How Scary Is the Movie the Shining?

If you’re a fan of horror movies, then you’ve probably heard of “The Shining.” Directed by Stanley Kubrick and starring Jack Nicholson and Shelley Duvall, the movie is based on the novel of the same name by Stephen King.

But just how scary is it? Let’s take a closer look.

The Plot

“The Shining” follows the story of Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson), a struggling writer who takes a job as the winter caretaker at the Overlook Hotel in Colorado. He moves there with his wife Wendy (Shelley Duvall) and their young son Danny (Danny Lloyd), who has psychic abilities that allow him to see things that others cannot.

As winter sets in and the hotel becomes cut off from the rest of civilization, Jack’s mental state begins to deteriorate. He becomes increasingly violent and paranoid, and it soon becomes clear that there is something supernatural at work in the hotel.

The Scare Factor

“The Shining” is widely considered to be one of the scariest movies ever made. There are several reasons for this.

Firstly, there’s Jack Nicholson’s iconic performance as Jack Torrance. From his very first scene, we can tell that something isn’t quite right with him. As he descends further into madness, his performance becomes more and more unsettling.

Secondly, there’s the setting. The Overlook Hotel is a character in its own right, with its long hallways, creepy ballroom, and maze-like hedge maze. The isolation of being trapped in such a place only adds to the tension.

Thirdly, there’s the use of sound and music. The eerie score by Wendy Carlos and Rachel Elkind sets an ominous tone from the very beginning of the movie. And who can forget those twin girls whispering “Come play with us” or Danny’s repeated chanting of “Redrum”?

Is it for Everyone?

While “The Shining” is a classic horror movie, it’s not for everyone. The violence and psychological horror can be too much for some viewers. Additionally, the slow pace of the movie may turn off those who prefer more action-packed fare.

But for those who are willing to give it a chance, “The Shining” is a masterpiece of horror cinema. With its iconic performances, unforgettable setting, and eerie score, it’s a movie that will stay with you long after the credits have rolled.

  • Pros: Iconic performances, unforgettable setting
  • Cons: Not for everyone, slow pace


So just how scary is “The Shining”? The answer is: very.

From Jack Nicholson’s unforgettable performance to the eerie setting and score, this movie is a classic of the horror genre. While it may not be for everyone, those who are willing to give it a chance will be rewarded with one of the scariest movies ever made.