Tag Archives: The Shining

The Nun (2018)

The Nun Review

written by Anu Gopinath

The Nun touted to be one of the most awaited horror flicks of the year, falls desperately short of expectations and one feels robbed off all the excitement and anticipation created by an exemplary original movie and a well made trailer.

My Ratings: 1/5

Last night, after a long deliberation and strong recommendations of my fellow CFians (The Members of the Official Cinema Forensic Film Club), when I finally watched the classic that is The Shining, I The-Nunrealized that it is considered a classic not because it scared the wits out of the audiences but because of the way it toyed with our minds! Mr.Kubrick used the story, the settings, the background score and the actors to successfully weave an intricate web of darkness in the hearts of the audiences, thus making us feel the horror and plight of characters!

But unfortunately the subtle points where Mr.Kubrick scored with his classic is exactly where Corin Hardy falters with his new flick The Nun.

Set as a prequel to the extremely successful Conjuring series, director Corin Hardy tries and tries in vain to explain the origins of one the most feared villainess of recent cinema history. The Valak!

The movie is set in the year 1952 with a priest and a sister being send to an abbey in Romania by the Vatican to investigate the recent suicide of a nun. The eerie settings of the abbey and competent cinematography of Maxime Alexandre makes the perfect setting for a decent horror flick!

Borrowed heavily from the likes of its predecessors and classics like The-NunThe Omen (1976), the movie on the onset, which had everything going for it, come a cropper the moment director failed to instigate suspense and intrigue in the minds of the audience and inadvertently looses their interest and attention!

Relying heavily on the rigmarole of the usual gimmicks of a below average horror show, it makes the mockery of a movie franchise whose original (The Conjuring 2013) is entitled with the honor of redefining this genre in the last decade!

The cast – Demián Bichir, Taissa Farmiga, Jonas Bloquet and of course Bonnie Aarons does a commendable job of holding the fort but their hard works are completely undone by a loosely written script which lacks in both substance and suspense! It neither The-Nunmanages to convince us of the origins of the spectacular villainess nor does it do justice to its originals!

The background score from Abel Korzeniowski which should have been the pillar of support to an already failing storyline, also fails to live up to the expectations and compounds to the misery that is The Nun!

The filmmakers often tend to forget that a movie just because it belongs to the horror genre doesn’t always need to be loud and dramatic. At times subtlety is the need of the hour to lure the audience towards the story and if possible have a more meaningful experience.

Poster courtesy: www.imdb.com

The Shining – a plethora of confusions, reincarnations, theories and assumptions!

The Shining – a plethora of confusions, reincarnations, theories and assumptions!

written by Sebastian DK

In the year 1980, Stephen King‘s famous novel The Shining got adopted into a feature film (by the same name), directed by none The-Shiningother than Stanley Kubrick, casting Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd, Scatman Crothers among others. A film that became a cinematic milestone and since then being celebrated around the globe as one of the top psychological horror movie ever made!

But then, how many of you have watched The Shining more than once just to comprehend the overall notion of the film – please raise your hands!

Well, to be honest I personally needed repeated viewings of this mystic feature in order to grasp the various complexities in the The-Shiningstoryline and also to dismantle the various theories that circles around this Kubrick classic.

And here are a few such theories that I hope will clear out some of the doubts which invariably people have after watching The Shining for the first time!

/ The 1921 Jack Torrance Photograph Confusion

I think this confusion could be cleared up to some extent (though not completely) with the help of certain points/facts placed under two theories: a) The Reincarnation Theory, and b) The Absorption Theory.

Before reading, keep in mind the fact that the hotel only reveals its dark magic when people are alone there. By isolating its inhabitants, the hotel illustrates how people behave differently when they know there’s no one else around.

a) The Reincarnation Theory:

There are many (tiny, easy to miss) hints throughout the film that suggest that Jack had been at the hotel before, and the present Jack The-ShiningTorrance is actually a reincarnation of the old Jack. These four hints stated below are the ones I found out to be the most significant:

* The bedroom conversation scene between Jack and his wife Wendy, in which Jack says, “I feel as if I had been here before”. One of the very first hints, and it actually points straight at ‘reincarnation’.

* In the washroom, Delbert Grady, during a conversation with Jack, says, “You’ve always been the caretaker. I’ve always been here”. Delbert implies that it was actually Jack, and not him, who was the The-Shiningactual caretaker of the hotel.

* During a conversation with the ghostly bartender Lloyd, Jack exclaims, “I like you, Lloyd. I always liked you”. Now that’s a strong suggestion that Jack sure had visited this place before, no?

* Jack is always at ease while being around or with ghosts. Though negligible, this fact is also a tiny suggestion that Jack was very much a part of The Overlook Hotel, in a different life, at a different time, and since he is used to it, he therefore blends in pretty well with the ghosts at the party/ball. Its all a normal occurrence to Jack, and that’s what Kubrick wants to show us.

b) The Absorption Theory:

Okay, if you wish to dismiss the idea of Jack’s reincarnation, go ahead, I say! Yeah we could do that since there isn’t anything solid The-Shiningthat confirms it, just mere dialogues that could very well be ignored. Now let’s look at it from a different angle.

It is possible to place a fact stating that “the photo might signify that Jack has been ‘absorbed’ from the present into the hotel’s past”. What if (a strong “if” here) Jack is a normal person who has been sucked into the hotel’s darkly violent spirit? My point is, its a horror movie adorned with a smooth touch of the supernatural, no? The message in that scenario might be that we can’t escape such powerful histories or forces of evil, and The Overlook Hotel was itself built on stolen native land and founded on cruelty.

Now we sure can give Jack the title of Mr. Protagonist, and the title The-Shiningof Mr. Antagonist to The Overlook Hotel. Funny, but actually makes (a little) sense!

In the reincarnation theory, Jack was always a part of the hotel. In the absorption one, Jack is merely sucked into it. Either way, Jack becomes a part of the hotel’s history and that’s all there is to it.

Many other things also come into play, like ‘environmental isolation leading to madness’, and (I’m repeating here) The Overlook Hotel itself being a supernatural evil spirit (“Delbert Grady opening the door to set Jack free” is a valid strong point as in this scene a supernatural force does a ‘real’ thing). But, to be honest, there is no specific clear explanation to anything at all, and I think the director intended to keep it that way.

/ The Charles And Delbert Grady Confusion

What about the two Gradys? Ever noticed Charles Grady being mentioned only once, while Delbert Grady is seen several times in the movie? Think it was a mistake on Kubrick’s part?
Confusing, no? I agree!

Ok here’s what…..
* The hotel manager tells Jack that his predecessor did hire a
‘Charles Grady who was totally normal to begin with, but lost his
The-Shininghead because of cabin fever (environmental isolation) and murdered his wife and two daughters and subsequently took his own life with a shotgun’. Nobody mentions Charles post that scene. (correct me if I’m mistaken, I don’t remember hearing ‘Charles Grady’ more than once)

* As for bald Delbert Grady, well, he is seen quite a few times in the movie. That dude is like a bad disease that won’t go away!
In the washroom, Jack encounters Delbert’s ghost (their first
meeting) and addresses him as the caretaker, also adding that he
recognized Delbert from the newspapers. But Delbert only replies
The-Shiningback saying that the caretaker is in fact Jack himself and not him (already stated above). Remember Delbert saying that one of his daughters attempted to burn the hotel down, so he had to ‘correct’ (kill) them, and also his wife when she interfered.

* Striking Common Fact: Charles and Delbert both ‘had a wife and two daughters each, and both committed familicide’.

So, about the confusion surrounding the two Gradys, I guess its possible to place three contrasting facts:

* Well, if ‘reincarnation’ is the trend here, then its possible that one
is the reincarnation of the other, and that both are from the past (Jack’s past).

The-Shining* Filmmaker’s error with the names.
I’m not neck-deep into this as Stanley Kubrick is one of the finest guys in the business. But he is also human. What do y’all think?

* Fun fact: What was baldo’s full name again?
Could be “Delbert Charles Grady” or even “Charles Delbert Grady”.
I mean, it sure is yet another strong fact that sure as hell satisfies the condition!

Hope this post clears most of the confusions surrounding the movie The Shining. Undoubtedly one of the most confusing, multilayered film, but then I believe that’s exactly the reason why it is also one of the greatest, and of all time!

Poster courtesy: www.imdb.com

Best Psychological Thrillers of all times (20+1list)

Best Psychological Thrillers of all times

written by Souranath Banerjee

Before we hunt down the Best Psychological Thrillers of our times, let’s find out what exactly do we mean by a ‘psychological’ thriller? And how is it different from a regular suspense thriller?

Well, in any ordinary thriller, you either have to guess the killer or Psychological-Thrillersexperience a tense cat and mouse chase sequence, or reveal a conspiracy – but whatever excitement happens, it happen in real time, with real people in real situations.

But in case of the twisted genre of psychological thrillers, these films maneuver the facts in such a way that they make you believe into something/someone that/who actually may not exist at all! These movies deliberately play tricks with the audience’s imagination and successfully blurs their perception of reality.

And finally, here are some of the Best Psychological Thrillers ever made in the history of Cinema.

Let the countdown begin!

20. Frailty (2001)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mW6TlPMHXgk

Psychological-ThrillersThis film is all about a man’s confession of a series of murders that his religious fanatic father forced him and his brother to be a part of.

Directed by Bill Paxton, a thriller at its best, with a few unexpected plot twists.

Superb performances, specially by the child actors, Bill Paxton himself and Matthew McConaughey.

19. The Skin I Live In (2011)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EolQSTTTpI4

Psychological-ThrillersA weird tale of a plastic surgeon and his muse, a scientist and his experiment, an inventor and his creation.

Brilliant performances by Antonio Banderas and Elena Anaya and a twisted tale of passion and revenge.

Directed by renowned Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar, this is one of the best psychological thrillers that will keep you guessing till the end.

18. Goodnight Mommy (2014)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hisSd7qyY40

Psychological-ThrillersIn an isolated countryside, nine-year-old twins wait for their mother’s return, but when she finally comes back she seems to be a completely different person.

Her face bandaged due to some surgery, it’s hard to tell if she is indeed their mother or are they both really her children!

Directed by Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz, this is one disturbing thriller for sure.

17. The Sixth Sense (1999)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VG9AGf66tXM

Psychological-ThrillersA child psychologist (Bruce Willis) meets a boy (Haley Joel Osment) who has a sixth sense, who can communicate with spirits and claims to ‘see dead people’ all around him!

A film that is as impressive as the twist in the plot.

Directed by M. Night Shyamalan, a film that successfully fools the audience from the very beginning!

16. Lost Highway (1997) 

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1nKjO9QCSic

Psychological-ThrillersA world owned by David Lynch, who is the master of psychological thrillers.

Framed for the murder of his wife a man mysteriously escapes from the jail being morphed into another person – yes, one of the most weird story plot ever in film history.

And the best part is that the film (according to me) has no specific ending that explains it all!

15. Angel Heart (1987)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vp0LXxkx7yA

Psychological-Thrillers

Alan Parker directed this intense thriller starring Mickey Rourke and Robert De Niro.

A private investigator is hired by a mysterious man who wants him to track down a particular singer.

Though at first it all seemed like regular business but soon things turn nasty and people keep dying in strange circumstances. A mystery that holds up till the end.

14. A Tale of Two Sisters (2003)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=anF5XiN8QY8

Psychological-Thrillers

As the title suggests, it’s the story of two sisters who returns home from the mental institution and desperately struggles to cope up with their lives.

A superbly intense film by Kim Jee-woon – suspense, horror or simply a nail-biting thriller, this one serves all your cravings.

This South Korean film will creep you out for sure.

13. Rosemary’s Baby (1968)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PewtQsgN5uo

Psychological-Thrillers

Be aware: a new apartment always comes with mysterious neighbors.

A young couple moves to a new place and soon the wife becomes pregnant. Though the neighbors seem to be too caring, but the mother (Mia Farrow) fears about the safety of her unborn child.

Extreme paranoia that only a director of Roman Polanski‘s calibre can deliver!

12. Hour of the Wolf (1968)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C7PWFiLkKG4

Psychological-ThrillersIngmar Bergman‘s one and only psychological horror film, and undoubtedly a classic.

An artist shares his deepest desires and the most painful nightmares with his wife at the darkest hours of the night – ‘the hour of the wolf’.

His life turns out to be drowning in the very brink of dreams and reality, a state so surreal and dangerous and bizarre. A must watch.

11. The Shining (1980)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Cb3ik6zP2I

Psychological-Thrillers

Welcome Stanley Kubrick and that too on the first spot!

A film that set new bar in this genre, the chilling transformation of a hotel-caretaker (Jack Nicholson‘s character), the haunting isolation of the palatial hotel and the eerie never-ending maze. And also a kid who has the special talent of ‘Shining’!

Unique and scary, psychotic and intense, a film you will never forget.

10. Videodrome (1983)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFHey3utk0I

Psychological-Thrillers

One sleazy cable-TV programmer (James Woods) discovers a sick TV show and soon enough his life turns upside down.

He soon finds out that the show may look like an ordinary one but it is a clue to some sinister global conspiracy.

Director David Cronenberg is the master of psychologically twisted films but this particular one really takes the cake!

9. The Wicker Man (1973)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5FdV-O8o7ok

Psychological-Thrillers

The story revolves around a police sergeant (Edward Woodward) who lands on a Scottish Island village in search of a missing girl.

He soon realizes that the village people doesn’t want him to investigate and more to his surprise they deny the very existence of such a missing girl!

Directed by Robin Hardy, a superb psychological thriller.

8. The Machinist (2004)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bRoYCwUvBPc

Psychological-ThrillersArguably Christian Bale‘s best performance and undoubtedly his best physical transformation for a role till date.

A film so twisted and insane that I bet you won’t sleep for a year, well, the super-slim version of Bale convinces you that it is possible!

Gripping, disturbing and mind boggling; director Brad Anderson‘s brilliant thriller is a must watch!

7. Don’t Look Now (1973)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AUWB-Kw4FiM

Psychological-Thrillers

Nicolas Roeg‘s innovative, nerve wrecking film, this one is considered as one of the most horrifying thrillers made till date.

A grieving couple (Julie Christie  and Donald Sutherland), visits Venice for a change of mood but soon things get more complicated than they could ever imagined!

Chilling suspense and exceptional plot twists that makes the film so special.

6. The Tenant (1976)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZmhIMbdecEU

Psychological-ThrillersRoman Polanski and his endless list of psychological thrillers grabs the attention of every film buff.

And in this particular one, he himself is THE tenant who shifts to a new apartment that earlier belonged to a girl who died.

In Polanski’s apartment trilogy this one is my favorite; psychotic paranoias, obsessions and delusions get a new definition in this film.

5. Open Your Eyes (1997)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PBtnPuB0x3U

Psychological-Thrillers

Love finds a handsome man but soon luck disfigures his face in a tragic accident. He tries surgery in a quest to rebuilt his face but finds out that he has lost his sanity too.

Brilliant performance by Eduardo Noriega, and Penélope Cruz is simply gorgeous! 

A Spanish film from the acclaimed director Alejandro Amenábar that will trip your mind for sure.

4. Black Swan (2010)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5jaI1XOB-bs

Psychological-Thrillers

One of the best thrillers of recent times, which won Natalie Portman an Oscar in the ‘Actress in a Leading Role’ category.

Master director Darren Aronofsky creates this disturbing psychological drama based on the famous play ‘The Black Swan’.

What is real and what’s not – the whole film has a bizarre feel that keeps you guessing till the end!

3. Memento (2000)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0vS0E9bBSL0

Psychological-Thrillers

We can never complete this list without mentioning Christopher Nolan‘s Memento.

A guy (Guy Pearce) in search of the murderer of his wife but short-term memory-loss makes him doubt everybody and everything around him.

Never sure whom to trust other than a few notes and some polaroids, and of course his unique tattoos!

2. Fight Club (1999)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SUXWAEX2jlg

Psychological-Thrillers

Brad Pitt and Edward Norton and their infamous creation of a ‘fight club’.

An underground club that channels primal male aggression but it soon grows and evolves into something much more than its original purpose.

Acclaimed director David Fincher‘s unique film, definitely the most popular psychological thriller of recent times.

1. Psycho (1960)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NG3-GlvKPcg

Psychological-Thrillers

Alfred Hitchcock demands the first position on this list.

His other films Vertigo, Rebecca, Rear Window, Rope also could have been included here but then it would be a separate Hitchcock list altogether!

But the sinister Bates Motel, the iconic shower scene, the stuffed birds, the final confrontation with ‘mother’ – yes, that’s enough for this movie to become the best psychological thriller of all times. Please nod if you agree with me.

and (The ‘+1′ film is not necessarily the best but certainly the most innovative one. A must watch)

+1. Mulholland Drive (2001)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W2_a5_BlM5k

Psychological-Thrillers

Hollywood being the backdrop, this one is a spooky tale of two women (Naomi Watts and Laura Harring) who tries to solve the weird mysteries in their lives.

Director David Lynch in his unique way blurs the lines between dreams and reality, often entering the world of surreal.

A complex film to comprehend, here are at least ten ways to interpret the film. Take a pick!

Similar InterestBest Spanish Thrillers of Recent Times

Similar Interest: Best South Korean Thrillers of recent times

Similar Interest: Best French Thrillers of Recent Times

Similar Interest: Best French Suspense Thrillers of all time

Similar Interest: Best Italian Erotic Thrillers

Similar Interest: Best Conspiracy Thrillers ever made

Similar Interest: Best Thrillers of 2016

Similar Interest: Best Bollywood Thrillers of recent times

Poster courtesy: www.impawards.com,www.imdb.com.