The Shining ★★★★★

After having over a meter (3 feet for my fellow Americans) of snow fall on us in just a few days, the isolated and trapped feeling gave us great cause to want to watch the ultimate cabin fever-in the depth of winter film. Regardless of how many times one has seen The Shining, it never loses that overwhelming sense of dread.

As soon as Jack Torrance is in frame, that uneasy feeling takes over. I feel as though I wish I could warn all of the other characters in the movie to walk on eggshells, don't upset him! Maybe you shouldn't talk to him right now! Can't you see it! Just leave him alone! There has never been another character to give me such all-consuming anxiety, it is as if Jack Nicholson embodied my late father on his worst, most unpredictable days.

As I age, what scares me in The Shining changes. As a child, Danny cycling through the empty hotel used to have me on edge, knowing exactly what was coming around each turn. The sisters, room 237, the bloody elevator doors, no amount of watches could lessen that fear. Now? I believe it is the fear of losing control. The unpredictability of the aging mind. Will I be as quick to lose my cool the older I get? Could this happen to me? Has it already begun?

David Cronenberg once said that at one point in your life, how you perceive horror films will change. As a young person you are fascinated by the grotesque, unmoved by death, maybe even amused by it. As an adult you have unfortunately lost people, been exposed to the finality of death, you have experienced more real-life horrors. This change is taking over and making what truly scares me more terrifying, more real.

King may not have any sort of appreciation for Kubrick's film and I can only hope that one day he can sit down and see The Shining for what it really is, a "masterpiece of modern horror," and take pride in knowing that a story he penned evolved into something even greater, something even scarier, one of the most atmospheric and haunting horror films of all time.

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