"The Shining" has become such a part of our collective culture that I've always felt slightly out of the loop having missed it. All I knew about it was that somebody runs around saying, "Red rum," and a tsunami wave of blood pours out of an elevator and there's a pair of Diane Arbus-y twin girls standing at the end of a long hallway. Directed by Stanley Kubrick and starring Jack Nicholson, how could it not be great? So, after a mean-spirited and bleak day highlighted by a power outage from an intense wind and snow storm, when the lights came back on we popped in the rented disc and watched the tale of a writer and his family holed up in an an old hotel during an intense snow storm. Naturally they all go crazy; who wouldn't? With the wind howling outside and our house literally shaking, it was quite scary, especially since I knew it was written by a man who grew up and still resides here in Maine; Steven King certainly knows all about the isolation of a long, cold winter.
Horror movies are not called horror movies for nothing; they are indeed horrible, and I am right to avoid them. Since I was forced to soothe my nerves with generous mouthfuls of gelato while watching the terrible events unfold onscreen, I realized I would be much fatter if I made a habit of it. In fact, that may be the answer to America's obesity problem right there: stop watching scary movies. The film taught me two other important things: First, if we stay here in Maine we should definitely buy a generator, since the power goes out if someone sneezes too hard down the road. And second, we have got to move to a warmer climate. Right now.