On the ninth Lynchian day of Christmas, we present Stanley Kubrick's perfect winter horror film The Shining (1980). Routinely listed as the best and scariest film ever made, The Shining was meticulously crafted by the ultimate film perfectionist, Kubrick. And as we mention in greater detail in our article for Eraserhead (1977), Kubrick actually screened David Lynch's first feature film for the cast of The Shining to help the actors establish the proper mood and tone.
Based on the novel by Stephen King—with some significant departures from the original text, The Shining places us in the Overlook Hotel over the winter with the Torrance family, the father having been hired on as the caretaker during the off season. Completely isolated in the mountains, young Danny Torrance (Danny Lloyd) begins experiencing bizarre psychic phenomena and can sense the spirits of past victims murdered at the Overlook. The spirits seemingly take on a life of their own as Danny's father Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) wrestles with them, his alcoholism, and a regretful history of abuse. Nicholson delivers the best performance of his career, playing one of the great unhinged characters of cinema.