Stanley Kubrick‘s classic 1980 adaptation of Stephen King‘s novel The Shining was probably the last great horror film of the decade that gave us such timeless scare fests as The Exorcist, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Carrie, and Halloween. Though the snobbish cinemaphiles are reluctant to group The Shining in with the director’s other masterworks of the silver screen the movie has endured and grown in popularity over the past three decades. It is now regarded as one of the greatest horror films ever made.
An 80-second video collage of every zoom shot from The Shining has been assembled by Ian Kammer. You can watch it here below.
Next to the brilliant performances – including an iconic one from a delightfully unhinged Jack Nicholson – and unnerving music score by Rachel Elkind and Wendy Carlos (whose other soundtrack works includes the original Tron and Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange), one of the most memorable aspects of The Shining is the filmmaker’s usual flawless mastery of the camera. The film is a visual marvel from beginning to end, from the haunting opening sequence showing Nicholson’s Volkswagen Beetle puttering along on a lonely mountain road heading deeper and deeper towards his horrific destiny to the final scene where the deranged Jack Torrance chases his telepathic son Danny (Danny Lloyd) through a hedge maze during a nighttime blizzard (a master class in white knuckle, hold-your-breath suspense). Unlike the popular horror movies of its era The Shining is remarkably light on blood and gore. It doesn’t need it; from its opening moments Kubrick’s film is a brilliant exercise in steadily mounting tension, each scene a precision crafted vignette of nightmarish imagery and unbearable psychological terror.
Whereas the horror movies of today look like they were edited by someone who subsists on a diet of Red Bull and Little Debbie cakes, The Shining is methodically paced and draws you into its spell thanks to Ray Lovejoy‘s sharp editing and crisp cinema by the late John Alcott. The use of zoom shots is a recurring motif of Stanley Kubrick’s films; the director was a modern master of the moving image and The Shining is one of his most enduring and memorable features, as well as being among the most terrifying films ever made.
In addition to all the zoom shots from The Shining, Kammer has also overlapped the soundtracks from every scene, creating a strange yet soothing soundscape that meshes ideally with the languidly paced imagery.
[Source: Vimeo via The Playlist]