10 Replies to “Comments for an Analysis of The Shining – 4 pm”

  1. One sequence in the film really gets under my skin, and I cannot shake it no matter how many times I think it through (again Kubrick’s ambiguous genius). When we see Halloran laying in his bed in Miami, and we hear the heartbeat, and cut to room 237, and Halloran’s eyes bulge out in clear terror, is he seeing what Jack is seeing, is he shining through Danny, who is shining through Jack. Also, as I asked on another thread, do you think Halloran actually knows what is in room 237, and that’s why he is so worried and wants to get back to the hotel as fast as possible? Do you think he feels room 237 is the heart of the hotel’s evil and once tapped into, that evil will destroy whomever it touches? Did Halloran actually see what was in room 237 before the Torrances ever came to the hotel or just have a feeling about it? Also, I wonder if Halloran actually knows what happened at the hotel to Charles Grady and his family in 1970 when they were alone at the hotel…Being head chef there, he must know of that story…So, he must be extra worried that the same thing could be happening to the Torrances…Thats why he is in such a frantic rush to get back to the snowbound hotel? When he tells Larry Durkin on the phone that he needs a snowcat to get to the Overlook, he makes some excuse about the “type of people” there, probably just so he won’t arouse undue suspicion about what he thinks is really going on, namely, the hotel possessing one of the Torrances and causing murder again…All that said, I think Halloran knows exactly what the Torrances are facing at the Overlook and once he shines Jack’s encounter with room 237, it all becomes crystal clear to him, and he is desperate to get there and make sure everything is okay. Basically he just wants to come make sure the Torrances are not all dead, like the infamous Gradys are! That seems the most plausible explanation to me, anyway!

    1. Love room 237 b/c of the lighting and music (no need for any darkness in this, one of The most terrifying rooms i’ve ever seen on film)

  2. Well, I think there’s some intended ambiguity there in the film as far as who is seeing what. Or else Kubrick wouldn’t have Jack saying he’d seen nothing–and he doesn’t give us clear insight, once we make a close examination of it, as to who sees what, who is seeing what. And so that’s about as far as I can go with it. Beyond that, really, is pure speculation on anyone’s part. And Hallorann and exactly what he knows is also kind of up in the air once one takes a closer look at the film. But I think the surface story is that Hallorann is very aware something is in room 237. It’s expressed very like a fairy tale story though, isn’t it, the warning to keep out, but the hero must always enter. I do think it’s right on target to accept what Danny says, that Hallorann is frightened by room 237. (P.S. Yes, I think it’s intended for us to believe Hallorann knew about the Gradys and what happened to them.)

  3. 2:04:05 the designs on that chair once jack’s ax-swinging is out of the way. looks like stereotypical alien head or skull. i don’t think that chair is ever in the film again except for i did see it in Vivian Kubrick’s ‘making of the shining’ 1/2 hour show…

  4. correction. i believe it’s just a throw pillow(that’s on the chair) that is only seen again in ‘the making of the shining’

  5. When Jack exits the Overlook and chases Danny, I’m not sure it matters if he’s actually holding onto a slip of paper in his right hand or not. Regardless of whether he’s clutching a paper talisman or suffering from an Ischemic stroke from his earlier head injury, Jack rapidly loses his strength as he leaves the hotel. I like to think that Jack’s Faustian power stopped at the Overlook’s doorsteps and in the maze, he was literally holding onto his soul. Too simple an explanation?

    1. Hi, blablabla. It’s not that I think that Jack is literally clutching any piece of paper. I don’t. But there is a shift between shots 600 and 602 of Jack as he chases Danny to the maze. In shot 600 he holds the ax in both hands. With shot 601 Danny enters the maze. With shot 602 Jack holds the ax in his left hand and his jacket to his chest with his right, and it continues in this way through the remainder of the film. That’s a lot of shots to keep Jack holding that right hand shut as he clutches his jacket, even when he falls down. And then, when we go to the photograph afterward we have the mysterious piece of paper he reveals to the camera in that hand. The question is what does that mysterious paper represent? Just as what does the same clutched hand over his jacket represent, which he doesn’t release through the entire maze.

      Kubrick has done this before. in “Fear and Desire” when the girl is killed, she is shown as having nothing in her hands. Then as she lies on the ground, Kubrick goes in for a close-up of one hand and she he holding something that is small and bright white. We can’t tell what it is, but she’s loosely clasping something. “Fear and Desire” explicitly refers to magic and illusion with the twice quoting of lines from “The Tempest”. Kubrick employees a good deal of illusion in his films. So, what again does the object clasped in the woman’s hand represent? I’m not saying it will represent exactly the same thing as in “The Shining”, but examining each may eventually reveal something that links them together and from which we can begin to perhaps look for meaning.

  6. Wonderful analysis! Thank you so much for your hard work and attention to detail. After reading each section I then rewatched the corresponding section of the film. (: You dramatically expanded my appreciation of The Shining. Indeed, I think the creepiest aspect of the movie is that the Overlook keeps changing but the characters act like nothing is amiss. Totally disturbing! You’re on to something with many of your points — please keep up your critical analyses! I’ll be reading your other Kubrick studies. Thank you again!

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