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Look. Listen. Analyze.

Personally, I have never seen The Shining out of fear and somewhat dislike of horror movie. I do not do jump scares, none the less… the anticipation KILLS me! When I saw this scene, I knew it would be great for me to pick because I can analyze exactly what parts are factoring into the horror and thrill that this iconic scene produces.

The camera work is special in this specific scene because it bounces back and forth from the male and female perspective. This allows the viewer to anticipate what is about to happen but can also allow for fear that they are feeling on behalf of Wendy. One thing that also adds to the scene is the gloomy lighting. Additionally, the way that the camera crew moves slowly to build anticipation adds to the thrill of the scene as a whole. One thing that I did not notice the first time I watched it through was how the camera moves in a synchronized fashion with the axe as he pounds it against the door. This allows the viewer to feel just how violent each axe hit to the door is. Finally, the close up once that axe makes a hole big enough for his face and he says the iconic “Here’s Johnny” line is absolutely terrifying, and you get a close look at his crazed expressions as he says it.

 The music is what really adds the dramatics to the scene. It is fast paced and keeps your heart rate up even during his slow approach to the door. When I first heard it, it brought on a similar feeling to the music they play in the movie Jaws. The instruments chosen for the song are terrifying and spooky which is a perfect match for this film and it does a perfect job portraying the scene without even looking at it. Additionally, the lines given to Jack to say and when Wendy screams are perfectly timed.

The scene as a whole is put together almost flawlessly. The combination of the music mixed with the different camera angles and point of view allow the viewer to put themselves in Wendy’s shoes as he approaches with the axe. The slow speed at which he approaches the door build anticipation as the music speeds up the closer he gets. The iconic line “Here’s Johnny” was the icing on the cake and sends chills down my spine every time I watch it. The producers really put this scene together the best that they could from the set, lighting, camera work, acting, and the audio, it is no wonder that it is so famous.

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