Film Review

The Shining Director: Stanley Kubrick

Figure 01. Film Poster Release: 1980 Director: Stanley Kubrick Genre: Horror, Mystery Country: UK. USA

A brief synopsis of Stanley Kubrick’s film The Shining (1980) is about a wife, husband and son travel to an isolated hotel to be the caretakers during the winter, when the son Danny starts having visions about the hotels past and how the previous caretaker went insane, resulting in the same thing happening to Danny and his family. The set design was important for Kurbrick as it helped to deliver his messages and one thing that was constantly shown throughout the film was the use of mirrors, as Kara States ‘ the consistent use of mirrored and reflective surfaces. The mirror motif in The Shining allows Kubrick to utilise this cinematic device positioning protagonists as their antagonists but also serves to create a visual dialogue between psychological and supernatural worlds.’ (Kara 2012) this is done to help show the differences of the reality and fantasy, in one scene when Jack the father goes into room 237 he finds a beautiful attractive woman and is instantly attracted to her, but once he looks into the mirror it shows the true form of an old decayed woman, this is showing us that fantasy has taken over reality.

Figure 02. Women when not looked through mirror Figure 03. woman once looked through the mirror

The interior set design is completely different from the usual horror movie as they’re mostly dark and hardly lit but as Peter Bradshaw says ‘Instead of the cramped darkness and panicky quick editing of the standard-issue scary movie, Kubrick gives us the eerie, colossal, brilliantly lit spaces of the Overlook Hotel’ (Bradshaw 2012) it’s interesting how this is done as it seems more effective as things become unpredictable and keep the audience on edge, just waiting for something to jump out or something horrific to happen when usually it doesn't. in one scene where the use of the size of the sets exaggeration of the carpet and wall makes it feel the actors are being consumed by its size.

Figure 04. Danny playing on hotel carpet

There is one possible scene that could have been removed as it didn’t seem to have much relevance to what was happening to the family which is why it can be disagreeable when Emma Dibdin says ‘The moments that remain most terrifying are those that don't actually further the narrative at all in a traditional sense - the blood-gushing elevators’ (Dibdin 2012) unless looked at another point of few which the audience could feel that the blood coming out of the elevator is the house showing it’s alive and has blood pulsing through its walls like the actors are inside the belly of the beast some might say, but the film didn’t seem to have any reference to the house being alive and the scene would appear every now and then randomly making no sense to the plot.

Figure 05. Blood coming out of the elevator

Illustrations:
Figure 01. Film Poster (1980) [Film Poster] http://cache2.allpostersimages.com/p/LRG/22/2268/RNSZD00Z/posters/theshining.jpg (Accessed on: 10/12/2012) Figure 02. Women when not looked through mirror (1980) [Film Still] http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRcOMfnsjd3mj0oBs6xUWiHAnaX _tgEy6unovOW-Mk6EBWXTxcd&t=1 (Accessed on: 10/12/2012) Figure 03. woman once looked through the mirror (1980) [Film Still] http://reelclub.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/237_mirror1.jpg?w=254&h=195 (Accessed on: 10/12/2012) Figure 04. Danny playing on hotel carpet (1980) [Film Still] http://4.bp.blogspot.com/LfID89_pacw/UIJPjlmq65I/AAAAAAAABRc/FCCjN9wAYeA/s1600/the-shiningcarpet.jpg (Accessed on: 10/12/2012) Figure 05. Blood coming out of the elevator (1980) [Film Still] http://www.mutineermagazine.com/img/blog/the_shining_blood_elevators.jp g (Accessed on: 10/12/2012)

Bibliography:
Kara (2010) The Shining. In: http://www.beateadfectus.com [Online] At: http://www.beateadfectus.com/projects/writings/74-mirrors-mazes-andmayhem-set-design-and-the-shining (Accessed on: 10/12/2012) Peter Bradshaw (2012) The Shining. In: http://www.guardian.co.uk [Online] At: http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2012/nov/01/the-shining-review (Accessed on: 10/12/2012) Emma Dibdin (2012) The Shining. In: http://www.digitalspy.co.uk [Online] At: http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/movies/review/a434921/the-shining-reviewextended-cut-packs-in-more-psychological-terror.html (Accessed on: 10/12/2012)

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