Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining is easily one of my favorite horror films ever. It’s one of those films that is the epitome of a “slow burn” but when it gets going, it’s fucking terrifying. I find it so scary because it’s something that could actually happen. Cabin fever is a legitimate thing and seeing a family go through it and the terrifying visions that haunt them is simply horrifying.
Part of the reason why I love The Shining is because of Jack Nicholson’s stellar performance as Jack Torrance, the rage-filled husband/father who is tasked with maintaining the Overlook Hotel while it shuts down for the winter.
One of the most famous scenes from The Shining is when Jack is hacking down the door to the bathroom where his wife, Wendy, has barricaded herself. There’s a rumor that’s been going around on the net for a while that Nicholson used to be a volunteer firefighter, which is why during the shooting of this scene they had to use a real door and not a prop one because he kept tearing through them too quickly.
Below is a clip of Nicholson getting revved up before the shot and it’s fascinating to see him maniacally dance and jump around, all while chanting, “Axe! Murder! Kill!” Also, it’s humorous to see the assistant on set flinch away when Nicholson begins brandishing the axe, as though he’s terrified that he might end up getting hurt himself. However, I guess when you’re around a crazed Nicholson, that’s a legit fear to have!