yours truly. 2) Shelley Duvall is…something that just works in the movie. I’m not a huge fan of hers. Her acting is corny, she’s not very attractive, and I don’t have a huge desire to see any of her other work at the moment. However she played her piece in the film very well. She’s a frail woman? Check. Furthers her inability to keep JJ Nicky in line. She has an endless love for her son? Check. Aids us as the audience to still love that damn kid no matter how peculiar he might be. She can play the victim and scream like you need her to in a horror movie? Double Nike swoosh.
3)Scatman Crothers and Danny Lloyd played a brilliant team with ‘The Shining’ abilities. Brought just enough of the supernatural into the movie while sustaining a beautiful balance of creepiness and staying grounded in our realm of belief. Sure, Danny Lloyd had much more screen time than Crothers (and rightfully so) but as much as I am in love with the big wheel scenes, I am equally fond of the long talk between the head chef and little Danny. He was warm and caring, while displaying a adolescent fear behind his struggle for control to calm the kid. 4) The film was released in 1980 and as the style dictated back then the film used a very slow pacing. In today’s standards, it can be boring. But those standards are set by America’s typical instant gratification nobodies who have no real taste. (I despise you all with a fiery passion from my iPhone zippo app.) The Shining wouldn’t be what it is without the slow roll of scenes. The hotel is huge and empty. The onset of insanity isn’t one switch, it’s a crossfade into disturbing. And the timing of each cut accentuates each moment spectacularly. There’s a small feeling that your own mind is slipping with it. Those are the best moments in horror. I want my couch potato mind to slip into the movie to the point where I’m questioning my own existence and who might exist with me.
I lost count) All the little details that just rub you the wrong way. I have not read the novel by Stephen King so I do not know how this film adaptation has done comparatively. But the film by itself? Well let me list a few things. Danny’s imaginary friend Tony who tells him things and shows him flashes of the nightmarish images throughout the hotel. Two young twin girls who walk in matching dresses and bows hand in hand. The large gala that Jack Torrance sees. The young beautiful naked woman rising out of the bathtub who later becomes a rotting naked old hag. The slow motioned monsoon of blood falling out of the elevator doors. The reruns of of Blue’s Clues. (Okay, that last one I lied about.) I love each of these little details. They’re the hand that slowly follows up your spine giving you a chill. Love it. Love it. Love it.
I need this holiday season. My absence from NMB lately has been rightfully excused…by me. I’ve been all over the states and am continuing to travel for the foreseeable future, all for work. But don’t worry, I’m not a door to door insurance salesman. I’m shooting development material for hopeful reality TV shows. I’m leaving again in a few days to shoot what I hope to be a worthy substitute for missing every single Halloween party my friends are throwing. Either way, I need this dose of Halloween and all its thriller film content. And then of course following close behind is the wonderful world of Christmas movies. Be assured, NMB will cover this holiday season like jelly covers peanut butter. Like blankets cover pillow forts. Like endless piercings cover people with no self esteem. Like blood covers used tampo…..eh, you get the picture.