The Shining ★★★★★

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

The name of this movie has always bugged me little. Mostly because of the way we refer to movies. When someone says 'this is The Shining' I immediately think of the whole film as 'The Shining', which makes me imagine 'The Shining' as some kind of event - as if the things that happen throughout this film are known as The Shining because the film is called The Shining and the film contains the events in which I immediately start to assume are called The Shining. Now, that would be fine if I could find some interesting double entendre way to spin the name, since I know it refers to Danny's telepathic powers, if it also referred to or neatly slotted alongside the events of the movies and described them both then it would be good, but because it doesn't, I always have to correct myself in my head - it's not called The Shining, it's called The Shining. Does that make any sense?

But, as I write this and I think about it more, and I think about what Dick Halloran says to Danny near the beginning: "places are like people, some shine and some don't", I'm starting to rethink whether the title of the film can refer to the events that take place. The Overlook shines its brightest here in years, repopulating itself with guests to suit the whims of Jack, and to enforce its own will. If Danny can use his Shining powers to find creative solutions out of the obstacles he faces, and the Overlook is also 'shining', trying to take blood through Jack, then maybe you can call the events of the movie The Shining, because at its essence, it's a duel between two forces, both using The Shining to gain agency. A game of spiritual and metaphysical one-upsmanship.

Okay, I've come around on the title. I like it a lot now.

Also, nothing else in cinematic history looks as good as the final night time maze sequence. It's immaculate. You can put one trillion explosions at the end of your movie and it will not feel as climactically grand as the end of this film, just because of its sheer beauty.