At first I thought that the hotel was behind everything out of the ordinary that happened in the movie, and that’s what we’re supposed to think, until you look deeper.
In the movie we’re seeing a mirror image (reversal) of many major plot points from the novel. Just like the obvious color reversal Stanley Kubrick chose for the VW and Sno-Cat, what’s red is yellow and what’s yellow is red. But in typical Kubrick fashion he doesn’t make this obvious. In the novel Jack’s possessed by The Overlook, and in the movie we’re led to believe, that it’s possessing him again. What’s actually happening may be a complete reversal of this. I believe the cast members who “Shine” are controlling everything that happens in the movie. The visions and ghosts are all in their own minds (at least up to the last scene)! Jack’s ability to “Shine” coupled with his decent into insanity is what’s causing many of the spooky goings on in the movie and not The Overlook itself. In fact I believe Stanley Kubrick put an almost unbelievable twist to his version of The Shining; He’s totally reversed what was in Stephen King’s novel and The Overlook isn’t possessed or even haunted, and doesn’t have the special ability to “Shine” like it’s visitors. I can’t think of one other director that could (or would even try to) pull something like this off, and the proof is this. If The Overlook were able to “Shine” Dick Hallorann would have immediately picked it up when he was working there, just like he immediately picked up Danny’s ability when they first met and he warned him not to go into room 237. If you find this a little hard to believe just think about this; everything we’re told about “Shining” comes from one source, the lips of Dick Hallorann. Whether we’re reading the novel or looking at the movie, he’s the only one that knows anything or says anything about it. He’s a board certified expert on the subject, and when he says “the Overlook Hotel here has somethin' almost like 'shining'." we have to take this as coming from someone that knows exactly what they’re talking about. “Somethin' almost like 'shining” is not the same thing as “Shining”, it’s almost like it. If you look at what he and Danny are talking about over ice cream you’ll see he’s trying to convince him not to go into room 237. The reason is not that he’ll find anyone in there or that it’s even dangerous (which he would have told him if it was) but because Danny, with his very special ability, will see the echo of something that was there in the past, exactly like what he knew the maid in the novel saw, a suicide. All these years everyone’s thought that The Overlook was in control, because it’s that way in the novel. And now it may be that the exact opposite is true.
Again the proof is in the treatment he gave to Stephen King's novel. The inversions I’ve pointed out from the source novel cannot be ignored; where do they stop? Does anyone think a perfectionist like Stanley Kubrick would stop right at the end in his alteration of the source material? If you think about it there's not one shred of evidence anyone can point to that the movie Overlook, as evil as it may be, has done anything to, or affected it’s inhabitants in any way. There’s just as much evidence that they did it all to themselves, and that’s the beauty of it; the ambiguity. What I’m saying is very controversial but why would he make this point so ambiguous if The Overlook were actually (as everyone believes) haunted?
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