Is the Shining a Good Scary Movie?

The Shining, directed by Stanley Kubrick, is a classic horror film that has stood the test of time. It is based on Stephen King’s novel of the same name and stars Jack Nicholson in one of his most iconic roles.

But is The Shining a good scary movie? Let’s take a closer look.


The movie follows Jack Torrance, an aspiring writer and recovering alcoholic who takes a job as the winter caretaker of the Overlook Hotel with his wife Wendy and son Danny. As Jack begins to settle into his new role, he slowly descends into madness, influenced by the supernatural forces that haunt the hotel. The tension builds as he becomes increasingly violent towards his family, culminating in a terrifying finale.


One of the defining elements of The Shining is its eerie atmosphere. From the opening shots of the isolated Overlook Hotel to the haunting score by composer Wendy Carlos and Rachel Elkind, everything about this movie creates an unsettling feeling that builds throughout.

The Overlook Hotel

The hotel itself is almost like a character in its own right. With its vast maze-like interior and labyrinthine corridors, it feels like it could swallow you up at any moment. The use of symmetry in Kubrick’s shots adds to this feeling of unease and disorientation.

The Score

The score is also a crucial part of creating this atmosphere. The combination of classical music with synthesizers creates an otherworldly feel that perfectly complements the visual style.


Of course, no movie can be successful without strong performances from its actors. Jack Nicholson’s portrayal of Jack Torrance is nothing short of iconic. He perfectly captures both the charm and menace that make Torrance such a fascinating character.

Jack Nicholson as Jack Torrance

Nicholson’s performance is full of memorable moments, from his creepy conversation with the ghostly bartender to his famous “Here’s Johnny!” line. He manages to make Torrance both sympathetic and terrifying, creating a character that lingers in the memory long after the film is over.

The Supporting Cast

Shelley Duvall also deserves credit for her portrayal of Wendy Torrance. She brings a vulnerability to the role that makes her character sympathetic and relatable. Danny Lloyd, who plays their son Danny, also delivers a strong performance.


So, is The Shining a good scary movie? The answer is an emphatic yes.

With its haunting atmosphere, iconic performances, and memorable set pieces, it remains one of the most chilling horror films ever made. If you haven’t seen it yet, be warned: this is not a movie for the faint-hearted.