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The Shining takes place in Denver, Colorado sometime around the 1980s. The main characters of the movie include Jack Torrance, a writer and former teacher, Wendy Torrance, the wife of Jack, and Danny Torrance, the son of Jack and Wendy. The story begins as Jack accepts to become the winter caretaker of the Overlook Hotel where he could also focus on writing. However, Jack is told that there was an incident where a man killed his whole family and himself at the hotel. Jack says it wouldn’t be a problem and that his wife wouldn’t mind, but he never actually tells his wife. Meanwhile, Danny has an incident back at home where he hurts himself while talking to his imaginary friend “Tony” and brushing his teeth. This is where Wendy reveals to the nurse that there was an incident where Jack hurt Danny’s arm while he was drunk. Also, she reveals Jack has had drinking problems in the past but has stopped drinking ever since this incident. The Torrances finally arrive at the overlook hotel where they are given a tour while Danny goes to the game room. Jack and Wendy are taken all around the huge hotel, even being told that the hotel is built on an Indian burial ground. Meanwhile, Danny has another incident while playing darts in the game room and sees two mysterious twin girls. Danny then runs and finds his parents in the gold room. Danny and Wendy are then given a tour of the kitchen with the head chef of the hotel Mr.Hallorann. Mr.Hallorann talks to Danny telepathically through his mind to ask him if he wanted ice-cream. The Rising Action starts when it is revealed to Danny that he has a talent called “The Shining”. With this talent, not only could Danny communicate telepathically but also see the memories of the Overlook Hotel itself. Mr.Hallorann warns him that there are bad things in the hotel. Danny asks what to be afraid about and specifically asks about room 237. Hallorann warns Danny to stay out of that room since it is dangerous.
A month later, Jack begins to get frustrated with his writing. Wendy tries to have a little conversation with him but Jack gets upset with her and tells her to leave him alone. He says that she was interrupting his work. Meanwhile, Danny explores the hotel on his big wheel and encounters the two twin girls once again. However, this time he sees the “death scene” of the twin girls and blood all over the hallway. Danny then goes to into room 237 because the door was cracked open. While this happens, Jack wakes up screaming on his typewriter. Wendy runs to Jack and he tells her that he had nightmare where he killed Wendy and Danny and chopped them up into little pieces. Jack admits to Wendy that he is losing his mind. Danny comes to the room where Jack and Wendy are with marks on his neck. Wendy thinks Jack did it and accuses him of child abuse in his face. Jack continues to lose his mind and talk to himself. He eventually ends up in the gold room bar where he meets Lloyd, a ghost bartender. Jack asks for alcohol from him and hallucinates about himself drinking it. Jack rants about Wendy to the bartender and his marriage in general. Wendy find Jack and tells him that a there is a woman in the house that strangles Danny. Jack investigates room 236 himself where he encounter the same woman which ends up to be an old lady and makes out with her. Jack returns to Wendy and lies by saying that he saw no one in the room. Wendy wants to leave the hotel to get Danny help but Jack gets upset in response. Jack returns to the gold room where a ball is happening. He encounters the ghost of Mr. Grady, the man who killed his family and himself at that hotel. Grady tells Jack to kill his family and that Danny was being a naughty boy by getting help with his “Shining” talent. Meanwhile, Danny doesn’t respond to Wendy and only refers to himself as his imaginary friend Tony and begins to say “redrum”.
At the same time, Danny uses his shining to get help from Hallorann. Hallorann feels like something is up and eventually ends up flying back to Colorado to check on them. While Wendy is looking for Jack, she finds a stack of papers on the typewriter that same the same thing over and over again. Jack surprises Wendy by bursting through the door and tries to harm her. Wendy ends up hitting Jack on the head, making him fall down the stairs. Wendy drags Jack down to the storage room and lock him in there. Wendy finds out that the two-way radio and snow-mobile is rigged by Jack prior to the incident. Later, Jack talks to Grady again and Grady tells him he isn’t doing a good job, Grady unlocks the door and lets Jack out. Danny writes redrum on the door while Wendy is sleeping and wakes up her up by yelling “redrum”. Wendy sees the message in the mirror and realizes it says “murder”. Jack beings to axe the door down, Wendy and Danny run to the bathroom where she pushes only Danny out the windows to escape but not herself since she couldn’t fit. This is where the main conflict is most evident which is Jack trying to harm Wendy and Danny. Jack breaks through the bathroom door and yells “Here’s Johnny” but goes away after Wendy stabs him in the hand and hears the sound of a snow mobile outside. This past scene is the Climax since this is where Jack reaches his final breaking point and actually tries to kill his family. Hallorann arrives at the hotel to check on the family but Jack finds him and kills him by hitting in the back with an axe. Danny hides in the cabinet but runs away after he hears Jack. Danny then runs through the Hedge maze with Jack still in pursuit. Meanwhile, Wendy finds Hallorann’s dead body and begins to see ghosts and dead people. Danny eventually loses Jack in the maze while Wendy sees blood come out of the elevator doors. Wendy runs outside and finds Johnny. This is where the Falling Action/Conclusion begins since they now resolve the conflict and are safe from Jack. They both get in Hallorann’s snow mobile and escape from the hotel and Jack. Jack is left frozen in the snow to die. The movie ends zooming in on an old 1921 picture of Jack and a crowd of people. The Denouement was to show that Jack dies by freezing to death and Danny and Wendy got out safe.
In my opinion all of the actors and actresses did a great job in playing their parts in The Shining. Jack Nicholson did a superb job in demonstrating to the audience of a man gone completely psycho. One of my favorite scenes of his and is probably his most famous is where he axes down the door and yells “Here’s Johnny” to Wendy. Now, whenever I think of someone a psycho person the face of Jack Nicholson always pops in my head. Shelly Duvall also did an outstanding job as playing Wendy. The particular scene that showed this was her reaction as Jack began to axe down the bathroom door. In this scene, you can really feel the anxiety and fear in Wendy, all thanks to Shelly Duvall’s great acting. Furthermore, my favorite part of Danny Lloyd, the actor of Danny Torrance was when he would use his imaginary friend Tony’s voice. I specifically liked how he would say “redrum” in the scene where he drew it on the door.
I thought the plot of the movie was unique, the thought of a Dad turning on his family and killing them is a frightening idea. Jack Torrance starts out as a normal Dad just trying to focus on his writing career. However, this is all changes when he begins to lose his mind when he can’t write. His transition from a normal dad to an all-out psycho shows that Jack is a dynamic character in the movie and becomes a whole different person at the end. Furthermore, the use of the steadycam shot throughout the movie gave the audience a whole different perspective of the action. For example, the scene where Jack is chasing Danny through the maze and when Danny rides around the hotel on his big wheel. Also, I believe the music in this movie played a huge role in setting the mood and atmosphere. The music would make the actions more dramatic and in some scenes, more scary. Without the music, the movie would just not be the same. For instance, the scene where Danny writes Redrum and Wendy realizes it say Murder, the music makes it 2x more dramatic and scarier.
From this movie, we could learn that alcohol and our drinking habits can really change us in the long run. This is shown through Jack’s character throughout the whole movie. It is revealed in the beginning that Jack has drinking problems and even hurt Danny because of this. It could be blamed to his drinking problems that he goes insane in the Outlook hotel and tries to kill his family. Maybe others could learn from Jack’s insanity to not have bad drinking habits.
I feel anyone that is interested in horror movies should watch The Shining because the movie has a unique plot, interesting characters and keeps a dramatic, creepy mood throughout the whole movie. I would not recommend this to young children since not only does it contain blood and violence, but also naked women and bad language. Considering this, it is not surprising that this movie is rated R. For example, there are scenes of people getting killed like when Hallorann is murdered by Jack. In conclusion, I thought The Shining was a solid horror movie experience and it was especially interesting to see the changes Jack goes through from being a normal dad to a psychopath killer who ends up dying “The Coolest Dad”.
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