The Shining (1980) is undoubtably a masterpiece of a movie. Based on Stephen King’s dark and twisted 1977 novel, directed by Stanley Kubrick in his prime and with Jack Nicholson at his menacing best, it’s a complete thrill-ride, a rush, utterly enthralling, a beautiful piece of art. It asks questions but doesn’t necessarily provide any answers. It’s completely entertaining and enjoyable, and to this day we continue to see references and homages to a classic piece of cinema. Here are some of our favourites:


The Simpsons (Treehouse of Horror V – 1994) – Homer finds himself in a demented state, compounded by his misery of no beer or TV. Cue Homer’s “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” parody; proceedings even end with him cold and frozen in the snow but on this occasion our main man is surrounded by his loving family…

Spaced (Beginnings – 1999) – as Daisy and Tim explore they’re new home, a spooky feeling around the place leads them to opening a cupboard where the dreaded twin girls lie in wait…

The scene is parodied AGAIN brilliantly, in the very last episode of the show “Leaves” (2001). Ah, self-referential homage tastes so good…


Hot Fuzz (2007) – Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg turn to it again in Hot Fuzz: “but you’ve always been here” says the hotel receptionist. She’s mistakenly thought she was speaking to her husband. Or maybe Jack Torrance was next in the queue?

Toy Story (1995) – littered throughout many of Pixar’s features, it has become a running gag now but for those of us who noticed on first viewing of Disney’s family-friendly animated movie that the scary house Woody and Buzz find themselves stuck in actually has the same carpet as the famous Overlook Hotel was a very cool thing to see. It further added to a feeling you were seeing something very special up on screen, we were in good hands.

Toy Story's evil kid Sid's house with the same carpet pattern as The Shining's Overlook Hotel

Ready Player One (2018) – Spielberg stayed faithful to the book but was certainly not reluctant to honour Kubrick’s classic with a wonderful section of the movie dedicated to capturing the feel of how it might have been booking a room at the old haunted hotel.

See here for more movie references from the film.


Four Out Of Five (2018 – Arctic Monkeys) – Alex Turner and co tap right into the vibe of the The Shining, both thematically and visually in the first single from the sixth studio album appropriately titled “Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino”. Enjoy –

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The Shining Jack Torrence Pop! Vinyl from Pop In A Box