I think The Shining must be one of the most slow-moving and effective horror movies ever. I think it’s easy to find slow-moving or effective horror movies, but rarely is it both. But it is Stanley Kubrick, after all.
I think the pace of The Shining just adds to its effectiveness, though. You get so used to something, whether it’s a sound or an image, that when suddenly it changes on you, and for whatever reason that’s so freaky. It’s like same idea that’s behind things jumping out at you to startle you, but this method cuts way deeper.
Also, how awful of a pediatrician/child psychologist was that lady from the beginning of the movie? Now, I know times have changed since this movie came out, but come on. When she asks Danny (Danny Lloyd) if his imaginary friend, Tony, makes him do things, he says he doesn’t want to talk about Tony anymore. So she says, “Alright!” and never presses it further. And then when Wendy (Shelley Duvall) tells her that her husband Jack (Jack Nicholson) dislocated Danny’s shoulder when he was drunk . . . she doesn’t even respond! Now, okay, obviously there are evil outside forces that turn Jack, but still. A lot of conflict could have been prevented if that lady had just done her job. Geez.
This is a movie that I think I might have watched at a younger age but I truly do not remember ever watching it. I remember my family watching it on multiple occasions and I’m not sure if I don’t remember or I was too scared to watch it in the first place. I could see either being true.
I’m glad Elizabeth brought it up to watch this cause it really is worth all the praise people tend to give it. It’s beautiful, the acting is great, and it scared the shit out of me. This did make me think though that watching a giant hotel for five months in the middle of nowhere kind of sounds great. Elizabeth was not as into the idea but I could see myself taking a bunch of books, comics, and art supplies to just do what I enjoy for weeks on end. Maybe five months is too long but at least two!