Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining (1980) is one of the few horror pictures that has anything to do with New Year’s Eve, hence the Thursday Horror Picture Show choosing it for this time of year. It is also, I am told, the 100th film (counting double features as two films) to be shown by the THPS, which perhaps is why it was chosen over, say, the lesser New Year’s Evil (1980). The Shining is also a film that only improves with each passing year. In Kubrick’s hands, Stephen King’s novel became something more than a simple — if somewhat ponderously long — horror yarn about a haunted hotel. Kubrick turned it into a tale that was as much, if not more, psychological horror as literal horror. At least, his take on the material — as a portrait of writer Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) descending into a madness that transfers itself to his family — can largely be read that way. (And Stephen King is grousing about it to this day, as witness his ill-advised appearance as an expert on horror movies on TCM this past Halloween.) There are, however, aspects of Kubrick’s film that don’t quite fit the psychological reading, which only serves to make it an even more fascinating work. For more on the film go to: http://www.mountainx.com/movies/review/shining
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