The Shining – CBR’s horror recommendations for Halloween

CBR’s 31 Days of Halloween is a daily feature highlighting our staff’s favorite horror movies to watch during the month of October. Reader beware – you will be scared!


Horror is a genre that has revolutionized cinema since its inception. universal monsters were among the first iconic movie monsters. Movies such as psychology pushed the boundaries of what is acceptable on screen. Much of the way cinema is orchestrated today has been paved over by horror movies that took risks. But some take such a big risk that, although underestimated at the time, they have become a masterpiece that stands out from the rest. Take for example, the brilliantwhich became one of the greatest horror movies of all time after initially being a flop.

Adapted from the novel of the same name by Stephen King, the brilliant is a rare mix of genres through the plot of a long story. Drawing inspiration from epic movies, director Stanley Kubrick uses wide shots and long takes to help isolate the film’s characters and build tension through slow-burning horror. A narrative and visual masterpiece, the brilliant is still being studied for techniques and meanings over 40 years later.

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What is The Shining about?

the brilliant is a supernatural, psychological horror about a family hired to watch over and maintain the Overlook Hotel, where several atrocities have occurred over the years. Along with Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall and Danny Lloyd, the Torrance family find themselves in a perilous situation with nowhere to run. The protagonist, Jack, is a recovering alcoholic who seizes the opportunity of Overlook to write a novel but deals with the residual effects of his fractured marriage following a drunken assault on his son, Danny. Cut off from the rest of the world, cabin fever and old traumas reawaken within the family as violent apparitions wreak havoc on the family.

Over the course of the film, Danny, who is revealed to have psychic abilities called Shine, interacts with ghosts in the hotel, including a pair of twins who were killed by their father. As the family grapples with their personal issues and if the hotel is haunted and causes damage, each character slides further into mental instability until one of them finally snaps. While much of the book’s material is left out in the adaptation, the disturbing aspects are perfectly adapted by Kubrick.

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Why The Shining is mandatory for Halloween

Unlike other horror movies and Halloween classics, the brilliant isn’t just about jump scares and slashes. It’s a simple story told through the prism of complex nightmares. The brilliants horror plays more on goosebumps and skin-crawling anxiety than jumping out of a seat of fear. The slow, intense buildup has audiences lingering over the heightened tension throughout the scene as well as the horror that immediately follows. With many off-screen attacks, audiences have to wonder if there are ghosts or if the living characters are responsible.

Among the most subversive things this movie did was a place as the antagonist. The isolated and massive Overlook Hotel holds the secrets and atrocities that have occurred within its walls over the years. It’s not so much that the place is haunted but that the Overlook is an evil entity that harbors ghosts. The hotel behaves as if it were alive and the occupants are the prey. The way the film is filmed also suggests that the hotel is constantly changing, which adds to the tension. Like the labyrinth in the yard, there is never a sense of stability.

Like many of King’s works, the combination of slow horror and setting makes the protagonists stand out more. Even though Jack ends up going crazy, he’s just regular people with regular struggles, without Danny’s powers. The alcoholic father trying to do right with his family, the stressed housewife caught between husband and son, and a troubled child struggling with a gift is a compelling and relatable tale. These aspects, combined with a terrifying location, make the brilliant stand above all horror movies.

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How to watch The Shining – Is it streaming?

After its release in 1980, the brilliant remains one of the scariest stories of all time. The fundamentals of horror are masterfully crafted in this film, and it also takes enough risks that it’s impossible to claim its legendary status. And for potential new viewers, this movie is currently available on HBO Max.

the brilliant bucks the trend of iconic horror films by standing out with the most tense environment a filmmaker can create and leaving much of the psychological horror to the viewer’s uncomfortable imagination. King’s brilliant storytelling laid the groundwork for an amazing adaptation. Every frame in this movie is full of visual and mental cues designed to piss off. For first-time viewers, eliminate distractions and give as much attention to this movie as possible. Other horror movies feature dark themes and creepy leaps, some even masterful, but nothing in cinema before or since can captivate and horrify an audience quite like Kubrick’s masterpiece.

About Jean R. Manzer

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