The Shining (1980)

PopHorror Writers Pay Tribute To ‘The Shining’ (1980)

The Shining (1980) was initially released 40 years old on May 23, 2020. The film is a masterpiece of modern cinema to many, both in and out of the horror community. To honor the 40th anniversary, I asked the PopHorror team to remember the film and to talk about the legacy and what The Shining means to them. I hope you enjoy reflecting back on this classic with us in honor of four decades of terror at the Overlook Hotel.

What are you waiting for? Let’s go!

The PopHorror Writers Sound Off On The Shining (1980)

Jennifer Bonges

The Shining is one of my top horror films. When I was a kid, I would watch it when WGN would show movies. Of course, those movies were edited for television. I didn’t see the unedited version until I was an adult. Oh my! That bath tub scene!

“The acting in this film is excellent, and the musical scores are haunting. I had the opportunity to see this one in the theater a couple of years ago with Marcus Theater’s Fright Nights. It was fantastic on the ‘big screen.'”

That was a creepy scene! Learn more about Jennifer here!

The Shining (1980)

Lacy Lou

“I was very lucky to be able to see The Shining digitally remastered on the big screen in 2019. What was also cool is that I got to see it with my grandparents who have loved the film since it came out. I had only seen it one other time prior and seeing it on the big screen made all the difference in the world. It honestly was like I was trapped in the Overlook Hotel.

“The iconic direction of Kubrick was in full display in a way that this film deserved. If you ever have the chance to see it on the big screen, then you absolutely should! The 4K treatment on the Blu is phenomenal as well.”

She’s not kidding. That 4K transfer is amazing. Read our Women In Horror Month interview with Lacy Lou here!

The Shining (1980)

Tracy Allen

“In The Shining, the Torrance family lives through the ultimate quarantine. Take a bowl and add an unbalanced father with anger issues, an obsequious wife who loves her son more than herself, an innocent young boy that unconsciously draws evil from the air around him, a cup of irregular angles and continuous hallways, a big handful of smothering, poisonous, spiteful energy, a bucket of heavy snow, a few slices of ghostly personalities and a dash of typewriter clacking, and you’ve got one hell of a horror-filled goulash that any genre fan can appreciate.

The Shining is one of the deepest, most surreal experiences ever put to film.”

Thanks, Tracy! You can learn more about PopHorror writer, editor in chief, and co-owner Tracy Allen here!

Jack Nicholson as Jack Torrance

Brandon Long

“While legendary horror novelist, Stephen King, was famously displeased with Stanley Kubrick’s onscreen adaptation of The Shining, I always found it to be haunting as Jack Nicholson’s riveting, spine tingling madness unravels throughout the halls of the Overlook Hotel.

“Although this film is praiseworthy work that stands the test of time, Kubrick did miss one important element of the book: the significance of alcoholism unleashing inner demons with a downward spiral into insanity. This angle was captured more thoroughly in Mike Flanagan’s mesmerizing sequel, Doctor Sleep, topped with nostalgia making it a personal favorite and a worthy followup to a timeless horror classic.”

I love Doctor Sleep, too, Brandon! Read about Brandon’s Top 5 Favorite Horror Movies here.

Kenn Hoekstra

The Shining is a true classic in every sense of the word. Read my full 40th anniversary retrospective here.

The Shining is riveting. Two and a half hours go by in a flash. There’s so much to see, and every scene is multi-layered. If a four hour long cut of this film exists, I want to see it. It’s that engaging. Like many critics, my opinion of the film has changed over time… for the better. I enjoyed it as a kid on a basic level. Watching it as an adult and as a more seasoned film veteran has opened my eyes to a whole new level of enjoyment.”

Kenn talks about the 4K Blu-ray of The Shining here.


“Armed with a perfectly selected cast, a beautiful hotel, cinematography that has yet to be rivaled and a one-way ticket inside all of our minds, those two men [Stanley Kubrick and Stephen King] made sure we were never the same after just one viewing of The Shining. We all look at twins differently, feel leery around big wheels, and automatically spell murder backwards. Nobody keeps axes handy. We never go play in frozen mazes. We try to understand people gifted – or cursed – with the shining (always from afar) and one solid truth will remain. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”

You can read the full article, My Favorite Horror Movie – The Shining (1980), right here! “Heeeere’s Johnny!

The Shining

Kevin Scott

The Shining is a convergence of genius, from King’s source material to Kubrick’s visionary film adaption. Even if the two masterminds didn’t agree, what came out of it is forever embedded into the mainstream horror lexicon. ‘Here’s Johnny!’ is known to all ages, as either what Jack Nicholson says in the film or just Ed McMahon introducing Johnny Carson. The film is iconic and known across the world as one of the best horror movies ever.”

So true! Read Kevin’s PopHorror work here!

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy

Final Thoughts

Great stuff! Definitely an all time classic. Forty years? How is that even possible? Time flies. It seems like only yesterday I watched it for the first time.

You can tell The Shining has had a big impact on all our lives. What a pleasure to write about! How perfect that the 40th anniversary is a Saturday. I’m looking forward to kicking back with a big bowl of popcorn and enjoying it again. I don’t think I could ever tire of it.

What about you? What are your thoughts on The Shining? Do you enjoy it as much as we do? Are you going to watch it this weekend for the 40th anniversary? Tell us in the comments!

About Kenn Hoekstra

PopHorror Writer. Associate Editor. @PopHorrorNews Tweeter. Also... Screenwriter. Blogger. Horror Movie Aficionado. Wisconsin Sports Fan. IT Guy. Father. Smartass. People's Champion. TIME Person of the Year - 2006.

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