From the very opening sequence, with its Berlioz theme (*) (Symphony Fantastique - Dies Irae: re-interpretated by Wendy Carlos) and unnerving fish-eye-vista-heli-shots, you know you're not going into something safe with The Shining. The Shining is influential in many ways. It will change the way you look at places in the middle of nowhere, big hotels, and those rooms in your house that you just don't go into that much. The Shining influences you to be afraid.
One of the scariest things about The Shining, is its atmosphere of bleak surroundings. There's nothing going on, and yet, there's something going on in every scene. Surreal and haunting, this movie bathes you in blood and disgusting images (like the little twin girls, the lady in Room 237, and the guy in the bear suit servicing the man in the tuxedo).
The Shining is about a writer named Jack, who takes his family into the Colorado mountains to basically baby-sit a hotel for the winter season. Easy??? NO!!!
The hotel has a strange ability to take certain people and basically throw them over the side of sanity, into a padded cell of madness. For Jack, it unleashes a violence that is usually held in check, but makes itself known under stress and pressure. You will know fear by the time the last image unspools. It scares the shit out of you...
The german 1sheet in 1980 named it very precise:
'The tide of terror that swept America IS HERE'
(*) off topic: Check out the OST! Kubrick allways enriched his films with an outstanding music selection. And here we got some great pieces of Gyorgy Ligeti, Krzysztof Penderecki and Bela Bartok.
Kubrick - the embodiment of counterpointation... Just remember the scenes of A Clockwork Orange: Rossini's 'The Thieving Magpie' and Ukelele Ike's 'Singing in the Rain'