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