c. 1978-80, Color Feature Film, UK/USA 146min
Kubrick's adaptation of Stephen King's best-selling novel about a small urban American family's decent into darkness and death while care-taking a haunted hotel in rural Colorado one nasty winter. Unlike the three films released before, The Shining is contemporary during production, and effectively captures the look/feel of men and women living in 1970's Western USA, with considerable attention to the hotel ghosts representing other eras. Kubrick reportedly wanted to make the greatest horror movie via The Shining. While it was a an immediate commercial success in theaters and later on home video, some 30+ years later, it looks like he succeeded in his long-term goal of making horror history, despite significant advances in cinematic scare tactics and gruesome subject matter. In addition to developing remarkable narrative structure and intimate subtext, Kubrick kept his reputation for advancing the technical side of filmmaking with superb employment of the then-new Steady-Cam, which soon became an industry standard thanks to Kubrick's example. Homage film Room 237 explores The Shining in ways that most viewers probably never knew existed, but will never forget. TRIVIA: The dreamy aerial shots that close Blade Runner (1982) are actually from outtakes of the helicopter shoot used for the beginning of The Shining.