In 1980, my dad took on the task of painting the entire exterior of our house and to do so, he covered up all of the windows with newspaper from the outside. The only problem from my eyes (I think the color was wrong or something so it took longer than my dad expected) was an add for The Shining was on the page that my dad chose to cover up my window. So, for a little while, whenever I walked into my room I was greeted with this newspaper add and it give me the chills whenever I saw it. Finally I had to keep the curtains closed every hour of the day lest I get too creeped out to play with my Star Wars stuff and have to retreat to some other part of the house. I never told anyone about that because , well you know. Just keep that little part between you and me. Anyway, because of that experience and because of TV adds like this (except not in Britian) I was too scared to see The Shining. For a really long time. Not being one to watch scary movies, I just steered clear of this genre especially this movie. Finally when I was in college, Bonnie, the girl I was dating at the time, was astonished to discover this and convinced me to watch this film. Yes, it did scare the hell out of me (another thing we can keep between us, hmm?) but it also captured my attention. This movie creeps me out with each viewing but I still love it, even if I am left looking over my shoulder when I walk down long hallways
I love what Stanley Kubrick and cinematographer, John Alcott, and editor, Ray Lovejoy and the crew did to make this such a powerful film.
Even the opening title sequence is long and slow with droning, creepy score by Wendy Carlos and Rachel Elkind. Why did they do this? To show just how far away the Overlook Hotel was from the rest of the civilized world. If anybody was all the way up there in that hotel when it was closed for the dead of winter, buried in snow, and somebody did get a dose of cabin fever, it would be curtains (or elevators full of blood) for everybody with no hope of being saved even if you could 'shine'. (Spoiler #1)
BTW, hardcore Stephen King fans, I know this is step away from the book and you all are still feel angry so you can skip this post and go back to your TV mini series of the same title (which uh, did not meet expectations excepting the topiary scene).
Finally after the interview with the Overlook manager, Jack takes his family on the long drive to the Overlook. Because the original intended aspect ratio is 1:1.33 even the car ride feels cramped (not quite trapped yet-spoiler #2). Note that even in this happy family sequence Jack is generally shown in the shadows of the car's roof, Danny faces Mom (Wendy) who is in the light and Wendy is looking back at Danny away from the light. ...Dark...(Spoiler #3).
At the Overlook, Danny meets Dick Hallorann, the head chef. The two have a "private" chat about Shining and eat ice cream, innocuous right? Wrong! The way this shot is composed, with the camera low on the table angled up at the Danny and Hallorann, but still distant from the two makes them appear small in the shot and gives an ominousness to the kitchen. It almost feels like someone or something is listening to their conversation through the gaping hole that is the chef office's windows.
Back to Jack in the pantry above. He threatens Wendy on the other side of the door and provides another reveal. "You've got a big surprise coming to you. You're not going anywhere. Go check out the Snowcat and the radio and see what I mean." And when Grady's voice arrives to let Jack out we see Jack talk down to the floor (us), to hell (we are in hell) and Jack intends to take Wendy and Danny there too. Spoiler #12.