VERSUS THE SCARECROW EPISODE THIRTEEN: Unlucky Me I decided to challenge myself and really open the doors of my film knowledge and take on “The Scarecrow Video Movie Guide”. It’s 808 pages of movies and movie reviews from some of the most knowledgeable movie people you don’t know. It’s a book put together by a staff that praises, and destroys, some of our favorites and not so favorites. You can read the rest of my series here.
Just a quick refresher: each episode, I’m going to tackle three films from three different categories. Two films will be films I’ve never seen before and one will be one I’ve seen before or own. For the new films, well, new to me, I’m going to review them like a typical FTS review using the TOAST Rating system. But, for the films I’ve seen, I’m going give a quick paragraph or two about why I like or don’t like the film. We’ll try to include the poster and trailer for each film. “….and here. We. Go!”
It’s horror film time! This episode I get a jump on my new years cinelution of seeing more horror films. This episode I’ll be taking a look at Black Sabbath, the classic The Amityville Horror, and I’ll be reflecting on a film that terrifies me every time I watch it, The Shining.
The Shining was one of the first horror films I remember seeing and it’s stuck with me ever since. It’s a film I can watch from time to time, but each time I watch it, I’m still scared. I know exactly what’s going to happen. I know when It’s going to happen. But Kubrick was able to craft such an unnerving experience upon every viewing and that’s something you rarely see in film. When Danny starts riding that big wheel, I know he’s going to run into the Twins and I know where, but even when he’s riding around in the lobby and the kitchen area, I still have moments where I cover my eyes. Don’t even get me started on Room 237. (I am looking forward to seeing the Room 237 documentary at some point). Every time they show that room or Danny goes near it, I get chills and I start getting scared.
But as much as I know that I’m going to experience all these feelings of fear, paranoia, little-bitch-ness (that’s the proper medical term), and overall just a feeling of being scared; I watch this movie. There is something mesmerizing about it that continues to draw me to it. I used to live in a city in the south and a local theatre there was showing The Shining the weekend after Halloween at midnight. I went there on a date and they pushed the time back to 1am, which meant I’d be walking back to my apartment at 3:30am. Granted, my date would be with me so if I was attacked by the ghostly apparition of twins or a gross naked woman jumped out of a bush at me, clearly I would have offered my date as a sacrifice. But when we watched this movie on the big screen, it almost brought things to life. The screen was bigger (obviously) and it showed you more of the film and greater detail of the panic the Torrance family. For example, towards the end of the film **KINDA SPOILER ALERTISH**when Wendy realizes, oh, this hotel is crazy I should leave now, she gets lost in the hallways and comes across this person in a bear costume performing fellatio on someone else. She stops to verify what she’s actually seeing and the people in the room stop, lean back, revealing it’s a dude in a bear costume with a pig mask blowing this primp and proper guy in a suit. Now, I had never noticed until seeing it on the big screen, that the bear suit’s back flaps are open, meaning this dudes ass is just hanging out. That’s terrifying because I can’t unsee that and every time I see The Shining now, I’m gonna notice that ass. So The Shining is an exercise in mental torture that, for some reason, I can’t help but subject myself to.