The Shining (1980 film)
The Shining (1980)
A writer and his troubled family become winter caretakers at the isolated Overlook Hotel in Colorado, hoping to cure his writer's block. While the family is snowed in and begin uncovering the hotel's dark secrets, their son is plagued by disturbing psychic premonitions, and the frustrated writer's behavior becomes more erratic.
- Release Date: 1980
- Country/Language: US/UK, English
- Genres/Technical: Horror, Thriller, Drama
- Setting: 1970s or 1980s Colorado
- Runtime: 2 hr 26 min
- Starring: Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd
- Director: Stanley Kubrick
- Writer: Stephen King (original story), Stanley Kubrick (screenplay)
- Producer/Production Co: Warner Bros., Hawk Films, Peregrine
- View Trailer: (link)
- TVTropes: (link)
- Rated: R (Violence, Nudity, Adult Content, Profanity)
A rough measure of how "Lovecraftian" the work is:
- S____ (One Tentacle: Debateably Lovecraftian; has almost no direct connection to Lovecraft's work)
Not exactly a "Lovecraftian" film in the sense of being based on any of Lovecraft's work or containing references to his creations, though some viewers may find the location and atmosphere suggestive of Lovecraft's work (an "Eldritch Location" film). Perhaps one of the first (and most famous) examples of this sort of film; it owes far more to Shirley Jackson's The Haunting (fiction) than it does to Lovecraft, though there are examples of impossible (if not Non-Euclidean) architecture, Ghouls, and other things that, at a stretch, could be considered more directly "Lovecraftian", and there are scenes in the original story involving Jack digging through old newspaper clippings and other disparate clues stashed haphazardly in the hotel's basement to piece together the hotel's sordid, hidden history which Stephen King no doubt lifted from Lovecraft stories (Call of Cthulhu (fiction), for example).
Note: This rating is not intended as a measure of quality, merely of how closely related to Lovecraftian "Weird" fiction the work is.
- Scott Ashlin at 1000 Misspent Hours and Counting (link) - "Reverence is not a tone I’m accustomed to taking in these reviews, even— indeed, perhaps especially— in the case of films to which reverence is generally accorded. But no lesser reaction seems merited in the face of Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining."
- Richard Scheib at The Science Fiction, Horror and Fantasy Film Review (link) - "Stanley Kubrick’s films have an underlying sense of people encountering an insanely rational world... Kubrick’s sentiments are at their blackest in The Shining."
Spoiler Section (Highlight to Read)
Jack Torrance becomes winter caretaker at the isolated Overlook Hotel in Colorado, hoping to cure his writer's block. He settles in along with his wife, Wendy, and his son, Danny, who is plagued by psychic premonitions. As Jack's writing goes nowhere and Danny's visions become more disturbing, Jack discovers the hotel's dark secrets and begins to unravel into a homicidal maniac hell-bent on terrorizing his family.
Comments, Trivia, Dedication
- a made-for-TV miniseries remake appeared in 1997, and is preferred by the story's author, Stephen King
Associated Mythos Elements
- Fiction: Stephen King, "The Shining"
- Fiction: compare/contrast the original story to Shirley Jackson's The Haunting (fiction) and H.P. Lovecraft's "The Picture in the House (fiction)"
- Scenario: "The Haunting"
- The novel's scenes depicting characters spending time in the Overlook's basement among stacks of old newspapers discovering odd articles in the papers referring to the hotel, letters, diary entries, and unsettling objects hidden between the papers that seem meaningless at first until connections get made to the other clues and visions revealed by "the shining" are more or less classic Lovecraft as seen in "The Call of Cthulhu (fiction)" and "The Case of Charles Dexter Ward (fiction)", and quite in the spirit of the Call of Cthulhu role-playing game.
- The "shining" may be one of the inspiration's for Call of Cthulhu (d20)'s concept of "Whammies": hallucinations or psychic visions experienced by investigators as they explore places touched by the Mythos.
- The distant, bleak, snowed-in, uninviting Overlook hotel with a long and nasty history might make an interesting alternative to the Corbitt house in The Haunting (aka The Haunted House) (Scenario); with some work, a Keeper might be able to alter this classic introductory scenario into one in which a group of new employees of the hotel are hired to spend the winter snowed in, renovating (or perhaps ghost-busting) the hotel, and finding all the relevant clues to the haunting on-site as items found hidden in rooms or stashed in the basement, a collection of papers and blueprints gathered by the hotel's owners for the convenience of the investigators, etc., adding up to the revelation that at least some of the strange things the investigators are experiencing are being caused by some mythos horror hidden in or under the hotel (a "missing" guest sealed off behind the strange angles of some of the walls designed by the hotel's eccentric builder, perhaps.) Some of the clues might hint at the involvement of cultists who held meetings at the hotel or are otherwise connected with it and its past owners, leading to future scenarios.