Thursday, 11 December 2014

Stanley Kubrick's The Shining (1980)

Figure 1. The Shining Poster 

The Shining is a thriller of a film in which Jack slowly descends into madness. Jack looks after the overlook hotel with his family however with little contact with anyone other than his family Jack starts to see things that aren’t actually there which convince him to kill his family.

The set plays well into the film first seeming like a huge place to explore and look through it seems innocent enough later on, when Jack is going crazy, It becomes a place of nightmares which is hard to navigate and escape from. “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). By making the hotel seem innocent at first it makes the audience tense as to when the real horror actually starts.

Figure 2. The Overlook 

Some places in the hotel are also scarier than others.  We’re made to feel tense about room 237 in particular, paired with steady cam and a film that leaves out normal horror conventions this has Kubrick’s name plastered all over it. Larson mentions in his review “Why is Room 237 the only room the movie enters? Because it’s the only one we fear. Just about everything that’s scary about The Shining depends on where we are.” (Larson, S.D). It’s this tension that makes the film uneasy to watch, it’s an excellent way of doing horror.

Figure 3. Chopping down the door 

In the film however it is clear that there’s already something off about Jack and his relationship. As Clark notices “Kubrick presents a despairing view of American married life, where the lack of love and intimacy is accentuated by the claustrophobic surroundings.” (Clark, 2012). This could show that Jack could have been somewhat crazy from the start but the Overlook helped bring this madness out.

The Shining is an unconventional horror which uses a different kind of set to leave you on the edge of your seat.

Bradshaw, P (2012) (accessed on 11/12/14)
Larson, J (S.D) (accessed on 11/12/14)

Illustration list
Kubrick, S (1980) Figure 1. The Shining Poster   (accessed on 11/12/14)
Kubrick, S (1980) Figure 2. The Overlook (accessed on 11/12/14)

Kubrick, S (1980) Figure 3. Chopping down the door (accessed on 11/12/14)

1 comment:

  1. Hi Kayliegh,

    It might have been good to explore the use of colour and sound in the film - for example, the claustrophobic carpet design, and the effect the sound of the trike has moving from the carpet to the wooden floor has on the build up of tension.
    Generally though, a succinct review.