Here’s Johnny! Why The Shining Stills Packs a Punch 40 Years On

It seems like barely a week goes by these days without some notable anniversary emerging in the world of movies and TV.

One big screen classic which reached a major milestone this year was The Shining, as it is now 40 years since Stanley Kubrick’s horror masterpiece was released in cinemas.

A chilling classic

Starring Jack Nicholson and Shelley Duvall, the film – which is based on a novel by Stephen King – was released in 1980 and famously sees a family move into a hotel where they are affected by all manner of supernatural events.

While The Shining may now be regarded as a classic, it is interesting to note that it did not receive universal acclaim upon its release. One of the best examples of this is the fact that it was actually nominated for two Razzies in 1981, with outlining how Kubrick and Duvall were placed in the Worst Director and Worst Actress categories, respectively.

However, it is fair to say that opinions around the film have shifted significantly in the years since, as it was added to the National Film Registry in 2018. As Vanity Fair details, it was selected alongside a variety of cinematic experiences, including Jurassic Park, My Fair Lady, and Cinderella. Furthermore, research by has also revealed how it is one of the most popular horror films in the world. According to the survey, it is thought to be particularly popular in a range of countries including the Netherlands, Australia, Iceland, Sweden, and even Brunei.

Memorable moments

Of course, all of this does raise one simple question – just how has The Shining grown to have such a level of appeal and popularity?

There may be a number of factors behind it and they will most likely vary depending on who you ask. However, one element that many people may mention is the sheer number of iconic scenes included within the film. From Jack Nicholson glaring through a broken door and uttering the now-iconic ‘here’s Johnny!’ to the twins in the hallway, there are so many memorable moments featured in the movie.

The performances within The Shining are equally memorable, with it arguably being one of the films with which Nicholson is now most associated. Finally, while it may have earned him that Razzie nomination, it is undoubtedly a notable work in Stanley Kubrick’s impressive back-catalogue. The director of course made numerous films which are now regarded as absolute classics, including 2001: A Space Odyssey, Spartacus, and A Clockwork Orange.

Enduring popularity

The horror genre has produced some real cinematic classics over the years, but few have gone on to have as much of an impact on popular culture as Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining.

It is remarkable that the film continues to pack such a punch four decades on from its release, but it is easy to see why when you consider how many elements of it work so well. At this point, it would be hard to bet against its popularity enduring for many more years to come.


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