Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB. United Kingdom, 1980. Warner Bros., Hawk Films, Peregrine, Producers Circle. Screenplay by Stanley Kubrick, Diane Johnson, based on the novel by Stephen King. Cinematography by John Alcott. Produced by Stanley Kubrick. Music by Wendy Carlos, Rachel Elkind. Production Design by Roy Walker. Costume Design by Milena Canonero. Film Editing by Ray Lovejoy.
Stanley Kubrick turns to the horror genre for this very scary but somewhat overlong film, a liberal adaptation of the novel by Stephen King. Jack Nicholson and Shelley Duvall move to a remote winter inn with their young son to act as guardians of the place during its off season when tourists are no longer visiting. Enjoying the space and relative comfort of the establishment, Duvall is disturbed when she realizes that both her husband and son are starting to act a little weird: the boy is being bothered by visions of strange inhabitants, while Nicholson is being taken over by the restless spirit that haunts the inn. Despite a ridiculous story, the film is immensely entertaining thanks to Kubrick’s uncanny sense of time and space and Nicholson’s deliciously zany performance. Duvall does a great job of being scared out of her wits, especially in the famous scene that turned the line ‘Heeeeere’s Johnny!’ into something sinister.