Jack's son Danny has an imaginary friend named Tony with whom he has conversations frequently. Danny creates a distinct, scruffy voice for Tony. The voice sounds almost geriatric and is out of place when heard from the mouth of a little boy. This puts the audience in mind of the little children depicted in Jack Clayton's The Innocents (1961) .
|Fig 1: The Shining Poster|
The chef of the hotel communicates with Dan with a method called the Shining. This means that the two of them can communicate telepathically. According to the chef, the entire hotel is a storehouse of memories and some of them are evil. Dan begins to have visions of the previous caretaker who gets cabin fever and massacres his wife and two daughters.
The wife of Jack, whose name is Wendy, plays a character who is perpetually afraid. Her entire life is uprooted when her husband begins to have violent bursts for no apparent reason. During this time, her motherly instincts rise up and she strives to protect her son.
|Fig 2: The Twin Girls of The Caretaker|
Dan keeps seeing the two girls who died at the hands of the previous caretaker. According to reviewer Jonathan Stryker, "(They are) horrific Diane Arbus-inspired twins staring directly at us" Stryker, Jonathan. (2002). HorrorExpress.com.The Shining /moviereview/the-shiningAll these events take place in an empty hotel.
This denotes a high sense of unease as a hotel is a place that is almost always populated. However, with the empty reception desk and the dimly lit corridors, it looks more like a haunted house. According to reviewer Janet Maslin, "(it is)something far more fearsome than a haunted house—it's a home." Maslin, Janet. (1980). The New York Times Film Review. The Shining.
Jack keeps working on his writing while getting progressively angry towards Wendy. Wendy being the doting wife, accepts his mood swings as a mere side effect of his stress and dismisses it.
However, when Dan is discovered with bruise marks on his neck, she blames it on Jacks violent rage and aims to take action.
|Fig 3: The Vision of Dan|
Jack tries to attack her and she uses a baseball bat to knock him out of consciousness. She locks him up in a storage room and runs out trying to find her son. Jack escapes and chases Dan, apparently possessed by the ghost of the caretaker who murdered his family with an axe.
Jack runs into a hedge maze ( another uncanny concept as it is depicted in snow and in the night with minimal lighting) after Dan who cleverly dodges his father by covering up his footprints and escaping the maze to meet his mother.
Jack gets trapped in the maze and is frozen to death.
The Shining does have a satisfying ending where the villain gets killed. This comforts the audience to some degree. However, one cannot help but think of how things would have gone if the little boy, Dan turned evil and the two of them had attacked the mother.
There can obviously be alternative endings to the storyline but it is the contents of this film throughout that keeps the viewer on the edge of their seat.
According to reviewer Simon Hill, "This film is a one-off, a never again to be repeated recipe, a benchmark for others to strive to reach." Hill, Simon. (2011). Celluloid Dreams.com. The Shining Review
Hill, Simon. (2011). Celluloid Dreams.com. The Shining Review Available online at http://www.celluloiddreams.co.uk/theshining.html Accessed on 14th January 2012
Stryker, Jonathan. (2002). HorrorExpress.com.The Shining Available online at http://www.horrorexpress.com/moviereview/the-shining Accessed on 14th January 2012
Maslin, Janet. (1980). The New York Times Film Review. The Shining. Available online at http://movies.nytimes.com/movie/review?res=EE05E7DF1738E270BC4B51DFB366838B699EDE
Accessed on 14th January 2012
Figure 1: Kubrick, Stanley.(1980).The Shining http://drafthouse.com/movies/the_late_show_the_shining/austin
Figure 2:Kubrick, Stanley.(1980).The Shining http://www.free-extras.com/search/1/the+shining.htm
Figure 3: Kubrick, Stanley.(1980).The Shining http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/jack-torrance?before=1324696753