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Looking to get some peace and quiet while he finishes his novel, writer Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) takes a job caretaking the Overlook Hotel during its quiet winter months. Unperturbed by the revelation that the previous caretaker went insane and murdered his own family, Jack travels to the isolated hotel with his wife Wendy (Shelley Duvall) and young son Danny (Danny Lloyd) in tow. Situated deep in the Colorado mountains, the Overlook appears to be just the place for a writer to get some alone time, that is until young Danny begins to have disturbing visions related to the gruesome murders that took place there. As Wendy and Jack begin to quarrel over Danny's welfare and the writer's behaviour becomes increasingly bizarre, the Torrance family's winter excursion descends into a horrific nightmare.
Very loosely based on Stephen King's novel (much to the author's chagrin), this iconic classic is one of the few horror films that has never lost an iota of its original impact. Directed with typically obsessive perfectionism by the legendary Stanley Kubrick - who famously drove actor Scatman Crothers to tears by subjecting him to a never-ending barrage of takes - The Shining is a genuinely unsettling viewing experience that subtly instils a growing sense of dread in the viewer before pulling out the stops with a grippingly terrifying climax.
The film also sees Nicholson at his manic best, delivering a compellingly unhinged, yet expertly contained, performance that over the years has come to be seen as his signature role.