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Classic horror films remain a predominant part of pop culture and often leave viewers pondering on about certain elements that were presented. Psychological thriller and mystery induced film The Shining (Kubrick, 1980) enables viewers to witness the mental deterioration of husband and dad Jack Torrance as he falls victim to the evil presence lurking within the hotel he has agreed to look after. Meanwhile, Jack’s son, Danny Torrance, begins experiencing psychic premonitions, identified as “The Shining”, as he uncovers hidden incidents of the hotel’s morbid past.
Jack Torrance was chosen to fulfill the caretaker position at a hotel during the winter season where it would be vacant.
With this, he chooses to have his wife, Wendy Torrance, and son Danny accompany him. While settling in, Jack was informed by the hotel manager that a man previously caring for the hotel, Grady, killed his wife and daughters, and afterwards took his own life. Despite this, Jack comforted himself by working on a written piece but would often time experience writer’s block.
As Jack worked tirelessly on his written piece, his son Danny began to become exposed of the hotel’s morbid past through psychic visions which furthered his father’s mental deterioration. While at the hotel one night, a mentally exhausted Jack sees the ghost of Grady and successfully becomes convinced that he must also fulfill the prophecy that Grady did. Danny became aware of his father’s decision through “The Shining” and does all that he can to save his mother Wendy from his father’s lust to kill.
Danny and Wendy fight tirelessly to escape Jack and eventually are able to.
The film ends with Jack freezing to death outside of the hotel’s maze, inevitably becoming another one of the its victims. In the film, Jack and Wendy are not able to communicate effectively as both are unable to express their emotions to one another. Their inability to communicate is open to interpretation as the viewer cannot be sure if their lack of skill is due to the hotel’s spiritually evil presence or if their relationship has always been this way. The spouses exchange few words as Jack is occupied by his written project and, ultimately, being led astray by the hotel’s spiritual presence. On the opposite end, Wendy is primarily focused on caring for Danny as Jack has not been mentally present since they moved into the hotel. Wendy notices Jack’s aggressive behavior becoming more frequent, yet is too afraid to stand up to him. In addition to this, Danny is aware of his father’s intentions, yet does not communicate this to him or his mother until the end of the film. The Torrance Family lacked a great deal of communicating their feelings and intentions to each other, which inevitably contributed to their deteriorating relationship.
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