My wifey had this major desire to watch a spooky movie last night, so I had no choice but to watch The Shining with her. Now I’ve never really liked The Shining much (I think Stanley Kubrick is an incredibly overrated director), mainly because those two spooky twins scare the crap out of me.
But last night, I realized that there were even more annoying things than the creepy little girls.
1. Jack Torrance’s Mace Windu-like character growth
I’ve never read the book or anything, but I know that in the book, Jack was a regular guy with some issues, who gradually descends into madness at the hotel. Kinda sympathetic like that, really.
But noooooooo, you can’t have a sympathetic character in a Stanley Kubrick movie. That’s not how Kubrick rolls! In the movie, Jack was a crazy psycho who eventually becomes… more psychotic. Wow, what a great and unsuspected character arc!
Jack Torrance has about as much growth or development as Mace Windu, so that you half-expect him to try to kill his family with a purple lightsaber at the end of the movie. I’m not saying that you need some kinda M Night Shylamananlam plot twist at the end, but seriously, try not to reveal the rest of the movie in the first five minutes!
2. The soundtrack
Since it’s a movie that the wifey and I have both watched a few times before, we were actually Photoshopping while it was playing in the background. As such, the soundtrack hit me in a way I’ve never noticed before. It was loud, irritating, and just kinda stupid (kinda like Internet forum trolls).
You know that ringing sound that you hear when someone smacks the side of your head with a skateboard? Well, the soundtrack of this movie is like having someone repeatedly swing their skateboard into your ear for 2 hours. It’s just endless high-pitched ringing and sudden gongs and shit.
Scatman explaining the shining to Danny? Ringing sound. Walking around the hotel? Ringing sound. Always with the ringing sound!
And it’s not just the “creepy” parts either. That entire opening sequence where they drive up to the hotel? Loud irritating random sounds all the way. For this part, it’s like if Trent Reznor got incredibly doped up and went into convulsions on top of his synthesizer.
3. Danny’s Redrum voice
Wow. I mean, that part towards the end where he does the croaky voice and repeats “redrum” for about five minutes straight? That’s a small slice of Hell right there.
4. Shelley Duvall’s character
Okay, like seriously… how irritating was she? I mean she’s just so incredibly stupid. In most horror movies, she’d be the irritating character whose death you most want to see (except in this movie, she survives to the end).
She goes around the whole movie just saying dumb things and irritating not only Jack, but the viewer as well; you’d swear that it was Tom Greene in a wig.
And the worst part is towards the end – after Jack Nicholson goes apeshit and tries to kill everyone, she knocks him out with a baseball bat and locks him into the kitchen pantry. Smart move, but a regular person would then try to get the hell outta there, but not this woman. She goes back to her room and sleeps, waking up only when Jack comes back with an axe.
I looked it up, and it seemed like Duvall actually hated working with Kubrick and they frequently argued about her character and acting techniques. Hell, if someone wanted me to act like a complete dumbass, I’d kick up a fuss too.
5. People reading bullshit into the story
Look it up on the Internet and there’s a million different “explanations” on why the movie is all weird as it is, reading bullshit into the story as if it’s a freakin’ Shakespearean play. There’s theories that it’s based on the White Man beating down on Native Americans, that it’s based on the Holocaust, or Hansel and Gretel.
Just because Kubrick has the chef die over a rug that’s got an Indian motif, or that the hotel is built over an Indian burial ground, doesn’t mean he’s making some kinda social statement. He probably just thought it’d look cool… like blood pouring out of an elevator. You can imagine Kubrick standing at the set like Beavis going “Indian motifs and blood from an elevator are cool! Heh heh heh heh heh!”
This doesn’t really have anything to do with the movie exactly, but it kinda just makes me dislike it more.
Random Fact: The Shining is the only Kubrick film since the mid 1950’s not to get a nomination for a Golden Globe or Oscar. Instead, it got nominated for Worst Director and Worst Actress at the Razzies. Yep, the same type of awards that Madonna and movies like Gigli repeatedly get nominated for.