DISCLAIMER: This review contains SPOILERS! Do not read it if you have somehow managed to avoid seeing or hearing about this movie for the past 38 years!
Everyone who performs in front of an audience will at some point encounter a tough crowd, no matter who that crowd may be. In my opinion, the toughest crowd in the world is a gaggle of 10-year-olds. Thanks to the Internet, they’ve already seen it all, and what might have been a meaningful experience for the 10-year-old Gen Xer in 1980 is worthless to those born in this century.
When I was about 10 years old, I saw the Stanley Kubrick masterpiece “The Shining,” and it utterly traumatized me. For the past 38 years, I’ve considered it a yardstick against which to measure other horror movies, and almost all of them come up short. My 10-year-old has been asking to see it for a long time, and I would always say no. It’s just too horrifying and would send him to a rubber room, I reasoned.
Last week, I relented. I figured he’s not a toddler any more, today’s video games have certainly primed him for senseless violence, and The Simpsons, which has parodied this movie more than perhaps any other, had probably softened the blow somewhat. He would enjoy some good scares, I reasoned, but not suffer the catatonic shell-shock that I did when I saw the movie at his age.
We put it on, and immediately he started reciting dialogue from the Simpsons episode that parodies the movie, and I realized he had no chance in hell of ever experiencing this movie the same way I did. He acknowledged that some of it was tense and spooky, but on the whole he didn’t see what the fuss was about. I had overhyped it beyond reason, and the finished product could never live up to the expectations I had set.
Still, he watched the whole thing, and today he has chosen to review it for you, the discerning Z Review reader. Without further ado, please enjoy my 10-year-old’s review of “The Shining.”
TZR: Did you think The Shining was scary?
RB: Eh… not really. It wasn’t that scary. I mean, come on. You built up the anticipation for me and you made it sound so scary and terrifying, but then you showed it to me and I was like… eh.
TZR: What did you think of Jack Nicholson’s performance?
RB: He was the crazy father with the axe. Yay.
TZR: What did you think when the cook died?
RB: Oh no! The cook! Why? Oh poor Mr. Cook! Oh brother where art thou, or something?
TZR: Do you think the hotel was haunted or was Jack just a stupid drunk?
RB: Jack was totally just a stupid drunk. A friggin’ stupid drunk that kicked his family’s butt, but also killed the cook, but who really cares about him? The main person that we’re focusing on here was the psychiatrist at the beginning of the movie. Was she okay? Oh no.
TZR: If you could add a character to the movie, who would it be?
RB: It would be Mr. T, because he is the best guy in all of history. Sorry, Dad.