The Shining is a psychological horror film directed by Stanley Kubrick in 1980. The story follows a fathers decline into total insanity after being left to look after a huge hotel that had been closed for the winter.
When watching the film, all sorts of ideas occur to how Jack, our main character, loses his sanity. One of these would be due the massive isolation that the whole family experiences. As soon as the film starts we are shown vast landscapes with not a single piece of human existence in sight, we hear that when Jack comes for an interview with the hotel owner that he made the trip in 3 and a half hours. These elements show the audience how far away from civilization the family are. The sense of isolation is then worsened when the hotel is struck by a snow storm, leaving the family stranded in the wilderness. It is said that "Kubrick gives us the eerie, colossal, brilliantly lit spaces of the Overlook Hotel" (Bradshaw, 2012). This quote can be backed up with an example, such as a strange shot that overlooks the hotels maze (Fig. 2). As the camera zooms out from the center of the maze, the paths seem to go on and on without us ever seeing the exit to the maze. This could perhaps represent the entrapment Jack's body feels; there is no way out.
The Shining has been a massive influence on the world of film and is widely renowned as one of the great classic horror films. Kubrick's "superlative horror puzzle-box still spooks and spellbinds after all these years." (Clark, 2012). The film has influenced many other creations seen all over the world today, ranging from music videos such as 30 Seconds to Mars' 'The Kill', to homages seen in television series such as Hannibal and The Simpsons, seen in Figure 4 and 5 below.
Bradshaw, P (2012) The Shining (1980) The Shining Review, In: The Guardian [online], At:http://www.theguardian.com/film/2012/nov/01/the-shining-review (Accessed on 28/11/2013)
Nathan, I (s.d.) The Shining Film Review, http://www.empireonline.com/reviews/reviewcomplete.asp?FID=132700
(Accessed on 28/11/2013)
(Accessed on 28/11/2013)
Clark, A (2012) The Shining Review, http://www.littlewhitelies.co.uk/theatrical-reviews/the-shining-22374 (Accessed on 28/11/2013)
Figure 1, The Shining (1980) Stanley Kubrick [Film Poster] UK/USA, Warner Bros, http://images.moviefanatic.com/iu/v1364991695/the-shining-poster.jpg (Accessed on 28/11/2013)
Figure 2, The Shining (1980) Stanley Kubrick [Film Still] UK/USA, Warner Bros, http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-8ncbdnKcYbE/UTQJwhTNORI/AAAAAAAAQpA/Sn57si_bobo/s1600/Shiningmaze.jpg (Accessed on 28/11/2013)
Figure 3, The Shining (1980) Stanley Kubrick [Film Still] UK/USA, Warner Bros, http://files.tested.com/photos/2013/08/16/52187-622609-shining_bike.jpg (Accessed on 28/11/2013)
Figure 4, The Simpsons - Treehouse of Horror V (1994) Matt Groening [Television Still] USA, 20th Century Fox Television, http://25.media.tumblr.com/84275172468256cb0a01f5f85caba9e7/tumblr_mkz1osvS1H1r64jflo3_250.jpg (Accessed on 28/11/2013)
Figure 5, Hannibal (2013) Bryan Fuller [Television Still] USA, Dino De Laurentiis Company, http://24.media.tumblr.com/c44c920248f6480fec6f98db0db12882/tumblr_mo5dbuAMAp1qki57ko1_500.jpg (Accessed on 28/11/2013)