If Alfred Hitchcock is credited with creating the "Slasher" Horror genre of film with Psycho (1960) surely the credit for "Psychological" Horror goes to Stanley Kubrick. In my mind if it was not for this film we would nto have modern classics like Black Swan(2010) (my review here). This was one of the first Horror films I ever watched (along with The Exorcist), it is one of them films that stays with you, you always remember watching it for the first time. Jack Nicholson's performance is just brilliantly insane, the look he has in his eyes just looks wild and savage like, he really looks like something has clicked in his head and has drove him over the sanity barrier. I have to mention little Danny Lloyd as Jacks son also called Danny. This little actor is amazing, he does this other possessed like voice which is so damn eerie and scary, the fear he shows with the images he sees is just brilliant, some older professional actors could probably not act as good as him. Shelley Duvall as the wife/mother of said two characters, is for me missing in action, shes really not doing much, its like she is there just to discover her husband has gone mad and then be his target... brilliant.. not. The scenes of Jack in the Hotel bar are just great these scenes are we start to see the character change and his madness begin.
In typical Kubrick style its all in the camera work and music, there is no way this is spoiler because everyone must know it, the scene where Jack breaks down the bathroom door with an axe and declare that "Here's Johnny!!" is just one of the greatest moments in cinema history, the look in his eyes, the sound effects, the switching of camera angles and yes even Shelley just standing there screaming it all works beautifully well. There blood river coming from the lift/elevator (no spoiler its in the trailer) is just another beautiful Kubrick style scene, the use of that bold red as it gushes down washing away everything in its path is just shocking to watch and with the eerie soundtrack just does what Kubrick, for me always set out to do, I have said it before I will say it again "Movies for your eyes and ears". He knows how to use the medium of cinema he was a great Director, if you like Horror cinema or enjoy typical Kubrick you must see this film.