The Shining (1980)

Dir: Stanley Kubrick, 1980

The third time I’ve seen this film, and I was as uneasy as ever watching it. I’d forgotten how brilliant the filming is: Danny’s tricycling, Shelley Duval’s expressive face, the wonderful swooping shots of the road to the Overlook Hotel.

When I saw it for the first time in 1980 I was convinced there were no ghosts: it was a descent into madness. The problem with that view – as with The Turn of the Screw – was that there was one scene – the opening of the food store door – that was inexplicable without supernatural help. The second time I saw it as a ghost/horror story. This time I also saw a depiction of a domestic bully and a cowed wife, and I saw the hotel and its history as the main character. I also had time to admire the incidentals – like patterns, pictures and mirrors – more thoroughly.

This was the slightly longer US version. I’m not sure about the scene of the skeletons in the ballroom – it added nothing. But the scene between Wendy and the woman doctor changed my take on the marriage.

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