A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
No positive messages in this classic horror movie.
Positive Role Models
The lead male character develops severe dementia while spending a long winter alone with his wife and child working as the caretaker of a Colorado hotel. He's discussed as being a recovering alcoholic with anger issues. His wife seems like she hasn't fully processed the trauma or is in denial about the severity of an incident concerning a time three months prior when her husband came home drunk and physically abused their son Danny. Danny has psychic abilities and speaks with an "imaginary friend" named Tony.
Violence & Scariness
Frequent nightmarish horror imagery: the bloodied corpses of two twin girls known to have been murdered with an axe several years ago, rivers of blood gush through the elevators of the lobby, an elderly man with a hatchet in his head and blood dripping down his face. In real-time moments, a man is killed when another man strikes him in the chest with an axe. A man who has lost his mind attempts to kill his wife and child with an axe. His wife knocks him unconscious by hitting him in the head with a baseball bat.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Full-frontal nudity -- an attractive young woman turns into an elderly woman with rotting skin. Implied oral sex in a sequence of nightmarish imagery involving someone dressed in an animal costume and the bartender. A painting of a nude woman prominently displayed in the apartment of the hotel chef.
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"N" word used in one scene. "F--k." "A--holes." "Goddamn." "Hell."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adult characters smoke cigarettes. Cigar smoking. Talk of Jack's alcoholic past; in scenes in which Jack's nightmarish delusions are brought to life, he drinks whiskey in the hotel ballroom.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Shining is the classic 1980 Stanley Kubrick-directed film based on the Stephen King novel about a man hired to be the caretaker of a hotel deep in the mountains of Colorado who develops severe dementia from a combination of "cabin fever" and the dark and haunted past of the hotel. Blood flows throughout this film -- literally -- in several notorious scenes. There are axe murders and decomposed bodies. The main character, a recovering alcoholic, slowly goes insane and aims to kill his family. He verbally abuses his wife throughout most of the film. There's some alcohol and cigarette use. The main character's wife discusses with a child psychologist a recent incident in which her husband came home drunk and physically abused their son Danny. There's occasional profanity, including a scene in which the cook of the hotel is called the "N" word and a use of "f--k." Frequent horror imagery. Full-frontal nudity -- an attractive young woman turns into an elderly woman with rotting skin. Implied oral sex in a sequence of nightmarish imagery. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Director Stanley Kubrick can make your own living room seem creepy and unfamiliar. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that the freak-out factor is unnaturally high in THE SHINING, Kubrick's 1980 film of Stephen King's celebrated horror novel.
At first, the film feels a bit empty. Nicholson's Jack seems nutty from frame one, providing little arc for his character. Each character sees visions, leaving the audience no easy points of identification. The apparitions seem to know more about the story than we do, fostering some very real twists and turns. Kubrick constantly pulls the rug out from under us in relation to what is real and what is not. This film is truly one of the scariest movies of all time and is not for the faint of heart. Teens might be drawn to this movie for its one-of-a-kind menacing atmosphere. However, it's inappropriate for kids.
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