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View Full Version : What was the better horror film, The Shining or Psycho



xStraightxEdgexSaviorx
03-31-2011, 11:24 PM
Hello my children of the night (Dracula reference, not a Jeff Hardy reference), it's time again for another first round match-up in the "Greatest Horror Movies" tournament, and I gotta tell you folks, this one has been the hardest one yet for yours truly. In this match-up we have "The Shining" vs. "Psycho" and it pits two of my absolute favorite horror flicks (and favorite directors) against one another. Both of these films are equally renowned as critics as being two of the very best in the horror world, and this is only the first frickin round. Hitchcock's Psycho and Kubrick's The Shining have both produced some of the all time greatest bad guys that have ever been put on celluloid, and that's not where the similarities end. Both films also very much worked on your mind (like most Hitchcock and Kubrick films do) and the images the films produced tend to linger with you forever...well, at least they did in my case. Anyhow, here are some great clips I found from youtube.

My personal favorite scene from The Shining. Nicholson is an f'in lunatic...in a good way. Enjoy:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_0fgAfo-e3w

Okay, so this one is not even from Psycho but it is Mel Brooks at his finest. Besides, it does have something to do with Psycho, so please, give it a watch. It's very funny.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6GkkVdhO_rQ&feature=related

Real video here in case your interested http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8VP5jEAP3K4

My opinion:

Better movie: The Shining. Okay, so to show you how bitterly close I feel this category is, I sat there and thought on it for a good five minutes, replaying what I had just watched over in my head again, and for a moment I even pondered flipping a coin. In the end though, I gave the edge to The Shining only because when I saw Psycho for the first time I, like the rest of the world who hasn't been living under a rock, already knew the "twist" ending that pitted Norman Bates as the real killer. This took away ever so slightly from me, through no fault of its own I might add, the experience I had from watching Psycho. However, the big debate in my mind came when I thought if I should even dock it at all considering that movie-goers in 1960 didn't know what the twist was going to be, and Hitchcock certainly never intended for the ending to be known before watching, but I was in a pickle and this is supposed to be based on my personal opinions of the movies, so I went with The Shining. I could go on detailing exactly why these movies are so fantastic, but this category is already running on far too long.

Scarier movie: The Shining. Again, this one was pretty damned close in my book. It wasn't as close as the first category mind you, but still pretty close. What was so scary about Psycho in my opinion is that at one point in the movie, the two characters that you feel most emotionally connected with both die off rather quickly. From that point on, anyone can go, and the person you find yourself most sympathize with is in actuality the killer! Of course your not supposed to know who the killer is in the end but that's beside the point. I gave this category to The Shining though because Kubrick's direction is out of this world effective. You feel just as isolated and terrified as the sane members of the Torrance family, and the insane member is one of the most wonderfully acted out performances you'll find in cinema. Nicholson's portrayal of Jack Torrance is beyond effective.

Impact on pop culture. society/other movies: Psycho. This one wasn't as close as the first two. Psycho made people not want to shower. *ahem* Psycho made people not want to shower!! Now that's impact. Besides the "Heeeeerrreees Johnny!!" scene from The Shining, and the two little girls being found in a bunch of stuff, The Shining didn't seem to make it's way into pop culture nearly as much as Psycho did.

Gore: The Shining. This one is actually closer than you think, as I am grading the "Gore" category on a scale here. If I'm not mistaken, Psycho is the oldest film in our tournament (1960), and I'd imagine it was pretty gruesome for it's time. It's still not The Shining though which most notably featured images of an axe murder of a pair of 9 and 11 year old girls, yet another axe murder of an innocent man, and several other disturbing images throughout the film.

Overall: The Shining. I simply had to give it to The Shining here, as it won 3 of my 4 categories and I would look like a hypocrite if I didn't, but the two films were literally so close at everything that I again contemplated giving Psycho the edge. In the end I couldn't but Psycho is still one of the all time greats imo. I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say that the winner of this match-up will go on to the final four. Just my opinion but we'll see how this plays out.

What do you guys think?

Rich Cranium
03-31-2011, 11:37 PM
Both are good movies and scary ones at that but on my personal scale, The Shining was scarier!

Androo
03-31-2011, 11:42 PM
Very tough one. Psycho is iconic, a Hitchcock, classic! The Shining is just visually stunning at times and the direction is immense. The Shining is one of my favourite films of ALL time, let alone horror! Gone for that.

Iron Ape
04-01-2011, 12:15 AM
I've always been amused that Stephen King hates Kubrick's The Shining. Like, really, really hates it.

xStraightxEdgexSaviorx
04-01-2011, 12:28 AM
I've always been amused that Stephen King hates Kubrick's The Shining. Like, really, really hates it.

I know right? I think it could be because it was so different from his novel. I heard somewhere that Michael Mann really hates Manhunter, a film that he directed that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Necroyeti
04-01-2011, 12:30 AM
Incredibly difficult choice.

I go with Psycho for four reasons:

- Psycho would probably make the top five of my favourite Hitchcock films, whereas I think The Shining is far from Kubrick's best.

- I like the Stephen King novel of The Shining more than the movie. (even though I generally hate Stephen King)

- I slightly prefer the subtle horror style used in Psycho. In a way, it's quite difficult to pidgeonhole Psycho as a "horror film" because there are elements of several genres like drama and mystery in play there as well. It works well in the context of the film in a "less is more" way, because the few purely horror scenes come off as more shocking/memorable.
The Shining, on the other hand, is much more of a genre film that relies much more heavily on visceral imagery scattered throughout the film (blood elevator, axe murders, naked old lady etc) to build tension towards Jack's crescendo into madness. Genres and memorable imagery/cinematography is pretty much Kubrick's M.O. as a director in general - it's certainly not a bad thing, and I don't necessarrily think The Shining would be a better film if it was more Hitchcockian. Apples and Oranges. Just preference, is all.

- I assume you voted for The Shining, and I'd be happy to see this poll tie.

Necroyeti
04-01-2011, 12:33 AM
I've always been amused that Stephen King hates Kubrick's The Shining. Like, really, really hates it.
He hated it so much, he commissioned a TV miniseries remake.

I have it on my computer, but I can never be arsed getting round to it.

Iron Ape
04-01-2011, 12:37 AM
He hated it so much, he commissioned a TV miniseries remake.

I have it on my computer, but I can never be arsed getting round to it.
Yeah, I've seen it. The one brother from the sitcom Wings is playing Jack's role.

It's pretty okay as far as those made-for-tv Stephen King adaptations directed by Mick Garris go, but that's not exactly a sterling endorsement.

Dameduse823
04-01-2011, 01:15 AM
He hated it so much, he commissioned a TV miniseries remake.

I have it on my computer, but I can never be arsed getting round to it.

Its an ok film with a less the satisfying ending. Unless you an avid King fan I wouldn't waste the 6 hours.

I'm gonna go with Psycho simply because as strange as it sounds I find the idea of a lunatic cross dresser with mommy issues killing people a lot scarier then a hotel full of ghosts

xStraightxEdgexSaviorx
04-01-2011, 07:25 AM
He hated it so much, he commissioned a TV miniseries remake.

I have it on my computer, but I can never be arsed getting round to it.

Trust me man, your not missing anything by not watching it. It was pretty shite imo.


I'm gonna go with Psycho simply because as strange as it sounds I find the idea of a lunatic cross dresser with mommy issues killing people a lot scarier then a hotel full of ghosts

To me, Jack Torrance was more or less the sole reason why The Shining was scary. Don't get me wrong, the ghosts were pretty creepy at times, but Nicholson made that movie.

68wPayne
04-01-2011, 08:09 AM
The scariest thing about The Shining to me, and this still creeps me the F out is
http://www.cinecultist.com/archives/shining_twins_1.jpg
The Shining gets my votes, and no I will not come play with you two creepy little chicks, I would rather have a spa day with Mama Bates.

samoan619
04-01-2011, 12:02 PM
The Shining

xStraightxEdgexSaviorx
04-01-2011, 03:51 PM
Hey guys, just a quick note for today's new match-up. In short, it's not gonna come until late tonight in all likelihood due to Smackdown and my Orioles kickin off tonight. I'll still be posting another match-up, but it won't be till real late so hang tight!

xStraightxEdgexSaviorx
04-05-2011, 01:00 AM
Poll is closed, The Shining takes this one 7 to 3 and advances to round two. Congrats to The Shining on beating out a tough first round opponent. New match-up is up (kinda) so check it out and cast a vote!