What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that 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 is some alcohol and cigarette use.
What's the story?
In a career-defining role, Jack Nicholson plays Jack Torrance, a writer entrusted as caretaker of a gargantuan Colorado hotel during its off-season winter months. Accompanying Torrance are his wife Wendy (Shelley Duvall) and his son Danny (Danny Lloyd). Slowly, the punishing snowstorms and overall isolation (or perhaps something else?) pushes Jack into madness.
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 all kids and even some adults.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the relationship between fantasy and reality in the film. Do you find yourself confused about what's "really" happening at various points in the film? In what different ways could these scenes be interpreted?