In this section of our Colossus Movie Guide for The Shining, we provide recommendations for movies with similar themes and vibes.
- Jack Nicholson – Jack Torrance
- Shelley Duvall – Wendy Torrance
- Danny Lloyd – Danny “Doc” Torrance
- Scatman Crothers – Dick Hallorann
- Barry Nelson – Stuart Ullman
- Philip Stone – Delbert Grady
- Joe Turkel – Lloyd
- Anne Jackson – Doctor
- Tony Burton – Larry Durkin
- Diane Johnson – Writer
- Stanley Kubrick – Writer and director
Movies like The Shining
Don’t Look Now (1973)
Nicholas Roeg’s Don’t Look Now, with Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland, is a lesser-known but influential film. This psychological horror explores the grieving process of a couple after the tragic death of their daughter. Its use of symbolism, dread-inducing atmosphere, and exploration of psychic phenomena align it thematically with The Shining.
The Innocents (1961)
Jack Clayton’s The Innocents, featuring Deborah Kerr, is a beautifully crafted psychological horror that effectively uses its isolated, eerie setting and the haunting presence of children, much like The Shining. The film, a haunted house story based on Henry James’s novella The Turn of the Screw, is a richly atmospheric exercise in sustained suspense.
Alfred Hitchcock’s iconic masterpiece, Psycho, featuring Anthony Perkins and Janet Leigh, is an unmissable psychological thriller. It’s celebrated for its atmospheric tension, complex characters, and groundbreaking narrative structure. Its exploration of a descent into madness, much like in The Shining, makes it a crucial watch for its fans. Hitchcock’s masterful storytelling leaves a chilling impact, making this classic a benchmark for psychological horror films.
Carnival of Souls (1962)
Directed by Herk Harvey, Carnival of Souls is an esoteric horror classic that plays with themes of isolation, alienation, and existential dread. Its dreamlike narrative and eerie, ethereal atmosphere make it a compelling watch for fans of The Shining seeking something different and thought-provoking.
Let’s Scare Jessica to Death (1971)
John D. Hancock’s Let’s Scare Jessica to Death, starring Zohra Lampert, explores the blurred lines between reality and nightmare. As Jessica grapples with her sanity, the film evokes a sense of psychological disorientation and paranoia akin to Jack’s experiences in The Shining.
The Exorcist (1973)
Directed by William Friedkin, The Exorcist, starring Ellen Burstyn and Linda Blair, is a compelling investigation into the supernatural. Much like The Shining, it’s a chilling story about a child victimized by sinister forces. The movie’s examination of faith, familial bonds, and the battle against demonic possession serves as an intriguing counterpart to the themes of The Shining.
Robert Altman’s Images is a disturbing psychological thriller featuring Susannah York. It delves into the mind of a woman whose grip on reality is unravelling. The film’s surreal atmosphere and fragmented narrative mirror the disorienting psychological journey in The Shining, making it a must-watch for fans seeking deeper exploration of such themes.
An absolute gem from Roman Polanski, Repulsion, featuring Catherine Deneuve, is an intense psychological horror film. It captures a young woman’s descent into madness due to her fear and loathing of men, echoing The Shining‘s exploration of the destructive impacts of isolation and psychological deterioration. Its claustrophobic atmosphere and visceral portrayal of mental disintegration make it a worthy watch.
The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
Jonathan Demme’s The Silence of the Lambs, starring Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins, is a chilling exploration of the human psyche. Much like The Shining, it delves into the darker aspects of human nature. The psychological manipulation between a young FBI cadet and an incarcerated cannibal offers a tense, immersive experience for The Shining fans.
A Tale of Two Sisters (2003)
South Korean director Kim Jee-woon’s A Tale of Two Sisters, with Im Soo-jung and Moon Geun-young, is a haunting psychological horror film. It employs an atmospheric, slow-burning narrative to explore themes of guilt, death, and family trauma. Its unique blend of psychological terror and supernatural elements could appeal to fans of The Shining who appreciate complex, thought-provoking narratives.
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