The Shining is notorious for how difficult it is to review. When the movie first came out it received poor reviews and was even nominated for several razzies. In today’s age however it receives universal acclaim as one of the greatest horror movies of all time. Having watched it recently due to its inclusion in this year’s Halloween Horror Nights, I can see why it has such a reputation. The movie is either a masterpiece with no flaws or a very boring and disjointed mess. Since all I can give is my personal opinion, I believe it leans more toward the latter.
Now before I’m burned at the stake for not loving the shining I will say this: It’s an iconic cinematic staple with great performances but I feel like it’s reputation has made it overrated. Now there’s nothing wrong with being overrated it just means that when I watch the movie I find several issues with it that I would not expect given the praise the movie has received. Issues such as pacing in a movie that is over 2 hours long but feels like 3. Wooden acting from everyone besides Nicholson. An opening act that gives away the movie’s best moments and leaves you waiting for those moments to happen. Some that come without any explanation.
The Shining is a film that thrives on multiple viewings and being vague enough that just about everyone will get something unique out of it. Do you focus on the supernatural, the domestic violence, the substance abuse, or do you find something entirely different. I applaud the film for being entertaining and creating a thick layer of suspense and creepiness that you never escape while watching. Whether it was Stanley Kubrick’s vision or a coincidence of celluloid, The Shining deserves to be seen and deserves to be analyzed for many years.