Tag Archives: The thing

Summer Chillout: The Shining

It’s still damn hot outside, and I don’t know about you, but unless I’m in a pool, the outdoors are a no-go for me right now.  I hope everyone took my advice and watched The Thing last week to cool down.  Ice and snow are just very appealing to me right now.

So this week’s Summer Chillout is kind of a no-brainer: The Shining.  

And I’m talking about the 1980 classic, not the poorly-received 1997 miniseries.  It might have been more true to the book, but it just didn’t translate as well as the Kubrick version on screen.

Kubrick’s version is dark and depressing.  The snowy setting is beautiful but bleak, and it’s such a great movie that even Toy Story paid homage to it.  Check out these huge pros for watching this one again.

The Direction:  I mean, how many great scenes come to mind when you see this movie?  Danny’s run-ins with the hallway twins and Room 237.  Jack’s makeout session with a ghost.  His conversations with good ole’ Lloyd and Grady.  Red rum. Wendy finding Jack’s repetitive manuscript.  Jack walking menacingly up the stairs toward a baseball bat-armed Wendy.  An axe-wielding Jack tearing into the bathroom.  The death of poor Hallorann.  The maze chase.  I can’t even right now.

The Performances:  Shelley Duvall’s performance gets me every time.  She was basically tortured by Kubrick to get the right shot, but you can definitely feel her frantic panicky terror while her husband follows her up the stairs threatening to bash her brains in.  Jack Nicholson is always awesome, and his iconic performance as Jack Torrance is so hard to top.  His descent into madness was conveyed perfectly by Nicholson.

Three words: Elevator. Blood. Waterfall.  Just classic.

And the cons are…nothing.  I can’t think of any.

I really hope you’ve seen this one already because if you haven’t, I don’t know what to do with you.  Just get it, watch it, and cool off. Simple as that.  Fed

Summer Chillout: The Thing

Well, summer is officially here, and I couldn’t be sweatier.

Seriously.  It’s frickin hot around here.

There are many ways to cool down in the summer time – crank up the AC crazy high, swim, cover yourself in ice – but each of these is either expensive, requires you to be in the sun and/or around sharks, or might result in some light hypothermia.  So my favorite way to cool down is with a horror movie that reminds me of nicer (i.e., colder) times.

And my favorite movie to do this?  John Carpenter’s The Thing.

The Thing (1982) is not only my favorite movie for a summer chill session; it’s also one of my favorite horror movies period.  It’s even on my Top 20 list.

Although the movie was initially met with criticism, both it and its score are now considered classics in the movie world.  It’s even watched at British Research stations in Antarctica as part of their Midwinter celebration held on June 21.  There are so many great things going for it.

The cast is awesome.  Ultra-80’s coiffed Kurt Russell, always cool Keith David, Wilford “I have diabeetus” Brimley, and the rest of the ill-fated group of research scientists struggle to survive an attack from an other worldly being and their own paranoia, and they just make it all so believable.

The score is haunting and identifiable.  Although movies like Halloween and Friday the 13th have very recognizable themes (and good ones, too), the theme and score for this movie is probably one of my favorites.  It just sets the bleak and hopeless tone of the movie perfectly.

THE EFFECTS!  Sorry for screaming, but I freakin love the effects in this film.  I’m not totally against CGI, but practical effects are my jam.  They just look so much cooler, and the monsters in this movie, crafted by the so-talented Rob Bottin and crew, are so creepy and unique that I just can’t get over it.

I just don’t have any bad things to say about this movie.  And for a bonus, try watching the prequel released in 2011, which is definitely not a perfect movie,  but has its moments.  CGI is used pretty heavily, but I really appreciated how they tied everything together.  Watch it immediately after the 1982 movie, and you’ll see what I mean.

If you haven’t seen this movie, do yourself a huge favor and introduce yourself to it today.  Turn down the lights, set the AC to an acceptable temp, and just imagine yourself in the snow and ice.

It’s only a few short months away from fall and cooler temps, so keep checking back with me each week for another chillout session.