The Shining (1980

Stanley Kubrick

Figure 1. Film Poster

The shinning at its core is a film about the relationship between a Father and his son. Thought described as a horror film Peter Bradshaw of the guardian states; “The Shining doesn't look like a genre film” (Bradshaw, 2012)the film is viewed through the point of view of the child (Danny) who has a special ability called the shinning, which allows him to see things which happened in from past and things which haven’t already happened yet, the film is an adaption of a Steven King book it’s a Supernatural horror film and though Steven King himself didn’t like the original film, it later became a cult classic, big scenic interior environments makes the shining the eerie horror that it is A film able to make ordinary average life frightening, is an truly an interesting one, the shining is able to do just that and it’s mostly down to the fact that the content in the film isn’t anything out of the ordinary, it’s literally a father attempting to kill his own family. The use of camera angles and tracking shots displaying a wide open space is used cleverly in this film, lights are used to guide and mislead the viewer so the viewer can be shocked whenever action takes place, and as the camera watches little Danny go through the space, audiences are constantly waiting for something to happen, but it doesn’t; for some reason Stanley Kubrick uses shots which are used a lot in “jumpy” horror films, for situations that don’t require it, though this may seem unnecessary in the beginning, it catches the viewer of guard when something actually happens, “mounting heart-thump noises and deep corridors all bring a sense of cabin fever” (Harley, 2012)It’s no wonder Jack Torrance goes insane, though there are wide open space the space he has for work is a wide open empty space and no one to fill it; where in other films, the tight confined spaces drive the character insane, here it’s the wide open space that seemed to make the main character snap, the same feeling of isolation happens here because there is no one to fill the open spaces no one else to. Scene are played out this film, it’s like watching a reality show as nothing is actually happening but the viewers are shown normal activity, this brings another level of emersion because at the end of the film the viewer now feels like they’ve been in this big open hotel for as long as the characters they’ve been watching.

The Corridor where Danny meets the two little girls seemed a little tighter when he met them, this time Kurbick uses a tight open space to get into the viewer, the shock of a tight space in the open environment might have been what made the scene as shocking as it was, or it could have actually been the sight of the girls, nevertheless the tight environment in that situation made the two little girls more scary, because the tight the corridor could have been the more of the girls we would have seen, the corridor pushed the characters out making the scene a lot more scarier than it actually is.

Figure 2. Danny meets the twins

An odd moment in the shining was when Danny walks into the room and has a chat with his dad, the tone of the space he’s in is very dark, nothing has happened but it seems like something it about to happen, with a combination of the sound and the camera angle everything gets more tense and the viewer begin to expect something, this brings everyone to edge of their seat, the environment is darker and at this point the cameras bringing both characters out showing facial expressions, the environment becomes a backdrop, the boy and his dad shift from the centre of the scene, and the viewer’s focus isn’t shifts for a second away from the characters, this is very reminiscing of the technique used in Cabinet of Dr. Caligari to display insanity of the character.

Figure 3. Jack and Danny’s little chat

Jack’s decent into madness is shown off a lot more when he walks the bar and it’s filled with people, this also makes the viewer question themselves as everything could be from the point of the son, it isn’t out the question that the viewers are seeing what the child think is happening, so this might all be his imagination, but this theory is quickly gets shot down by image at the end of the ending, and the viewers are kept guessing. In the film the father is portrayed to be crazy, the son seems to be the one who sees all and the mother is the normal one, so scenes with the boy are situations where viewers see things that are really happening but no one ordinary sees it, scenes with the father can’t be trusted because he is “insane” and the mother has a view of an average person; but it then become difficult to stick with the idea of the three characters, because the mother sees two people in a room as she runs away from her insane mother, this could mean one of two things; whether the hotel is actually hunted or the mother begins to have some of the shining, either way as she moves thought the environment things get tighter and tighter and this brings what happening to screen a lot more, the character is scared and is screaming, this is evident and is more visible due to tight corridor. There is also an encounter with the main character and the old caretaker who was in the same position as him, this is an odd scene as the character has a conversation with someone who already existed, many people interpret the situation differently, but this was showing how far deep the character had gone into insanity, and

he was reassuring himself that what he was doing was ok and motivating himself to continue, “it manages to traverse a complex world of incipient madness” (Nathan, 2006) Toilet itself stands out, it’s a red and white colour the red stands out from the white and this also could signify the violence that may have gone on in the hotel.

Bibliography Illustrations Figure 1: Figure 2: Figure 3: Quotes Bradshaw, P. (2012) The Shining doesn't look like a genre film. In: guardian [online] (Accessed on 09/12/12) Harley, K . (2012) mounting heart-thump noises and deep corridors all bring a sense of cabin fever. In: totalfilm [online] (Accessed on 09/12/12) Nathan, I. (2012) it manages to traverse a complex world of incipient madness. In: empireonline [online] ge=2 (Accessed on 09/12/12)

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