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In his book “Walden,” transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau writes about his two years in a cabin, describing his immersion into nature as a pathway to spiritual discovery. He expressed the sentiments prevalent among several thinkers of that time who believed that momentary isolation was therapeutic.

“The Shining” turned this understanding of isolation on its head. Not only is it gripping novel and a great film, but “The Shining” also redefined our understanding of cabin fever.

Sometimes isolation makes people crave human contact. Sometimes it makes them go on homicidal rampages. To each his own.

Based on a Stephen King novel, Stanley Kubrick’s film adaptation of “The Shining” follows Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson), his wife Wendy (Shelley Duvall) and son Danny (Danny Lloyd) during their stay at the ominous Overlook Hotel. The otherworldly vibes come into play when Danny, who has the ability to see dead people, begins to see people who were murdered in the hotel.

Did we just become best friends?

These people include a pair of twin sisters who keep asking Danny to play with them.

grady twins

There’s something strangely unsettling about identical twins.

As Danny’s visions become more and more intense, Jack begins his own spiral into madness. Even if you haven’t seen the film, you probably know how it ends. Jack, channeling his favorite late night TV show, goes crazy and tries to kill his family.

“Heeeeeeeeeeeere’s Johnny!”

“The Shining” isn’t just a fantastic horror film, it’s a cinematic classic. Jack Nicholson carries the film with his gripping performance as Torrance. Through eerie music, creepy camera angles, and haunting set design, Kubrick shows that he is a true master of his craft. Even Scatman Crothers shines in his role as the hotel’s chef.


A Halloween viewing of “The Shining” is a must. Although I have a feeling that Thoreau wouldn’t approve.

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