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Top Ten Haunted House Films: The Shining (1980)

Posted on Oct 16 2013

Do you like to watch movies featuring things that go bump in the night? Countdown the Top Ten Haunted House Films with us to see which ones make the list!

Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) arrives at the Overlook Hotel to interview for the position of winter caretaker, with the aim of using the hotel’s solitude to work on his writing. The hotel itself is built on the site of a Native American burial ground and becomes completely snowed in during the long winters. Manager Stuart Ullman (Barry Nelson) warns him that a previous caretaker developed cabin fever and killed his family and himself. Jack’s son, Danny (Danny Lloyd), has ESP and has had a terrifying premonition about the hotel. Jack’s wife, Wendy (Shelley Duvall), tells a visiting doctor that Danny has an imaginary friend called Tony and that Jack has given up drinking because he had hurt Danny’s arm after a binge.

The Shining poster 200x300 Top Ten Haunted House Films: The Shining (1980)The family arrives at the hotel on closing day and is given a tour. The African-American[7] chef Dick Hallorann (Scatman Crothers) surprises Danny by telepathically offering him ice cream. He explains to Danny that he and his grandmother shared this telepathic ability, which he calls “shining”. Danny asks if there is anything to be afraid of in the hotel, particularly Room 237. Hallorann tells Danny that the hotel itself has a “shine” to it along with many memories, not all of which are good. He also tells Danny to stay out of Room 237.

A month passes; while Jack’s writing project goes nowhere, Danny and Wendy explore the hotel’s hedge maze. Wendy becomes concerned about the phone lines being out due to the heavy snowfall and Danny has more frightening visions. Jack, increasingly frustrated, starts acting strangely and becomes prone to violent outbursts.

Danny’s curiosity about Room 237 gets the better of him when he sees the room’s door open. Later, Wendy finds Jack, asleep at his typewriter, screaming while in the midst of a horrifying nightmare. After she awakens him, he says he dreamed that he had killed her and Danny. Danny then shows up with a bruise on his neck and visibly traumatized, causing Wendy to accuse Jack of abusing Danny. Jack wanders into the hotel’s Gold Room where he meets a ghostly bartender named Lloyd (Joe Turkel). Lloyd serves him bourbon on the rocks while Jack complains to him about his marriage.

Wendy later tells Jack that Danny told her that a “crazy woman in one of the rooms” tried to strangle him. Jack investigates Room 237, where he encounters the ghost of a dead woman, but tells Wendy he saw nothing. Wendy and Jack argue about whether Danny should be removed from the hotel and a furious Jack returns to the Gold Room, now filled with ghosts having a costume party. Here, he meets the ghost of the previous caretaker, Grady (Philip Stone), who tells Jack that he must “correct” his wife and child.

Meanwhile, in Florida, Hallorann has a premonition that something is wrong at the hotel and takes a flight back to Colorado to investigate. Danny starts calling out “redrum” frantically and goes into a trance, now referring to himself as “Tony”.

While searching for Jack, Wendy discovers his typewriter; he has been typing endless pages of manuscript repeating “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” in different layouts. She is confronted by Jack, who threatens her before she knocks him unconscious with a baseball bat. She manages to drag him into the kitchen and lock him in the pantry, but this does not solve her larger problem; she and Danny are trapped at the hotel since Jack has sabotaged the hotel’s two-way radio and snowcat. Later, Jack converses through the pantry door with Grady, who then unlocks the door, releasing him.

Danny writes “RE??UM” in lipstick on the bathroom door. When Wendy sees this in the bedroom mirror, the letters spell out “MURD??”.[8] Jack begins to chop through the door leading to his family’s living quarters with a fire axe. Wendy frantically sends Danny out through the bathroom window, but it will not open sufficiently for her to fit through it herself. Jack then starts chopping through the bathroom door as Wendy screams in horror. He leers through the hole he has made, shouting “Here’s Johnny!”, but backs off after Wendy slashes his hand with a butcher knife.

Hearing the engine of the snowcat Hallorann has borrowed to get up the mountain, Jack leaves the room. He kills Hallorann in the lobby and pursues Danny into the hedge maze. Wendy runs through the hotel looking for Danny, encountering several ghosts and a huge cascade of blood from an elevator. Meanwhile, Danny walks backwards in his own tracks and leaps behind a corner, covering his tracks with snow to mislead Jack, who is following his footprints. Wendy and Danny escape in Hallorann’s snowcat, while Jack freezes to death in the hedge maze.

In a photograph in the hotel hallway dated July 4, 1921, Jack Torrance smiles amid a crowd of party revelers.

Information and Image courtesy of wikipedia

About The Author

Kris has a passion for the paranormal, writing fiction, and sharing her faith in innovative forums so combining the three has led to a series of books she is working on.

Mojo is a fast paced paranormal thriller.

If you’ve got Mojo; look for upcoming releases in 2011

1 Comment

  1. Winfred says:

    Wonderful website you have here but I was wondering if you knew of
    any forums that cover the same topics talked about
    here? I’d reallly like to be a part of online community where I ccan get comments from other knwledgeable people that share
    the same interest. If you have any recommendations, please let me know.
    Thanks!

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Got Mojo?

Mojo is a fast paced paranormal thriller

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