As I’ve stated many times on this site, Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining is one of my favorite horror films and it’s also one of the few horror films that can still scare me even after I’ve seen it hundreds of time. Those two little “Come and play with us” girls still freak me out and I still think about the blood pouring out of that elevator at least once a month.
That said, one of my favorite scenes from The Shining comes early on in the film. It’s the scene where Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson, of course) is driving his family to the Overlook Hotel for the first time. He’s already visited for his job interview but this is the first time that his family is going to see their new home. And, as you can tell in this scene, he already appears to be kind of sick of them.
Seriously, when someone is driving and has that expression on his face, don’t ask him about the Donner Party.
What I love about this scene is Nicholson’s obvious exasperation. You can just tell that he’s thinking, “I’m going to be stuck in a hotel with these two for months.” I especially love the way that he delivers the line about Danny learning about cannibalism from the television. (Of course, I think one reason why Jack is upset is because Wendy’s the one who brought up the Donner Party, in the first place. If you don’t want your child to know about cannibalism, don’t randomly start talking about a famous example of it. That’s parenting 101, I’d think.)
Seriously, if I was a passenger in that car, that is exactly when I would say, “Pull over and let me out. This is not going to end well.”