The Shining Review: What Does the Ending of Mean?

The meaning of the film The Shining (1980): explanation of the plot & ending. The Shining by Stanley Kubrick is considered by many to be one of the greatest films of all time. It continues to be the subject of much debate to this day. There are still many theories about what the meaning of The Shining is. Kubrick deliberately left many things unexplained, including some details from the third act. However, he explained why Jack Torrance appears in the photo at the end.

Description of the story

The Shining is about writer Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) who is looking for a quiet place to write his new novel. So he accepts an offer to be the manager of a remote mountain hotel, the Overlook.

On a note! So many changes were made to the script during filming that Jack Nicholson didn’t read it in its entirety, only the part he was supposed to play himself.

During an introductory interview, he learns, among other things, a horror story about his predecessor, Charles Grady. He went mad from loneliness and separation, and killed his wife and two daughters. But Jack ignores this story, transports his family and begins literary work.

However, after some time, Jack begins to follow in the footsteps of his predecessor. As a result of the strange and mystical events that are happening around the family, Jack loses his mind and begins to hunt for his family, killing Dick the cook along the way. As a result, the chase leads its participants into a snow maze. Jack cannot find a way out and dies from the cold.

On a note! The snow in the film’s final scenes was made from salt and crushed polystyrene.

Ending and hidden meaning

This is how Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining ended. There is a little mystery in the film, which the director added at the very end. This is a mysterious photograph from a ball at the Overlook Hotel on July 4th. The protagonist of the film smiles from her, looking straight ahead.

The Mystery of the Shot

Of course, fans and journalists have asked Kubrick many times about what the meaning of The Shining is and what role photography plays in it. The famous director revealed the secret. The photo should tell viewers that Torrens is the reincarnation of an employee who appeared at the hotel in the past. Kubrick’s explanation is supported by the character of Dilbert Grady, Jack’s ghost, found in the hotel’s restrooms. Grady was Torrance’s predecessor, so he too was apparently Dilbert’s reincarnation. Overall, this means that the Overlook is capable of summoning reborn souls and causing them to do evil.

On a note! While this statement comes directly from the director, some die-hard fans of the film are unhappy. They have their own theory about what is the meaning of the film The Shining and in particular the mysterious photograph. According to her, after the death of Jack, his soul becomes part of the hotel, and what we see in the photo is something like a fingerprint. An imprint in the history of the haunted hotel.

indian trail

Another theory about the meaning of the ending in The Shining is that the Overlook Hotel is a place cursed by the Indians. They did this because the territory that once belonged to them was invaded by white people. As one of the characters in the film says, the hotel was built at the beginning of the century on the site of an old Indian cemetery. This is indicated by the features of the interior of the hotel, where traces of national Indian culture have been preserved. For example, bright ornaments on carpets, reminiscent of the indigenous inhabitants of these territories.

It is believed that powerful shamans wielded magic, had the gift of foresight and could cast curses. Apparently, the Americans, who invaded the territory of the Indians and built a kind of entertainment establishment on their bones, angered the Indian spirits. And those, in turn, cursed the smug Americans. The souls of those who lived and worked at the Overlook Hotel were forever bound to this place.

And there is a hole in the classics

Despite the undeniable recognition of the film as a classic of the “terrible” genre, the film nevertheless contains some errors and inconsistencies. It was they who were noticed by fans who watched the legendary horror film many times and parsed it literally into frames.

The Shining Movie Errors:

  • When Jack breaks the bathroom door, two panels appear. In the next scene, instead of panels, there are two glasses.
  • When Wendy goes to the lobby looking for Jack, there is no bearskin by the fireplace. But when she gets to the top of the stairs and hits Jack on the head, the carpet suddenly appears.
  • The first time we see Jack’s typewriter, it’s small and white. Then when Jack writes on it, it’s bigger and bluer.
  • The shadow of the camera is sometimes seen from behind Danny as he cycles through the hallways of the hotel.

Stanley Kubrick directed one of the classic horror films based on the book of the equally famous Stephen King. The film is so classic that it has been parodied and quoted countless times. There are many reasons for this, from Nicholson’s gripping story and demonic acting to the scary atmosphere.

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