Saturday, October 31, 2009

Nights on Bald Mountain- the Summit: the Shining

Each day in October, intrepid blogger Alex Boivin will watch a horror movie. These movies are all new to him and are part of his month-long effort to fill in his gaps in the horror canon. If he doesn't die from fright, you just might get to read about about his exploits in cinema during the Halloween season.

I have a terrible confession to make: before 2:30 AM on Halloween 2009, I had never once sat through the entirety of the Shining. I was that scared of it. Friends will recall times we all sat down to watch it which resulted in me pansying out and making up excuses to leave early. I don't think I've ever done that with any other horror movie. And the worst part of it all? I own the Shining on DVD. And I don't just own it, I once lent it to a friend at college who forgot to give it back to me before the year ended and she went to Egypt for the next two semesters. During this time she also broke up with her boyfriend who I am pretty sure stole my copy. After all this, I still bought another copy to replace the missing one (probably so my Stanley Kubrick box set remained whole more than anything). Conquering the Shining has been my life's great quest, and last night at a midnight showing at the Willow Creek theater in Plymouth, MN I finally did it. I HAVE CONQUERED THE SHINING.

I won't even bother explaining the plot of the Shining for those of you who haven't seen it, not because its so well known or from laziness; this is just an incentive for you to get up and watch this amazing movie. It is legitimately the scariest movie I have ever seen and as you now know, I have seen a lot of scary movies. I don't think any other movie better uses sound and vision as a means of creating a truly terrifying atmosphere and making you scared at every moment of its two hours+ runtime. Kubrick makes even a hotel hallway scary as hell, even when there's nothing scary in it (though those things do show up). I'm still afraid of being alone in a long hallway after this movie, I think I'll have that fear my entire life.

And the Shining isn't just the best scary movie I've ever seen, it's among the best movie movies. It's just so well done in every aspect. Every actor, including the never-ceasingly-amazing Jack Nicholson, delivers an amazing performance. I can't even begin to find words to describe how great every single part of this movie is. It might even break my top 10 favorites overall. If for some reason you need a movie to watch at your place while you wait for trick-or-treaters to come to your door, run down to Hollywood Video and pick this one up. You won't be disappointed.

Final verdict: 90 Congos

And there it is people, I have scaled Bald Mountain. Thank you all for reading this and being part of my journey to conquer my lifelong fear of horror movies. Thanks to everyone who offered support or suggestions or criticism of my oftentimes ludicrous use of the Congo Scale. I am definitely up for doing this again next year but for the mean time, my Netflix queue is going to get some much needed rest from horror movies and I'm going to indulge in some Audrey Hepburn movies which I will not write about. I think I've earned it.