8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
'Shines' Above Them All.,
This review is from: The Shining [DVD]  (DVD)
The Shining, directed by Stanley Kubrick, is a masterpiece of horror moviemaking. It is probably one of the most iconic films of the 20th Century. The visual style, setting, characters and music all combine to give this film a uniquely chilling atmosphere, that is with you from the opening credits to the very end.
The basic plot outline is that Jack Torrence (superbly portrayed by Jack Nicholson) has been hired to work as the caretaker for the monsterous Overlook Hotel in the Rocky Moutains, which completely shuts down during the winter months. He and his wife Wendy (Shelley Duvall) and young son Danny (Danny Lloyd) move into the hotel, planning spending six months in total isolation. It is during this time, that Jack starts to loose his sanity for various reasons, leading to some dire outcomes.
Now, The Shining is most definately not a sterotypical horror film. Although it has many features of one (blood, chilling music, a few jumps here and there), all are presented in such a way as to make them seem completely unique. I mean, how can you ever beat an elevator door opening, and a river of blood rushing out down the corridor? Further, the musical score is definitively the best you will hear.
It is true that this version (the European version) is approximately 25 minutes shorter than the American version. Kubrick personally edited some scenes out, most of which make reference to the wider world (such as watching television) to add to the sense of isolation the viewer experiences. So although it may be shorter, it is probably Kubrick's prefered version.
All I can say more is that I believe this is THE best horror film there is. It may not give you the extreme guts etc. that other more modern films deliver, but for sheer phsycological horror value, it will haunt you to the grave.