Nothing puts me in a better mood than getting my annual fix of The Shining.
When it comes to movies meant to scare me, I much prefer the creepy, slow burns. The suggested incident one room over. The noise you may or may not have heard on the stairs. Wait – did I just see something in the mirror? These are all infinitely better to me than the IN YOUR FACE AXE MURDERING GORE OBSESSED TORTURE PORN trend of most horror movies these days.
I’m not sure how long ago it was that I stopped being terrified of The Shining and started loving it. For one, I think it was something in the beginning of the movie reminding me of my childhood. No, not the violent dad or the Skeletor mom or the little boy that lived in my mouth – more the bowl cut and Mister Rogers on the television. And I still fantasize about riding my (Strawberry Shortcake) Big Wheel down those big patterned hallways in the Overlook.
I think a lot of it has to do with Kubrick’s sense of space and design. The huge, cavernous hotel and its endless maze of hallways IS scary, but it’s also kind of … peaceful. You could spend hours by yourself wandering around in a million different rooms, pretending to be a million different people. So what if there’s a woman hogging one of the bathtubs, and a dude and his bear boyfriend in one of the suites? The rest is yours, all yours! And you get to ride your bike and go hiking with your mom in the snow all day.
All you might have to be careful of is those obnoxious little girls who won’t get it into their almost-twin heads that you DON’T WANT TO BE FRIENDS WITH THEM. Or the elevators being a little bloody. Or your dad going batshit crazy (but honestly, from the very beginning of the movie Jack is already crazy, so it’s really nothing new).
The rest of it is pure, relaxing vacation and all the giant cans of ice cream you could ever want to eat. It’s almost good enough for me to forget the time when someone wrote “REDRUM” on my car visor mirror and I almost had a heart attack at 16.
And I was just kidding about Wendy Torrance. I love her so hard.