The Shining is a 1980 British-American psychological horror film produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick, co-written with novelist Diane Johnson, and starring Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd, and Scatman Crothers. The film is based on Stephen King's novel of the same name, though there are significant changes.
In the film, a writer, Jack Torrance, takes a job as an off-season caretaker at an isolated hotel. His young son possesses psychic abilities and is able to see things from the past and future, such as the ghosts who inhabit the hotel. Soon after settling in, the family is trapped in the hotel by a snowstorm, and Jack gradually becomes influenced by a supernatural presence; he descends into madness and attempts to murder his wife and son.
Fig.1 The Shining (1980)
This film creates an intensely claustrophobic atmosphere and a suffocating sense of personality disintegration despite the huge hotel in which they are staying in. The expert use of the camera and interior decor has been able to amplify the feeling of a prison to the audience.
The mix of long tracking shots and the musical score builds up a terrifying amount of dread. Especially when the camera is following young Danny on his tricycle along the corridors of the empty hotel. Lowering the camera to handlebar-level and exaggerating the sound of the wheels rolling across evenly-spaced rugs on a wooden floor. With it being drawn out for so long you just know something is going to happen.
Fig. 2 The Shining (1980)
This is also apparent in the chase scene in the snow filled maze as the camera follows Danny try to escape from his father. It's an excellent tool used perfectly by a master film maker. James Berardinelli notes that; "By the end of the film, every inch of the hotel hints at something sinister and every frame is infused with a sense of the macabre." (Berardinelli, 2009)
The interior of the hotel is to be taken into account as well. Janet Maslin notes; "[The Shining] is so richly textured that it improves immeasurably upon second viewing, once an audience moves beyond worrying about a story line or taking the facts at face value." (Maslin, 1980). A strikingly powerful, and memorable, is the hexagonal carpet which Danny is sitting on, it looks like a maze, somewhat foreshadowing the events to happen at the end of the film, but it also represents the family being trapped within the hotel.
Fig.3 The Shining (1980)
Beraedinelli, James (2009) The Shining Film Review
At: http://www.reelviews.net/php_review_template.php?identifier=1482 (Accessed on 30.11.13)
Maslin, Janet (1980) "Flaws Don't Dim 'The Shining'"
At: http://www.nytimes.com/library/film/060880kubrick-shining.html (Accessed on 30.11.13)
Fig.1 The Shining (1980) [Poster]
At: http://www.impawards.com/1980/shining_ver1.html (Accessed on 31.11.13)
Fig.2 The Shining (1980) Directed by: Stanley Kubrick, United States [Film Still]
At: http://www.tested.com/art/movies/457145-shining-and-steadicam/ (Accessed on 31.11.13)
Fig.3 The Shining (1980) Directed by: Stanley Kubrick, United States [Film Still]
At: http://planetivy.com/uknews/uknews-uknews/11216/deciphering-the-shining/ (Accessed on 31.11.13)