Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Film Review: The Shining

The Shining (1980) 119min

(Fig 1: An 'The Shining' Poster)

The Shining, directed by Stanley Kubrick in 1980 is another physiological horror witnessing the slow insanity of a caretakers mind. The story begins with a man named Jack being interviewed by Overlook Hotels Manager after applying for Winter caretaker. He is offered and accepts the job and soon arrives with his wife Wendy and his son, Danny; also known as 'Doc'. Soon after arriving the family are snowed in after a storm hits, thus being left alone kept from society, thus resulting in the outrageous occurrences throughout the film. As Dustin Putman says in his review; ''A deliberately paced, but endlessly creepy, horrifying motion picture.'' (D. Purman, 2013) Although the film is not bout the eeriness of a haunted apartment, but whats going on within it.

(Figures 2 - 4: The Colour Red Featured Throughout the Shining)

The musicality of the film is also very aggregating to most audiences, dramatizing every move that the characters make. As Eric Henderson states in his review; ''It's the surround experience more so than the actual content of The Shining that radiates cold, anti-humanly indifferent terror.'' (E. Henderson, s.d) This type of atmosphere keeps you biting your nails from start to finish, which is not so common in the 21st century horror films.

The colours featured in The Shining are very off putting. The bright orange and brown 70's carpet clashing with shiny, reflective walls to some viewers can be very sickly. But apart from the obvious streaks of colour, there is also a sense of meaning behind them. Whenever something appears to be happening or is going to, for example when Doc see's two undead girls at the end of a hallway, he is wearing the colour red. This is repeated several times during the film, specifically around the two main characters who appear to have the 'gift' known as the 'shining'.

(Figure 5: Sixth Sense - Coal Sear's Jumper and The Red Balloon)

As seen in the 1999 film, the Sixth Sense, directed by M. Night Shyamalan, the colour red is also used as another indication of something 'bad' about to happen. This is a much more cared and thought about process that can also subconsciously trigger in your mind whenever this colour appears, despite the lack of music or obvious danger. The Sixth Sense is also very similar to the Shining by the explanation of another 'sense' used by a young boy. The thoughts that young children have appear to be very naive and genuine, which accumulates to uneasy feeling people get when I child speaks about things, just like Danny and Coal.

To conclude, The Shining is a must see film for any horror/thriller goers, enlightened by the big screen. As Alistair Harkness says in his review; ''Kubrick's compositions and Jack Nicholson going kill-crazy with an axe remain hard to beat on the big screen.'' (A. Harkness, s.d) The one point perspectives create the feeling of strangeness from start to finish, and is one of the many great, raw horrors of the century.


A. Harkness. (s.d) The Shinning Film Review (Accessed on 27.11.2013)

D. Putman. (2013) The Shining Film Review 
(Accessed on 27.11.2013)

E. Henderson. (s.d) The Shining Film Review (Accessed on 27.11.2013)

Illustration List:

Fig. 1. The Shining Poster (1980) From: The Shining Directed by: Stanley Kubrick [Poster] United Kingdom, United States. Warner Bros. URL At: (Accessed on 27.11.2013)

Fig. 2 - 4. The Colour Red Featured Throughout the Shining (1980) From: The Shining Directed by: Stanley Kubrick [Film Still(s)] United Kingdom, United States. Warner Bros. URLs At: (Accessed on 27.11.2013)

Fig 5: Sixth Sense - Coal Sear's Jumper and The Red Balloon (1999) From: The Sixth Sense Directed by: M. Night Shyamalan [Film Still] United Sates. Hollywood Pictures. URL At:

1 comment:

  1. Hi Heidi,
    Good discussion on the use of colour :)
    Be careful with your spelling - you have 'aggregating' up there when talking about the sound... do you mean 'aggravating' ?
    Also, a bit of detective work (actually not that much!) will turn up the missing dates for the references; the Henderson one is 2007, and the Harkness one is 2012.