If you have not seen this film, then I'm sorry for perhaps being rude, but you are not a true horror fan yet. However, I, among many others certainly believe that if you give this awesome thriller a watch, you will definitely certify yourself as a true horror fan!
In my opinion, due to the music, the actual video, and the scares, this has got to be one of the scariest rated movies of ALL time. However, I have noticed this to be viewed as "not scary at all" nowadays, and I can explain this. I believe the reason for people to have this perspective on it nowadays is merely since it was made a long time ago, therefore reducing the effectiveness of Special FX, and the quality of recording. Nowadays, it may seem a bit lame, but this film was extraordinary in the 1980s (sending people running out of theatres) , and at the time was high competitors with The Exorcist (1973).
Not only are the scares very unexpected and nerve-wracking, but the plot/ story-line is also very well created. Basically, the film revolves around Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) who acquires a job at the Overlook Hotel in the mountains of Colorado. To prevent any type of long driving for hours to his new place of employment, he takes his wife, Wendy Torrance (Shelley Duvall) and his son Danny (Danny Lloyd) to the hotel to keep him company throughout the long and isolated nights after the hotel being closed down for Winter.
The horror starts from this moment as during the family's stay, strange events begin to occur, as Danny (who apparently has some telepathic powers, begins to see spirits and ghosts wherever he goes in the hotel, to finally discover that the hotel is haunted. What we soon comprehend from this, is that these spirits are slowly and gradually taking control of Jack Torrance in driving him crazy.
From the very moment Jack meets the ghost of Mr. Grady, (the man who killed his wife and 2 daughters), things begin to get really nasty!
What I find exceptional about this intense horror, is the development of the eerie atmosphere through the use of a continuous dead silence, which I believe is absolutely essential to the fear driven through us as we watch Jack becoming literally crazy. Also, for a film to have been created years ago in 1980, I think it is excessively frightening for the 144 minutes it lasts.
As well as the sustained jumps and long term fear, I believe this movie has a very good story-line, and for me, it is probably the best 'haunted house' film out there (although it is a hotel).
Another thing is to acknowledge that unlike other horrors containing vampires and demons, a man can genuinely become insane nowadays, and so it is rather frightening to understand that this could happen every day in the world.
Right! I will stop here in case I go that little tad too far, and spoil the key horror moments within the film (there are a lot), but overall it definitely lies in my top 10 horror films, do you guys agree?