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Shining, The (reissue)


Stars: Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd, Barry Nelson, Anne Jackson, Scatman Crothers, Barry Dennen, Philip Stone

Director: Stanley Kubrick

Kubrick's underrated chiller is one of those films that makes you check under the bed to see there's no one there after watching it - especially if you imagine Nicholson and his his axe could be after you, crying 'Here's Johnny!'.

No, this is grim and grisly ghost story telling with a vengeance. as writer Torrance (Nicholson), his wife Wendy (Duvall) and son Danny (Lloyd), who is endowed with extrasensory perception (the 'shining' of the title) and can see the horrors in store for them, take on the caretakership of a Rocky Mountain hotel, the Overlook, for the winter.

Somewhere in the past, a previous caretaker has gone berserk there, and it isn't long before the building is exercising its evil influence on Torrance too.

Director Kubrick paces the symphony of horror with masterly precision, using tracking cameras a lot to heighten the fright and emphasise the terror of a pursued victim, as well as leaving us with chilling and unforgettable final images.

Nicholson has a wonderful time, while Duvall registers a fine line in hysteria. You shouldn't really see this alone, and beware: a 20-years-after sequel, Doctor Sleep, hits UK cinemas soon.

David Quinlan

UK 1980. UK Distributor: Warner Brothers. Colour (uncredited).
119 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 3, Drugs 0, Swearing 2.

Review date: 14 Oct 2019