If there's one thing we learned from Poltergeist, it's that Indian burial grounds are bad news. Pity that movie came out two years after The Shining, because that info could have really helped Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson). Hired to be the winter caretaker of the Overlook Hotel located deep in the Rocky Mountains, Jack brings his wife Wendy and son Danny to live there with him for the winter. The solitude of the place should be perfect for Jack, who would like to utilize the peace and quiet to write.
Of course, Jack is let in on the hotel's dirty little secret before accepting the job: a previous caretaker named Grady went crazy, murdering his family and committing suicide. The complete isolation must have driven him crazy. Jack accepts the job anyway. Turns out that the isolation isn't the most dangerous thing up there, though, as the hotel itself - built on an Indian burial ground - begins to influence Jack and haunt the psychic-powered Danny.
Torrance tries to write but cannot, as he is continually interrupted by manifestations inside the hotel. He sees people from the hotel's past, guests and employees, including Grady himself. He is overtaken by these hallucinations, and is turned against his wife and son. Danny, on the other hand, sees visions of surreal horror, enough to make even the biggest kid crash their big wheel in the hallway. As his father's temper shortens, his rage builds, and Jack decends into complete madness, Danny finds a way to contact an ally, a cook from the hotel with the same psychic powers who decides to return to the Overlook.
Eventually, the hotel forces Jack's trembling hand, and his hands find their way to an axe handle. In one of the most memorable scenes in movie history - "Here's Johnny!" - Jack bashes through a bathroom door, looking to bash his wife's head in. When the hotel cook arrives to try and help, Jack slams the axe into his chest. Moments later, Jack is hot on Danny's trail, and the chase leads to a giant maze of overgrown shrubbery in the middle of a good ol' Rocky Mountain blizzard. Backtracking through the snow, Danny outwits Jack, who is drunk with rage and emotion. He stumbles around, unable to find his way back, and collapses. By next morning, Jack has frozen to death and Wendy and Danny have left. But the Overlook Hotel and the memories stored inside its walls still remain.
INTELLIGENCE - 6: Jack is an intelligent man, but nothing could prepare him for this hotel.
POWER - 5: As he gets crazier, his axe swings just get wilder (not more accurate).
VILENESS - 8: He's ready to kill his wife and son, and never hesitates once the hotel cook enters the fray.
SWAY - 8: His madness makes him louder and incredibly unpredictable.
PURITY - 10: By the end, Jack is no longer in control of his actions.
PHYSICAL - 6: At first, he just needs a shave. By the end, his face has adopted an almost primal snarl.