Halloween and The Shining

Courtesy of Bloody-Disgusting.

Happy Halloween everybody! It’s fitting that the temperature today in Westwood is the lowest it’s been all fall, and that the sky is overcast. There’s even a 60% chance of rain by 9PM, so all you trick-or-treaters better keep that in mind.

Halloween was by no means my favorite day as a kid — I hated the monster mask I wore every year because the grooves in the plastic dug into my forehead. And it smelled, too. On top of that, the candy would become my parents’ property afterward, so what was the point of going around town knocking on strangers’ doors? I wanted to indulge in a long and regrettable binge the night of, not after. They didn’t even put any effort into hiding it — most years I would find it in the top-most cabinet of the kitchen or, one year, beneath a pile of clothes in the pitch-black corner of their closet. There it was, my stash, waiting to be eaten. As I grew older my parents discouraged me from trick-or-treating: I was “too old,” and it was a “pagan” tradition. Neither were entirely true after all.

The underlying reason that I’ve never enjoyed Halloween likely has to do with my aversion to scary movies. The only time I’ll watch one is if I’m with a group of friends and they outvote me — otherwise, count me out. Of the few truly terrifying movies that I’ve seen, however, The Shining is the most effective. And in honor of this spooky day, and the thirtieth anniversary of Stephen King’s visit to the Stanley Hotel, which inspired the Overlook Hotel in Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation, you should go watch The Shining, showing at 8:15PM tonight at the ArcLight Cinerama Dome! And after you watch it be sure to check out the abundance of conspiracy theories which all try, some quite convincingly, to make sense of an otherwise chilling and cryptic movie.

Be safe tonight! And have a good weekend!

Posted by James

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