Scenes That I Love: The Job Interview From The Shining


I don’t care what Stephen King says.  Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation of The Shining is great.

One of King’s big complaints about the film is that Jack is obviously unhinged from the start.  King is right that Jack Nicholson plays Jack Torrance as being someone who has a few screws loose even before he starts to work as the caretaker.  But it works for the film, as can be seen in this scene in which Stuart Ullman tells Jack about what happened to previous caretaker.

Incidentally, Barry Nelson’s performance as Ullman is seriously underrated.  Ullman is a far more interesting character in the movie than he was in King’s book.  For that matter, the same can be said of just about every character in the movie as opposed to the way King envisioned them in his novel.  Maybe that’s the main reason King doesn’t like this movie.  Kubrick understood King’s story better than King himself did.

8 Shots From 8 Horror Films: 1980


4 Or More Shots From 4 Or More Films is just what it says it is, 4 shots from 4 of our favorite films. As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 Shots From 4 Films lets the visuals do the talking!

This October, I’m going to be doing something a little bit different with my contribution to 4 (or more) Shots From 4 (or more) Films.  I’m going to be taking a little chronological tour of the history of horror cinema, moving from decade to decade.

Today, we take a look at a very important year: 1980

8 Shots From 8 Horror Films: 1980

Inferno (1980, dir by Dario Argento, DP: Romana Albano)

Without Warning (1980, dir by Greydon Clark, DP: Dean Cundey)

Friday the 13th (1980, dir by Sean S. Cunningham, DP: Barry Abrams)

Maniac (1980, dir. William Lusting, DP: Robert Lindsay)

City of the Living Dead (1980, dir by Lucio Fulci, DP: Sergio Salvati)

Dressed To Kill (1980, dir by Brian De Palma, DP: Ralf D. Bode)

Night of the Hunted (1980, dir by Jean Rollin)

The Shining (1980, directed by Stanley Kubrick, DP: John Alcott)

Ten Things That I’m Looking Forward To In October


Yay!  It’s finally October again!  Are you excited because I know I am?  Seriously, it feels like it’s been a year since I last got to celebrate my favorite month!

Here are ten things that I’m looking forward to in October.

  1. Halloween and Horrothon! — You all had to know that this was going to be number one, right?  Halloween is my favorite time of year, both because of the cool weather and the fact that it’s the start of the holiday season!  Plus, this time of year that we do our annual Horrorthon here at TSL!  (I will also be contributing daily horror reviews to Horror Critic!) I spend all year looking forward to and preparing for this month.  Horrorthon can be an exhausting enterprise but it’s always worth it.
  2. Terrifier 2 — Art, the world’s most terrifying clown is back!  Seriously, killer clowns are a bit of a cliché but Art is one of the most frightening horror creations that I’ve ever seen.  Terrifier 2 is going to be 138 minutes long and, with the legacy of Michael Myers being ruined by the current David Gordon Green Halloween trilogy (seriously, don’t even get me started), now is the time for Art to step up and remind people what horror is all about.
  3. TAR — Todd Field’s first film since Little Children looks intriguing and has been getting rapturous reviews.  TAR is getting a limited release on October 3rd before opening wide on October 28th.  It may not be a horror film but I’m still looking forward to seeing the film that could very well make Cate Blanchett a three-time Oscar winner.
  4. Triangle of Sadness — For that matter, I’m also looking forward to Triangle of Sadness, this year’s winner of Palme d’Or.  The film opens on October 7th and it appears to feature Woody Harrelson in the role that he was born to play.
  5. The Banshees of Inisherin — An Irish film, reuniting Martin McDonagh, Colin Farrell, and Brendan Gleeson?  (Previously, all three worked together on the brilliant In Bruges.)  How could I possible resist?
  6. Dark Glasses — Dario Argento’s latest film is coming to Shudder!
  7. Night of the Living Dead, The Shining, the original Suspiria, Carnival of Souls, Robot Monster, Little Shop of Horrors, Nosferatu, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, Bride of the Monster, Plan 9 From Outer Space, the original Halloween — It’s tradition!  These are films that I watch at least once every October and I’m looking forward to watching them this year as well.
  8. Mocking the critics — There are so many snobs out there when it comes to horror.  That’s why it’s always fun to spend October mocking them on twitter.  Forget those who look down on horror.  October is our time.
  9. All The Holiday SpecialsToy Story of Terror?  Yep.  It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown?  You know my sister and I will be watching it.  It’s not October without the holiday specials.
  10. Setting A Record — Last year, at TSL, we posted 487 times over the course of October.  Think we can break 500 this year?  We’re off to a good start!

Happy October everyone!  I look forward to sharing this wonderful time of year with all of you!  What are you looking forward to?

6 Shots From 6 Films: Special Stanley Kubrick Edition


4 Or More Shots From 4 Or More Films is just what it says it is, 4 shots from 4 of our favorite films. As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 Shots From 4 Films lets the visuals do the talking!

On this date, 94 years ago, Stanley Kubrick was born in New York City.  The rest, as they say, is history.

In honor of one of the world’s greatest directors, here are….

6 Shots From 6 Stanley Kubrick Films

Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964, dir. Stanley Kubrick, DP: Gilbert Taylor)

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968, dir by Stanley Kubrick, DP: Geoffrey Unsworth)

Barry Lyndon (1975, dir by Stanley Kubrick, DP: John Alcott)

The Shining (1980, dir by Stanley Kubrick, DP: John Alcott)

Full Metal Jacket (1987, dir by Stanley Kubrick, DP: Douglas Milsome)

Eyes Wide Shut (1999. dir by Stanley Kubrick, DP: Larry Smith)

Lisa Marie’s Grindhouse Trailers: 12 Trailers For Halloween


For today’s Halloween edition of Lisa’s Marie Favorite Grindhouse Trailers, I present to you, without comment, the trailers for my 12 favorite horror movies.

Happy Halloween!

  1. The Shining (1980)

2. Suspiria (1977)

3. A Field in England (2013)

4. Night of the Living Dead (1968)

5. Zombi 2 (1979)

6. The Exorcist (1973)

7. Halloween (1978)

8. Two Orphan Vampires (1996)

9. Near Dark (1987)

10. Scream and Scream Again (1970)

11. Horror of Dracula (1958)

12. Messiah of Evil (1973)

Horror Scenes That I Love: The Redrum Scene From The Shining


Today, the Shattered Lens wishes a happy 49th birthday to Danny Lloyd, the child actor who — at the age of 6 — brought Danny Torrance to life in Stanley Kubrick’s version of The Shining. After appearing in one made-for-TV movie after The Shining, Lloyd retired from acting. (He did make a cameo appearance in Doctor Sleep.) He went on to become a teacher. Somewhat sweetly, it’s been reported that, during the filming of The Shining, Kubrick went out of his way to keep Lloyd from knowing that he was appearing in a movie about killer ghosts and a father attempting to kill his family.

In honor of Danny’s birthday, here’s a scene that I love from Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining!

Music Video of the Day: The Shining Main Titles, covered by Kevin Bias (2016, dir by Kevin Bias)


For today’s music video of the day, we have a cover (by Kevin Bias) of the main title theme from Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining.  As I’ve often said on this site, The Shining is one of my favorite horror movies and I think it has one of the best scores to be found in a non-Italian horror film.

This is taken from Bias’s own description of the video on YouTube:

Written by Wendy Carlos & Rachel Elkind
Cover of the original from the opening credits of Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 film ‘The Shining’.
Equipment: Alesis Ion, Ensoniq Sq2, OP-X PRO II emulation software

I pre-recorded my own sound effects and ambience which are not reflected in the visuals in the video. All of the visual takes seen in the video are the takes heard in the audio and mixed using Sonar X2.

If you like this cover, be sure to check out Kevin Bias’s YouTube channel and subscribe!

Horror Scenes That I Love: The Drive to the Overlook from Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining


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.”

4 Shots From 4 Films: Special Jack Nicholson Edition


4 Shots From 4 Films is just what it says it is, 4 shots from 4 of our favorite films. As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 Shots From 4 Films lets the visuals do the talking!

Today is Jack Nicholson’s 83rd birthday!

It’s been ten years since Jack Nicholson last appeared in a movie, the forgettable How Do You Know.  Rumor has it that he’s basically retired from acting, though it’s said that Nicholson himself has denied it.  However, whether he’s working or not, he remains a screen icon with a filmography that is a cinema lover’s dream.  He’s worked with everyone from Roger Corman to Stanley Kubrick to Milos Forman to Martin Scorsese and, along the way, he’s become a symbol of a very American-type of rebel.  Though often associated with the counter-culture, his style has always been too aggressive and idiosyncratic for him to be a believable hippie.  Instead, he’s one of the last of the beats, an outsider searching for meaning in Americana.

Over the course of his career, Nicholson has won three Oscars and been nominated for a total of 12.  He’s the only actor to have been nominated in every decade from the 1960s to the 2000s.  If he ever writes his autobiography, you know that we’ll all run out and buy a copy.  When the day comes that Jack Nicholson is no longer with us, it will truly be the end of an era.

Happy birthday, Jack Nicholson.  May you have many happy returns!

4 Shots From 4 Films

Psych-Out (1968, dir by Richard Rush)

Carnal Knowledge (1971, dir by Mike Nichols)

The Shining (1980, dir by Stanley Kubrick)

The Departed (2006, dir by Martin Scorsese)

Film Review: Doctor Sleep (Dir. by Mike Flanagan)


 

If I asked you about Stephen King’s The Shining, would the book or the film come to mind?

DoctorSleepPosterWhen it comes to adapting Stephen King’s stories to film, it’s not an easy feat. King himself had a problem turning his own short story “Trucks” into something good when he directed Maximum Overdrive. For every great film like Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, or It-Chapter One, we occasionally get a misstep like The Dark Tower or It-Chapter Two.  As King can sometimes get wordy in his books, I’ve felt the best adaptations were the ones where the director’s own vision came into play. Kubrick made a number or changes to King’s story, including the Grady twins and the hedge maze, which were never in the novel. The film is so widely recognized that most people recall events in the movie, rather than the book. That’s the effect Kubrick had. 

With Doctor Sleep, Mike Flanagan once again proves he’s a fantastic fit for King. The film moves at a great pace, with great performances by Rebecca Ferguson and newcomer Kyliegh Curran. In an age where audiences are typically quiet, the applause that occurred in scenes during last night’s preview screening were great to hear. The film manages to pay homage to Kubrick’s The Shining and King’s Novel of Doctor Sleep while still completely showcasing Flanagan’s vision. Of course, we already knew this from Flanagan taking on King’s own Gerald’s Game and Netflix’s The Haunting of Hill House.  One might even argue that for this film, we may in time recall Flanagan’s tale more clearly than King’s.

Doctor Sleep takes place after the events of The Shining, with Dan Torrance (Ewan McGregor) suffering from the same demons that plagued his father, Jack. Although the keeps to himself, he drinks too much, gets into brawls, and is unable to hold down decent work. Dan is also haunted by the Overlook Hotel, and the power that drew the souls to him known as The Shining. The Shining (or just the Shine) is a coveted power in King’s lore. When a group of nomads that feed on the Shine (in a way that’s reminiscent of Mick Garris’ Sleepwalkers) discover a girl with the same ability, Dan is brought out of hiding. 

Fans of the original Kubrick film will see there’s a lot of love here. You’ll be able to count some of the references to The Shining, from objects in a room to different locales. For casting, Flanagan uses a mixture of old favorites and new faces. You’ll recognize some of them right from the start, such as Bruce Greenwood and Violet McGraw. Others, like Jacob Tremblay (The Predator) are welcome additions. Rather than relying on footage from the original Shining, Flanagan recreates certain elements with new cast members, which I felt worked extremely well here. I’m not sure how others will take it.

Ewan McGregor is good in the role of Dan Torrance, which feels more like his Mark Renton character from Trainspotting than anything else to me.  This isn’t a bad thing, but it works. The film truly belongs to both Rebecca Ferguson (Mission Impossible: Fallout) and Kyliegh Curran. Ferguson’s Rose the Hat is a wicked villain, and she carries the role with a sinister, yet stylish flair. Ferguson has some of the best scenes in the film, particularly when paired with Zahn McClarnon (Midnight, Texas and Westworld), who plays Crow Daddy. Kyliegh Curran chews up the scenes she’s in, easily handling screen time with McGregor and Ferguson like a pro. Rounding out the cast are Cliff Curtis (Sunshine), Carl Lumbly (Mantis) and Emily Alyn Lind (The Babysitter). 

Doctor-Sleep-1

Dan Torrance (Ewan McGregor) can’t run from his past in Mike Flanagan’s Doctor Sleep.

As for the fear factor, there is some terror in the hunt for Abra and the way that the group interact. Doctor Sleep doesn’t have much in the way of jump scares, but makes up for it with some tense moments. I didn’t feel as scared as I did with It-Chapter One, but I cared enough about the characters to worry about how the story was going to turn out. That might be a turn off for those expecting to watch the movie from between their fingers or run out of the theatre screaming. If you enjoyed Flanagan’s other works, such as Hush or Oculus, you’ll be fine.

Speaking of Hush, Doctor Sleep lacks a Kate Siegel cameo. Flanagan is Siegel’s partner in crime (and husband). Together, they’ve been in almost every film they’d done. I’ve gotten used to going “Oh, there’s Kate!”, while watching his films. It’s not an issue at all, but it would’ve been cool to see her.

The camera work for Doctor Sleep is very even, though there are a few special effects scenes that really stand out and picked up some applause (or gasps) once they were over. The one main drawback I had with the film was that it was a little difficult to keep up with all of the locations and time periods early on. Even though everything’s clearly labeled, it took me a moment to recognize just where and when things were occurring. Not a terrible thing, though.

Overall, Doctor Sleep is an easy film to recommend. It has some great performances, and manages to be a great follow up to The Shining, while showing a lot of love for the source material.

Doctor Sleep hits cinemas on Friday, November 8th, and I’ll make a return visit.