The Shining Is A Christmas Movie

While director Stanley Kubrick’s Stephen King adaptation The Shining is widely recognized as a horror classic, it’s rarely seen for its secondary genre – The Shining is a Christmas movie. While The Shining is much darker and spookier than most festive offerings, as the story of a family forced to work together to survive a harsh winter, it’s the perfect Christmas viewing. This may or may not be intentional on the part of writer and director Stanley Kubrick, but The Shining nevertheless shares many of the elements that make holiday movies so beloved, and as such can be added to the pantheon of horrors. Christmas classics.

Christmas means something different to everyone, which is why movies like Die Hard and Black Christmas get into wild debates over whether they qualify as holiday fare based on their content. . The Shining falls into the same category, and like Die Hard, there are clear indicators that show The Shining is a Christmas movie. Details like the setting, costumes, and even the overall narrative suggest this is a holiday movie, meant to be watched with the likes of A Christmas Story and Elf all the same. Here’s all the evidence to close the debate on whether The Shining is a Christmas movie.

Why The Shining is a Christmas movie

For decades, the debate over what constitutes a “Christmas movie” has lit up comment sections on the internet every year. While Netflix’s holiday movie universe means that sugary cinematic treats like The Princess Switch series are unquestionably classified as Christmas movies, other projects make the term harder to define. The question of whether a violent, hard-hitting action movie or a gruesome slasher can be called a Christmas movie is tricky, as many of these genre offerings have festive settings and Christmas elements, but go to the against the spirit of the season.

On that note, Stephen King’s iconic adaptation of Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining is an unquestionable horror classic. However, by the definition of the term, The Shining is also a Christmas movie – despite what some readers may assume. Proof that the comedic dark psychological horror has earned its status as a Christmas movie may not be immediately obvious, but the combination of a snowy setting, the story of a family struggling together and the addition of horror to what could have been a sweet story make Kubrick’s The Shining an unlikely, but undeniable, Christmas movie. Proponents of The Shining on Christmas movie lists use plenty of points to back up their argument, and below are all the reasons why The Shining belongs in the holiday season.

Christmas horror is a cinematic tradition

The biggest obstacle to claiming The Shining is a Christmas movie comes from its genre. It’s a dark, brutal horror film – the type of film few viewers would immediately associate with the holiday season. However, from slashers like Santa’s Slay and Silent Night Deadly Night, to more family-friendly fare like Krampus and Gremlins, Christmas cinema has always hosted both good humor and macabre horror. The enforced cheerfulness of the holiday settings contrasts perfectly with darker themes, meaning The Shining is far from the first entry in the horror genre to subvert traditional Christmas movie tropes. Much like how Shane Black’s Christmas action movies feature shootouts and bloody brawls set against snow and Christmas lights, The Shining shares its snowy wintry setting with countless classic dark holiday movies. , from director Bob Clark’s classic proto-slasher Black Christmas to Kubrick’s. own anti-Christmas movie, Eyes Wide Shut. Being a horror movie doesn’t exclude The Shining from Christmas movie lists – it’s an argument for its inclusion.

The snowy winter setting of The Shining

Not only does the Overlook spend the entirety of The Shining covered in snow, but the only reason Jack finds a job there is because the haunted hotel needs a winter caretaker. From its opening scenes, The Shining focuses on snow, winter, and family, all classic Christmas motifs, here subverted beyond recognition. It may be hard to imagine the Overlook Hotel seen in The Shining and Dr. Sleep as a welcoming or warm place, but the setting compels the Torrance family to spend time together and bond as a family. Granted, it doesn’t go as planned and results in a darker, bloodier ending than most Christmas movies, but the story of a mismatched family who are locked up in an isolated hotel and forced to move on. the holiday to play nice is one that could play out like a conventional Christmas comedy in the hands of another director.

The Shining is a family story

When King saw Kubrick’s film, he was notoriously annoyed by the changes made to his novel The Shining, and the changes made to Kubrick’s version of the story serve to make the film darker on party movie tropes. standard. For example, the final Shining TV miniseries that King scripted in the 90s downplays Jack’s unhinged behavior until well into his time in the Overlook and offers a more sympathetic take on his progressive mental breakdown. By contrast, Kubrick’s film makes it clear that Jack is about to suffer a major breakdown from the opening scene and The Shining then gradually slides into an extremely dark comedy that viewers are forced to watch, small gradually, his hold on his sanity loosened further. Unlike King’s story, Kubrick’s version of The Shining does not unfold as a portrait of a troubled man gradually succumbing to madness.

Instead, The Shining’s story of a family torn apart by isolation and the ensuing madness unfolds as a dark subversion of classic Christmas comedies in which long-suffering fathers are driven mad by their children and spouse. Unlike the underrated Misery, this Stephen King adaptation doesn’t encourage viewers to relate to its protagonist or think of him as a featured hero. Instead, unlike National Lampoon’s Christmas Holiday, The Four Christmases, or many other Christmas family comedies, Jack Torrance’s breakdown isn’t presented as relatable or harmless to audiences, but rather as a threat. terrifying and inevitable for his family. There’s undoubtedly a lot more going on in The Shining, with some critics reading it as a dark satire of American colonial history, but even those deeper themes reinforce its status as a subversive take on the traditional party movie.

The costume design is Christmas

The Shining takes place during the Christmas holidays in the dead of winter, which means there are a lot of Christmas sweaters in the film. Knit sweaters are an integral part of Danny and Jack’s wardrobe in the Stephen King adaptation, even though most of the film takes place indoors. The costume design is reminiscent of many Sears Christmas catalogs of yesteryear, usually featuring bright, happy, smiling families dressed in matching holiday attire – although the Torrance family is anything but happy. That being said, you definitely wouldn’t know from their wardrobe. While their clothes aren’t overtly Christmas-themed with bells or traditional green and red colors, the image of the many knit sweaters Danny wears simply screams Christmas, and Wendy’s multitude of sweaters doesn’t help. no more. It probably wasn’t intentional on Stanley Kubrick’s part, but The Shining’s wardrobe definitely adds to the theory that the horror movie is a holiday movie.

The Shining Subverts Christmas Movie Clichés (And Everything In Between)

The thrust of The Shining’s plot – stuck with his family in a freezing winter, a hustled father struggles to keep them together – is a standard Christmas movie setup. The themes that crop up throughout The Shining’s dark and winding story – Jack yearning for a simpler time, the children disobeying their parents, the hero turning to frustration – are all elements that could be played for. laughter in a lighter, more hopeful film. However, Kubrick’s film instead subverts these images to create an altogether darker and more complex story in which the past is not the panacea the patriarchs dream of, the beloved father is a murderous monster, and his frustration with his family turns into attempted murder. to be a pretty punchline. Thus, The Shining acts as a subversion of traditional Christmas movies and, therefore, can be listed alongside the many other classic Christmas horror movies as a festive scare fest.

The Shining Is A Christmas Movie – Here’s The Proof | Pretty Reel