Tonight let’s focus on horror created through order in a look at Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining.
With Kubrick one gets the feeling sometimes that he sits down and designs each scene down to the letter, sure nearly all filmmakers do this, it’s just that the imposed order is a little more overt. In the case of The Shining, the horror a bit more focused to a sharp stabby point.
What makes these sharp moments of horror so much more effective than most other horror directors’ abilities is that Kubrick has the patience to wait for the right moment to spring his horror upon the viewer.
He’ll pass by it two or three times before springing the scare onto your brain. Danny will pedal his big wheel down one, two, three, four, five corridors before running into the creepy sisters.
He isn’t afraid of the slow burn as Nicholson’s Torrance slowly turns from troubled alcoholic who is seduced by the hotel’s demons into the axe-wielding maniac we find at the final credits.
The isolation gets to the viewer, whereas most directors don’t have the confidence or patience to wait those extra beats as the tension builds, the suspense thickens and the needles get sharpened.
It’s a fine thing, a Swiss watch.
A clockwork that is nearly flawless.
Here’s a look at the trailer…