I absolutely love it when things live up to their expectations. Like the shower scene in Psycho, the awesomeness of the twist in the Sixth Sense, Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight, Hal in 2001. And The Shining is no exception. The Shining's been so deeply integrated into pop culture that even though I've already seen numerous parodies of it (redrum, "Here's Johnny," blood pouring from elevators, eerie twins) and know how it ends, it's still immensely creepy and one of those horror films that really linger...that make you still feel slightly ill at ease long after it's over. I wish that more great directors made horror films and while I don't watch too much horror, I wish that more movies in that genre were based on actually creepy sensations rather than the slashers that many of them fall into.
I think you know you're in for something quite special right when the movie starts. It shows this gorgeous river and mountain and follows this winding country road. It's a gorgeous view but in the manner that it's filmed there's something not quite right about it- the way the camera films the scene. The camera work is probably one of my favorite aspects of the film. There are so many gorgeously filmed scenes. I love how it gives you the whole view of the room each time and lets you figure out what you want to carefully observe and focus on and how it follows the characters around the winding corridors of the Overlook Hotel. And although I was not completely sold on Jack Nicholson (he always carries this air of well...Jack Nicholson), when he loses it, he loses it and it's fabulous to watch. Also, despite the number of times you've seen a parody of the infamous "Here's Johnny" scene, it's dead scary when it actually happens and the events that happen afterwards were really pure hair-raising terror.