The Shining screened only tonight across 100 UK cinemas to celebrate Halloween. Park Circus celebrates this with the release of Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, being screened over 100 cinemas – for one night only, on 31 October.
Audiences can enjoy this remarkable thriller on the big screen once again at cinemas throughout the UK.
When Jack Torrance, played by Oscar-winning actor Jack Nicholson, lands the job of overwintering the remote Overlook Hotel he, his wife Wendy (Shelley Duvall) and young son Danny (Danny Lloyd) have no idea the horrors that are to come. At his interview he’s told of a previous caretaker who butchered his wife, twin girls and then killed himself. Jack seems unworried by this, focusing on the thought of the wonderful isolation to write his book. The family arrive at the Overlook in good humour, and are shown the ropes by Mr Hallorann (Scatman Crothers), who recognises in Danny the trait of ‘shining’, the ability to communicate without speaking. Once alone, the Torrances settle in and the terror begins to unfold. Psychological manifestations of the past abound, dead twin girls, the haunted room 237, a ghostly barman and ex-caretaker and a 1930’s 4th of July party that Jack wanders into. Has he been here before, is it a time-warp, we’re left unsure. What we do come to know, however, is that Jack’s novel goes totally to pot in a terrifying way, and he ends up concentrating on trying to kill his family! Most of the horror can be seen on the extraordinarily expressive face of Shelley Duvall who spends most of the film on the verge of tears seemingly, and is a study in hysteria towards the end. The film culminates in a bloody demise for Halloran, who’s returned to see if everything is okay, and a deadly chase through the snowy hotel maze. One’s left with the haunting image of Jack’s frozen features, and the final shot is of the vintage 4th of July party photograph, with a dinner-suited Jack in the foreground, beaming maniacally, as only Nicholson can.
Stanley Kubrick based the film on Stephen King’s novel, and spent a year shooting it at Elstree, west of London. The memorable interiors were based on the Ahwahnee Hotel in the Yosemite National Park in the US. Interestingly, from a technical point of view, it’s the first feature film to use the Steadicam technology.
Released in 1980, it had mixed reviews and King wasn’t happy with the film-makers vision, but it is now widely rightfully regarded as a classic. It wins on every level, visually stunning and with a powerful soundtrack, the handful of actors totally carry the viewer into a nightmarish world where reality is unclear, but the horror is all around. There’s not a wasted scene, and Kubrick did indeed make the classic horror film he set out to.
Accompanying the film is Work and Play: a short film about The Shining (2017) directed by Matt Wells, an interesting and most enlightening watch.