Saturday, 15 January 2011

Review Of 'The Shining'
Fig 1 - The Shining Poster

Considering the rift-raff over Potter films leaving out valued parts of it counterpart novel; Stanley Kubrick got off lightly with his interpretation of the ‘The Shining’ (A Novel by Stephen King) – even going as far as much as simply re-making the story to fit a more chilling perspective of isolation  meeting insanity. 

As the synopsis goes Jack Torrance takes a job as the caretaker of the ‘Overlook Hotel’ during its winter period.  After setting up camp in the staff quarters  with his family (Wendy and Danny Torrance) do we begin to see the now desolate hotel swallow up the sanity of Jack and his family as strange occurrence begin to happen or be imagined. No sooner as viewers are asking ‘WHAT THE...’ old Jackie boy is smashing in his bathroom door shouting ‘Here’s Jonny’ whilst good old Wendy is cowering in the corner.
Fig 2 - Doc Vision Of The Two Girls
The film doesn’t strike us naturally as a horror and if it wasn’t for the horrific score at the beginning of the film do we understand that we are watching a film from the horror genre.  For Kubrick his ideology of keeping everything normal works wonders to play with the minds of the viewers, hitting way too close to a recently visited holiday resort. As the stereotypical location of horror film revolve around location – which look like someone with a flamethrower and a sledge hammer has just gone all out then redecorate with furniture and statues from the 19th century –  we can easily separated ourselves from. In turn ‘Kubrick refuses to characterize the hotel as a conventionally haunted house. Its corridors are brightly lit, nothing goes bump in the night. Even the strange visions, when they begin to appear, are not necessarily to be seen as spooky apparitions, but as the hallucinations of a mind — Nicholson's — allowing itself to be drawn toward the violent conclusion the child has foreseen.’ – Richard Schickel
Fig 3 - Doc Outside Room 256
As the story goes it represents about 50% of the novel (not to King’s amusement). For this reason however the film turns from the supernatural to the story of a psychotic mental meltdown - As the key moments which suggest the supernatural within the novel are mostly neglected within the feature. Moreover Kubrick’s choice allows for a more interesting and answered storyline in which we as the viewer needs to decide the truth. In turn, is the fact the supernatural is in fact the supernatural present in the hotel or is it just the figment of a deranged man who has allowed the isolation to take over him an play on his previous behaviour of abuse and alcoholism. Furthermore, is it not that the family have lost their insanity as both wife and women are also disturbed Wendy always appearing like she hasn’t had any sleep and looking quite worn out and the boy although in belief of having these abilities naturally seems to go into a shock or seizure when channelling his power.  Without doubt point us in the direction of insanity. Making ‘The Shining’’ Alive with portent and symbolism, every frame of the film brims with Kubrick's genius for implying psychological purpose in setting: the hotel's tight, sinister labyrinth of corridors; its cold, sterile bathrooms; the lavish, illusionary ballroom. This was horror of the mind transposed to place (or, indeed, vice versa)’. – Ian Nathan
Fig 4 - 'Here's Jonny'
In conclusion however the feel of the film is chilling toying with our emotion. Making us strain to  gather the information we need to draw a conclusion for the film such as the photo which is present at the end and how if the ghost or supernatural element is merely part of those who possess the shining and are nothing more than scares left why does both Wendy and Jack see these images. Do they also posses the ‘the Shining’? In turn this film veers off from then natural stereotype of a film a steers closer to the illness in which someone of an unstable mind can have. The film therefore doesn’t have to have the classic bump in the night scenarios that we get in the standard works. For Kubrick his decision to direct the film as that of a man losing the sanity due to isolation is just fearful itself as anyone alone for period of time are likely to lose their sanity. ‘Scaring the viewer is easy - a hack job like "Friday the 13th" is probably scarier than "The Shining" (and just as irrational, by the bye). What is harder, and what Kubrick does so ingeniously here, is to accentuate the horrifying aspects of things that are familiar’. – Janet Maslin.
Fig 5 - Jack At The Bar - Insanity
 List Of Illustrations 

Fig 1 Kubrick, Stanley (1980) The Shining Poster
[Film Poster] From: The Shining 

Fig 2 Kubrink, Stanley (1980) Doc Vision Of The Two Girls 
[Film Still] From: The Shining 

Fig 3 Kubrink, Stanley (1980) Doc Outside Room 256
[Film Still ] From: The Shining  

Fig 4 Kubrink, Stanley (1980) 'Here's Jonny'
[Film Still] From: The Shining

Fig 5 Kubrink, Stanley (1980) Jack At The Bar - Insanity
[Film Still] From: The Shining 


(Accessed on15.01.11)

(Accessed on15.01.11)

Maslin, Janet (1980). Flaws Don’t Dim ‘The Shining’,9171,924179,00.html#ixzz1B7YpsQ1T
(Accessed on15.01.11)

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