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1980 Movie Reviews – The Shining

by Sean P. Aune | May 23, 2020May 23, 2020 11:30 am EDT

Welcome to an exciting year-long project here at The Nerdy. 1980 was an exciting year for films giving us a lot of films that would go on to be beloved favorites and cult classics. It was also the start to a major shift in cultural and societal norms, and some of those still reverberate to this day.

We’re going to pick and choose which movies we hit, but right now the list stands at nearly three dozen.

Yes, we’re insane, but 1980 was that great of a year for film.

The articles will come out – in most cases – on the same day the films hit theaters in 1980 so that it is their true 40th anniversaries. All films are also watched again for the purposes of these reviews and are not being done from memory. In some cases, it truly will be the first time we’ve seen them.

This time around it’s May 23, 1980, and we’re off to see The Shining!

Quick side note: Since we launched this series this year, we’ve discovered that Vintage Video Podcast is doing the exact same project with two differences: First, it’s audio (naturally), and second, they are doing every major film. We’ve listened to a couple of episodes and it’s fun checking off their thoughts against my own. Check them out over at Vintage Video Podcast.

1980 Movie Project - The Shining - 01

The Shining

The Shining is one of those movies that I highly doubt there is a single word I could write about it that someone else hasn’t already written. Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 horror film is considered a classic for a host of reasons, and watching it some 40 years later, it’s easy to see why.

I have never read Stephen King’s book, but I understand he has some issues with the adaptation. What exactly those are I am unsure, so I am looking at this strictly from the angle of a self-contained movie, and it borders on perfection. From the cinematography to the acting, there is nothing in this movie that feels out of place. Everything is deliberate and specific… and that leads to other issues.

Despite 40 years having passed since its release, people are still debating the most minute details of the film. To the point that a documentary – Room 237 – was made a few years ago discussing all of the various theories, and even conspiracies, that surround the film. While you can dig that deep if you care to, you can also take it at the surface, and even then you can read so many different levels.

Is it a story of madness?

Are the supernatural aspects truly happening? (In my read of the film, they very much are)

Is it a tale of reincarnation? (Has Jack truly always been there?)

Is it something else entirely?

No matter how many times over the years I have watched this film, it feels as though I take something new away from it each time. I am sure as time goes on I will continue to find more with each additional viewing.

If you haven’t seen The Shining by now, I truly don’t know what you’re waiting for.

1980 Movie Reviews will return on May 30 with The Hollywood Knights!


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Sean P. Aune

Sean Aune has been a pop culture aficionado since before there was even a term for pop culture. From the time his father brought home Amazing