Friday, October 2, 2015

The Shining Review

I picked The Shining to kick off my Horrorthon because I'm currently re-reading the book and I wanted to see what differences there are between the book and movie and there are a few. Now I've never reviewed a movie before so this is all an experiment. Spoiler alert.

I ended up detailing everything that happens in the movie...didn't want to...next movie I hope to just voice my thoughts on it. But I'm tired and a bit groggy from lack of sleep.

Title - The Shining

Genre - Psychological horror

Year - 1980

As the movie opens we get beautiful views of what is supposed to be Colorado but is actually Montana (who cares, it's freaking beautiful!). One funny slip up that I wonder why it made it into the end film is you can see the shadow of the helicopter filming the VW driving. After all the pretty views, we cut to The Interview, where Jack meets Mr. Ullman. After a little meet and great we cut to Wendy and Danny at home. Now here are two big differences between the movie and the book. First off Wendy...not a blond! I actually like Shelley Duvall and I'm glad they didn't keep the "leggy blond" from the book. The second difference is Tony, Danny's imaginary "friend". In the book Tony is a person Danny can see who brings him visions. In the movie...he's his finger? Not sure why they went that route, and Wendy openly "talks" to Tony in the movie. Pretty sure she doesn't talk to him at all in the book, I know she asks Danny about him later on in the book but they don't talk.

Going back to Jack and Mr. Ullman, another slight difference can be seen. Mr. Ullman in the movie is more friendly and open with Jack then he is in the book. Mr. Ullman explains about the last groundskeeper they hired and how he went a little "crazy" with cabin fever. We go back to Danny in the bathroom, having his first vision of the movie. After the vision he's examined by a female doctor at their home. This is another difference from the book. In the book it's not until they're living in the hotel that Danny gets checked out by a doctor and a male one at that. After checking Danny out the doctor and Wendy go to the living room to talk about Tony. And another difference pops up. Wendy tells the doctor about Jack hurting Danny's arm, while in the book Jack told the doctor. Also of note Wendy says Jack hasn't had a drop to drink in 5 months while in the book I believe it was 14 months (don't quote me on that though.).

We then cut to Closing Day and get more views of the mountains. Now one thing I picked up while watching this movie closer then I usually do (for the review) is that Jack seems...annoyed or irritated in the car talking to Wendy and Danny. His irritation doesn't really start kicking in, in the book till they live in the hotel for a while. Interesting, wonder if it's Jack Nicholson being his normal slightly crazy self or what. Once they get to the hotel Jack and Wendy get shown around while Danny plays in the "games" room (again there isn't a games room in the book...) where he sees the Grady twins a second time (the first time being the vision he had in the bathroom). Another big difference between book and movie is the hedge maze. In the book it's hedge animals, not a maze. After a little show of the snow cat (not a snow mobile like the book) and the "Gold Room" (or what would be the Colorado Lounge in the book) we meet Dick. So Wendy and Danny go off with Dick to see the kitchen and Jack stays with Mr. Ullman to see the rest of the hotel.

Dick slips up and ends up calling Danny "Doc", which is his parents nickname for him. And this is the first inclination we get that Dick is special. Dick goes on to show off the dried goods pantry when we get an annoying ringing sound (foreshadowing?) and Dick "talks" to Danny and asks him if he wants some ice cream. Mr. Ullman and Jack meet up with Dick, Wendy and Danny and pull Wendy away to show Jack and Wendy the basement while Dick and Danny go off to get ice cream. Dick explains what "The Shining" is to Danny. Danny then explains to us what Tony is and what he does. They talk a little more about the "bad things" in the hotel like room 237 (which again the book has it as 217. But because the hotel they filmed at had a 217 room, they didn't want people to be scared of it...so they changed the number. Little fun fact for you!).

It then cuts to A Month Later, and we see the Torrance's settle in to their daily lives. Danny playing on his bike, Wendy making breakfast for Jack, Jack not writing...so on and so forth. Danny and Wendy go for a walk through the maze while Jack (still not writing) finds the maze model and looks down on it. The great thing about this movie is the music! Just listen to that tense music...keeps you on edge...and nothing even happens. That's what I love about movies like this one. They don't rely on "scary" monsters...

Another cut, this time to Tuesday. Wendy is in the kitchen listening to the TV, which forewarns of an upcoming snow storm. While Danny is playing on his bike again and ends up outside room 237. And because he's a stupid kid...he doesn't listen to Dick when he said to not go into that room, he tries the damn doorknob. Thankfully it's locked but he gets another flash of the Grady twins, which spooks him enough to make him get back on his bike and peddle out of there quickly. We cut to Jack (actually writing!) and Wendy coming in to ask how it's going. Here's another fun fact. Next to the typewriter on the table is the scrapbook that Jack finds in the basement in the book. In the movie the scrapbook doesn't get much attention which is odd since it sort of starts the downfall of Jack. Anyways here we see Jack getting very annoyed and cluing us into that not everything is going great in the Overlook.

Saturday cut, the snow storm seems in full force. Jack is seen typing away while Wendy is in the office checking the phone switch board and not getting anything. She then goes to Ullman's office and tries the CB radio, getting a response from park rangers (?) who tell her the lines will most likely stay out till spring and to leave the radio on all the time now. We cut to Danny peddling around in his bike when he turns the corner and finds the Grady twins waiting for him. And they say one of the most memorable lines of the movie " Come play with us Danny, forever and ever and ever." While they say this we get shots of their lifeless corpses in the hallway all bloody with an ax laying nearby. Danny freaks out, covers his eyes and hopes they go away, which they do. Then he talks to Tony who tells him to remember what Dick said, that this stuff isn't real.

Monday cut, we see Wendy and Danny watching TV when Danny suddenly wants to go get his fire engine out of his room. Wendy tells him his father is asleep, but Danny insists he won't make a sound. Wendy agrees and Danny is off to their rooms. When we get to the rooms we see Jack is actually awake and sitting on the bed, he creepily tells Danny to come over here. And what follows is one of the more...creepy and uncomfortable scenes of the movie I think. While Jack and Danny talk, Jack ends up repeating what the Grady twins said "Forever and ever and ever."

Wednesday cut, we see Danny playing on the carpet with his toy cars when a yellow ball rolls up to him (the same ball Jack was bouncing off the walls earlier). He walks down the hallway calling for his mom when he sees room 237 is open. And of course, he goes inside. We cut to Wendy down in the basement checking the boiler (which she never does in the book) when she hears someone cry out. We cut to Jack having a nightmare and crying out in his sleep. Wendy wakes him up and he reveals he was having a nightmare about killing her and Danny and cutting them up into little pieces. While Wendy helps Jack stand up, we see Danny slowly walk into the room. She tells Danny to go to his room, but when he doesn't listen she comes over to him and notices there's bruising on his neck. She then accuses Jack of doing it (which isn't very logical...did he do it in his sleep Wendy?) and runs out of the room carrying Danny. Jack then slowly starts to freak out as he ends up wandering into the Gold Room and up to the bar. We see him finally lose it when he starts talking to Lloyd the barkeep. Eventually Wendy comes running to tell Jack that some "crazy woman" in one of the rooms strangled Danny.

We cut over to Dick in Miami watching the local news when that annoying ringing kicks in, signalling to us something is going to happen. We see Jack go into room 237 and find the "crazy woman" in the tub...nude. Of course Jackie boy seems to enjoy this what with his smile. They embrace and kiss. Eventually Jack notices somethings wrong and looks in the mirror, the hot woman is now an old woman who looks like shes been decomposing in that tub for a while. He runs out of the room and locks it while the old woman laughs. We cut back to Dick calling on the phone (most likely trying to get The Overlook.). The call doesn't go through. We cut back to Wendy in their rooms, pacing and sniffling when there is a knock on the door. It's Jack and he tells Wendy he found nothing in the room, he then goes on to say Danny got the bruises by doing it to himself. We cut to see Danny is awake and listening to this all, when we see the first Redrum. Wendy mentions that they need to get Danny out of the hotel, which pisses Jack off. He then storms out of their room., leaving Wendy to cry.

Going back to Jack he starts knocking things off shelves when he hears music playing. Turning down a hallway he sees balloons and party streamers littering the floor. We cut back to Dick who reaches the park rangers and asks if they can contact the Torrance's because he's worried about them. Cutting back to Jack, he's wandering down the hallway to the Gold Room, which is now filled with people. He walks up to the bar where Lloyd is and Lloyd pours him a drink. Jack then dances with the music and ends up getting some drinks spilled on him by a waiter. The waiter then leads him to the bathroom to clean his jacket. We then find out the waiter is actually Grady. Aka the guy who had the job before Jack and murdered his family. Jack tells him what he did and that he was the caretaker but Grady disagrees and says that Jack has always been the caretaker. Grady then informs him that Danny is trying to bring someone from the outside to The Overlook. When Jack asks who, Grady says it's Dick the cook. Grady goes on to tell Jack that Danny is using his "talent" to bring Dick here against Jacks will. Grady goes on to hint about "correcting" Danny and Wendy.

We cut back to Wendy who's pacing in her room, talking to herself about using the snow cat to get down the mountain when Danny starts saying "Redrum" over and over. She gets him to stop but finds out Tony has "taken over" Danny for the moment. Switching back to Jack, we hear the rangers on the CB radio trying to contact the Torrence's. Jack takes the CB radio apart and pulls some plugs out, making the radio now useless. We cut over to Dick calling the rangers back and he finds out they couldn't contact the Torrence's.

8 am cut, we see Dick on an airplane going to Denver. We cut back to Jack at the hotel, typing. And back to the airplane landing. Dick calls Larry to ask about getting a snow cat to go up to the hotel. Dick rents a car from the airport and drives along the snowy highway. We cut back to the hotel where Wendy and Danny are watching TV. Wendy tells Danny she's going to go talk to Jack for a few minutes but Tony answers for Danny, showing us Tony is still in control of Danny. While Danny is distracted watching TV, Wendy grabs his baseball bat on the way out. Wendy goes looking for Jack, but not finding him, she looks over at his writing and sees it's nothing but the same line "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.". Which never appeared in the book. As Wendy flips through the pages, Jack appears and asks her how she likes it, scaring her. They go on a long spiel about Danny and Jack's responsibilities and how Jack's not going to hurt her, just "bash her brains in". Wendy then hits Jack's hand and then his head causing him to fall down the stairs. We cut to Wendy dragging Jack into the kitchen and locking him in the dry pantry (remember what I said about foreshadowing? Yeah...). Wendy tells Jack she's going to take Danny down with the snow cat and Jack happily replies to go check the snow cat out and the radio. Wendy then runs outside in the snow only to find the snow cat has had a part removed.

4 pm cut, we see Jack asleep in the pantry when he's awoken by knocking. Turns out to be Grady. Grady and Jack talk about how Wendy overpowered him and Jack let Grady and "others" down. He asks for another chance. Grady then makes Jack promise to take "care" of the problem and unlocks the door. We then cut outside to see Dick in the snow cat. We cut back inside and Danny enters Jack and Wendy's bedroom say "Redrum" over and over again. He grabs Wendy's knife and her lipstick and writes Redrum on the bathroom door. He then screams Redrum till Wendy wakes up and sees Redrum is actually Murder backwards. And then a loud crash, signals Jack is outside trying to chop through the door with an ax (another fun fact, they had to use real doors because Jack Nicholson had firefighting experience and knew how to chop doors down and was chopping the fake ones to fast lol, what a bad ass.). Wendy picks up Danny and locks them in the bathroom, then pushes Danny out the window. Not being able to fit herself, she tells Danny to run and hide. Jack then breaks into the bathroom door and says the other memorable line in the movie " Here's Johnny!". He then reaches in to unlock the door when Wendy cuts him with the knife (really fake blood here haha). We then cut back to Dick in the snow cat. We cut back inside where Wendy and Jack both hear the snow cats engine. We cut to Danny running in the kitchen and hiding in a cubby hole. We cut back to Jack limping around holding the ax. And then back to Wendy who finally realizes now's her chance to GTFO. We cut to Dick entering the hotel and then back to Jack with the ax. Jack and Dick meet up and Jack kills Dick. Which causes Danny to scream and now Jack's heard his scream. Jack goes to find Danny who leaves his hiding spot, Jack gives chase. We cut to Wendy trying to find Danny when she spots the dog man and another man in one of the rooms and runs away. Cutting back to Jack we see he's chased Danny outside and into the maze. They run around the maze before it cuts back to Wendy spotting Dick's body and then seeing one of the "ghosts" of the hotel. We cut back and forth between Jack chasing Danny in the maze and Wendy seeing stuff in the hotel. We see Danny take the time to double back and hide his footprints. This fools Jack and gets him lost in the maze while Danny escapes and runs to his mother. They then take the snow cat and leave The Overlook and Jack to their fates. The movie ends with a zoom in on a picture from 1921 that shows Jack in it, revealing he's joined everyone who's died in the Overlook...forever.

My thoughts: I've never much cared for horror movies that use nothing but monsters to make it scary. I like movies like this that make you think scary shit is about to happen when half the time it doesn't. I mean don't get me wrong if the movie is a classic monster movie I'll like it but I'd rather have my brain working overtime trying to figure out what's the real scary thing. I think most of Stephen Kings books that got turned into movies share this, they make you think.

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