It's a perfect monster design, which is why I keep a giant magnetic one on the front of my refrigerator. Gotta keep the fear close. Can't let myself get too comfortable. Can't lose my edge. Gotta keep the fear. The fear that drives me.
The Negative Reaction
Everything I just said is exactly why people didn't like it. One of the positive reviews said that it seemed like it was trying to combine The Exorcist with Star Wars but failed. Another review said that it had no respect for the old-timey monster movies it was ripping off. The most baffling review said that the best parts were the "disco-inspired art direction," implying that I don't know as much about disco as I thought I did.
Even Roger Ebert -- Roger Fucking Ebert -- said it was "basically just an intergalactic haunted house thriller set inside a spaceship." Which makes the point that you can throw the phrase "basically just" into any movie premise and suddenly it sounds stupid: "Star Wars is basically just a movie about space wizards." "Band Of Brothers is basically just a 10-hour war epic that explores the human cost of fighting on a scale never captured before." "Pacific Rim is basically just a movie where huge robots punch inter-dimensional Godzillas." "Cracked is basically just some comedy website."
Pff. Well, "basically just" are basically just two mismatched modifiers that need to be more careful what sentences they find themselves interrupting, unless they wanna end up on the wrong end of a backspace key. Ya feel me?
The Shining Was Nominated For A Worst Director Razzie
Stanley Kubrick, or "The Skube" as he likes to be called in this one dream I keep having where we run a surf shop together, has gone down in history as one of our greatest directors. Or, at the very least, the most diligent: Considering he was willing to spend 300 days on principle photography, film 127 takes of a 30-second scene, and traumatize Shelley Duvall just so she could more accurately portray a traumatized person, it's hard to say if The Skube was a great director or just the only person who's ever been willing to go to the psychotic lengths necessary to make a truly great film. Regardless of how you answer, The Shining is perfect. It's so goddamn good that someone made a documentary about how crazy its fans are, and even that movie (Room 237) is good. Or at least worth watching. If you get stoned first.
The Negative Reaction
Not only did the critics hate The Shining (fucking what?), it also somehow nabbed one of the first-ever worst director Golden Raspberry Nominations, while Robert Redford ended up winning the best director Oscar for Ordinary People, a movie most memorable for the fact that not a single person reading this cares about it at all.
This may seem strange, but it's really not all that different from the Empire Strikes Back situation. The Shining is based on a book by Stephen King, who is the lord commander of English literature at this point, and then we hire the guy who made Barry Fucking Lyndon to direct it? That wasn't a horror movie, it was a movie about ... wait, what was that movie about?
At least, that's my best guess. My point is, never listen to anyone who has an opinion about movies on the Internet ever again. Unless they're me, obviously.
JF Sargent's opinions on movies are the most pure and terrifying power in the universe. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook for jokes that are literally better than God.
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