I can’t sit through a horror film. Or, I can sit, I just watch through clammy fingers, anticipating each jump scare while trying not to squeal and wondering why I can’t just be watching an instantly forgettable romcom instead.
I have long tried to overcome the fear of horror – there was Paranormal Activity, Get Out, The Witch (for an unfathomable reason) – but there is one horror I have lied about seeing on multiple occasions: The Shining. Whether on dates, with friends, or to strangers, I have used my viewing of The Simpsons’ parody of the Kubrick classic to feign knowledge, pretending that I, too, am a part of “the culture”.
I have seen other Kubricks, but The Shining had always eluded me. If The Simpsons was anything to go by, I knew I would not like seeing apparitions of mute child-twins in a hotel corridor or Homer, sorry Jack Nicholson, axing his way through a closed door and repetitively writing the same thing over and over (the content of many an anxiety dream anyway). But perhaps it is time to rip off the plaster – it surely couldn’t be that bad?
Read the feature in the Guardian.
[This piece was published on 25/03/20]