NO FUTURE rings in the new year with Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 modernist horror classic, THE SHINING. Get lost in a snowy hedge maze and put on your finest 1920s formalwear for Kubrick’s tense, finely-tuned masterwork about familial dysfunction, cabin fever, and the haunting legacy of patriarchal violence.
THE SHINING was unfairly dismissed at first as an overly cerebral take on Stephen King’s haunted house novel, thanks in no small part to King’s disavowal of the adaptation, particularly Jack Nicholson’s unhinged take on paterfamilias Jack Torrance. With regrets to the author, the film has since found itself championed by, to borrow a line from the film, all the best people.
Now it’s rightly celebrated for its wild performances by Nicholson and Shelley Duvall, its bravura set pieces, and its entrancing ambiguity, inspiring countless interpretations — many of them indexed in Rodney Asher’s ROOM 237 — ranging from the dubious to the on-point. It’s also one of the great horror movies about problem children, with Danny Lloyd giving a sensitive and inscrutable performance as the couple’s supernaturally-cursed son, whose grisly psychic visions and spells turn him into a living question mark about the family’s hopes for survival.
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