The Shining: Confusion vs. Horror

Essay by supermanbeavCollege, UndergraduateA+, August 2005

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This essay is a four page review about my opinion of the horror film "The Shining" and the confusion it caused me. The characters and plot are analyzed in this paper.

The movie The Shining (1980) has become a classic to many and, as seen on the advertising poster, has been noted as "a masterpiece of modern horror." Personally, though, I believe the film to intertwine confusion and terror making it more strange than frightening. Horror films generally have a solid, comprehendible storyline, strong characters, and a twist or an interesting climax. In this film some of these crucial pieces are there while in some aspects they are not. This being the case, my opinion of this movie reaches a plateau and I have an indecision to whether I really like or dislike it.

The Shining's storyline while sketchy maintains solid and comprehendible ideas. Thus the horror film that set the bar for future genres of its kind.

The story revolves around a couple and their only son Danny and their stay at a secluded hotel in the mountains. Danny's father, Jack Torrence, receives a job taking care of an isolated hotel during the winter months and is eager to do so even with warnings of mad effects the isolation may cause. As an added intensifier Mr. Ullman, the hotel manager, also describes a horrendous event of madness and murder involving the previous caretaker. He also describes how affected the caretaker was by the loneliness and seclusion. Throughout the film, the audience follows Jack through a twisted déjà vu mirroring what the viewer suspects to include the previous caretaker's mental downfalls. Meanwhile as Jack has increasingly psychotic behavior, his son Danny experiences bizarre occurrences as well, seeing ghosts throughout the hotel and foreseeing many of the events...