Jack Nicholson in an iconic scene from The Shining.

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The Shining

The Shining (1980) is a film by Stanley Kubrick based on the novel of the same title by Stephen King. The film stars Jack Nicholson as frustrated writer Jack Torrance and Shelley Duvall as his wife Wendy. more...

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Although it can be seen as a horror film, The Shining defies many of the conventions of the genre.

The film features the first extensive use of the Steadicam to create long and elaborate tracking shots.

Synopsis

The new job

The audience is introduced to Jack Torrance, driving up to the Overlook Hotel in the mountains of Colorado, to be interviewed for the position of caretaker for the winter, where the snows often completely block the path to the hotel and make it inaccessible. Jack sees this as an opportunity to start off a writing career. However, the manager informs Jack about the previous caretaker, Charles Grady, who killed his wife and two daughters, cutting them into pieces. Jack, however, seems unfazed by this, saying his wife, Wendy, is "a confirmed ghost story and horror film addict."

At home, Wendy asks Danny, their son, whether he is excited to go to the Overlook for the winter. The audience is introduced to Tony, "the little boy who lives in mouth," who speaks through Danny, accompanied with a change in voice and a wiggling of Danny's finger. "No he ain't, Mrs. Torrance," Tony says. Wendy tries to cheer him up, saying that it will be fun, but he is not shifted.

Later, in the bathroom, Danny asks Tony what the problem with the Overlook is. Tony is reluctant to show Danny, but Danny pleads with him and the audience sees some images cutting between lift doors releasing torrents of blood and two twin girls in blue dresses and white stockings. The audience sees Danny screaming (while nothing is audible), and he passes out.

The doctor arrives to check Danny over. She asks him about what he remembers, and about Tony, to which Danny refuses to let much about him slip. The doctor and Wendy talk, and the audience discovers that Jack is an alcoholic in recovery, and hurt Danny one evening while he was still drinking. Jack came home from his job as a teacher, and Danny was playing with his father's papers, which were strewn around the room. This irritated Jack enough to yank Danny up by the arm, dislocating his shoulder. However, this gave Jack the impetus to give up alcohol.

The next day, hotel closing day, the audience sees Jack, Wendy, and Danny in the car driving through the forests up towards the Overlook. They discuss the Donner party, a group of explorers who resorted to cannibalism after being snowbound. Wendy is a little distressed about the discussion of such a violent topic in front of Danny, but Danny says that he saw it on the TV. Jack sarcastically tells Wendy, "See, it's okay. He saw it on the television."

Jack meets with the hotel staff, who invite him and his family to get an idea of the facilities in the hotel, but Jack tells them he has to collect his family first. They find Wendy, and the audience is introduced to the inside of the Overlook hotel with its elaborate furnishings and picturesque rooms. Wendy is considerably impressed. Danny is in the games room, throwing darts at a board. He gets up to remove them from the board, and when he turns around, two girls are at the door, in blue dresses and white stockings, staring at him. Danny is frozen to the spot, and watches the two girls turn, arm in arm, walk out the door.

Read more at Wikipedia.org


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