Lets Scare Jessica To Death

As a child of the 70's there are movies in which the whole generation shares as touchstones of pure terror.  One of them was the hallowed Don't be Afraid of the Dark.  Which used to play regularly on the late Saturday Afternoon feature flick.  Sometimes as the Friday 8pm movie.  Whenever a network needed to fill the airwaves.  I guess no one cared that it ran during prime hours for kids.  Hence a whole generation was traumatized by little demons calling for Kim Darby's Sally.  Other movies included in this shared terror were Trilogy of Terror (the voodoo doll simultaneously hilarious and terrifying), Burnt Offerings (the chauffeur, sweet gods the CHAUFFEUR!) and Night of the Living Dead.

Lets Scare Jessica To Death was also included in this group as well.  However, luckily for my childhood psyche, I missed it when it was on the air.  After scaring a generation of 70's children, it disappeared for years on end.  It was no longer aired on television, it had a small VHS release to no fanfare.  It appeared briefly on DVD but then disappeared once more.  Recently, in the past year, it surfaced on Itunes and Amazon to frighten a whole new generation of film fans.

So I decided to rent it and check out if it lived up to its hype.

Oh fates...it did...it did.

The film is very low Fi, practically no special effects.  There is just one jump scare.  Strangely, it isn't a film that you can claim terrifies in a conventional sense.  It is a monster movie without the monster.  It is a haunting without ghosts.  What the film manages to invoke in viewers is completely through subliminal visual and audio tricks.  Despite nothing really wicked being shown (until the climax), the film is a study in paranoia.  It creeps up on fans until we, like the heroine, are jumping at the slightest shadow.

All of this can work because the film has complete faith in the talent of its actors particularly Zohra Lampert.  I don't want to discuss the plot really because that would give far too much away.  Just rent it as soon as possible for a scary good time.


"The Wren...Oh the Wren is the King of all Birds" - Eyes Wide Shut

The wren, the wren, the King of All Birds,
On Saint Stephen's Day he was caught in the furze.
Although he is small his family is great.
Come out, good lady, and give us a treat!

Although I do like Kubrick's work there are a few films of his that I just can't like.  2001 A Space Odyssey will always make me run screaming for an exit.  I can't stand that film.  Until recently Eyes Wide Shut had the same effect on me.  But now I can say it is an intriguing film.  It represents, in my opinion, Kubrick's return to the horror genre.  It appears to be a loose sequel to The Shining.

Like The Shining there are a great many fantastic analysis of the film from Jeffrey Scott Bernstein, Tim Kreider, and Rob Ager.  The more arcane and paranoid analysis can be found on Vigilant Citizen.

Aside from all those great essays, I really have nothing more to add except for an element not commonly discussed and the reason why I think this film is related to The Shining.  Both films are modern plays on old celtic and christian mythology.  Kubrick enjoyed layering his films with old mysticism buried under modernism.  In The Shining, the retelling of the The Wild Hunt/Cernunnos/Jack O' Green was encoded into the film.  It was an eerie sub-message that indicated to the audience that the ghostly elite worshipped ancient, bloody gods.  The same mysticism is in this film.

It takes place during the same time of year and the elite are up to their old tricks.  There is a key difference.  The pagan imagery of Christmas is ever present.  The Torrance family were without protection of the Evergreen tree.  The Harfords are surrounded by Christmas trees but these trees are bereft of giving protection.  Why?  The film equates the trees with prostitution/slavery, debauchery, and greedy consumerism.  Kubrick argues that the greed that has taken over our culture has destroyed the power of evergreen protection during the winter solstice.

Follow the Wren

The Wren is a sacred bird in many ancient myths.  The Native Americans believed it was magical and one of the powerful trickster gods.  But I believe Kubrick was more inspired by the darker Druid myth in England.  It was said that young Druids, at the winter solstice, would go on a quest to find the nest of the wren.  An almost impossible task because Wrens are known to build false nests in order to hide their real home (hence the reason why Wrens are so sacred to many cultures).  If the Druid managed to find the wren, he would be celebrated throughout the new year as a wise man.  Later on the Wren quest became considerably more macabre with groups called the Wren boys killing a wren then hauling its carcass door to door to sell its feathers.

Can you see the connection now?

The Wren in this film are the various ladies in the film:  Mrs. Harford, the drug addict Mandy, doomed prostitute Domino, The Rainbow Girl, the masked woman and even the Harford's daughter Helen.

Bill Harford's journey is started by his wife who startles him when she reveals the "false nest", that she has sexual desire for other men.  This destroys Bill's image of her and their family life.  It sets him off to find a true woman.  But instead what he discovers are more subjugated women, more slaves.  Each women is another false nest until he reaches his rainbow's end at Somerton mansion.  In that nightmare world the elite practice black magic and blood sacrifice.  Bill is pegged as their sacrifice until the true Wren gives herself up for him.  Because of her sacrifice Bill is set on a new, wiser journey...to save the women he met on his previous quest.  However each women slips past him into ever more danger.  All of them, like the masked woman, become sacrificial wrens.  Domino discovers that she is HIV positive, the Rainbow Girl is now being sold outright by her father (or is he really her father...hints point to him being an Eastern European white slave trader), and Mandy dies of drug overdose.  The last sacrifice is Bill's own hard earned knowledge about society and his place in it.  His own wife tells him to forget it all even while their own daughter becomes embroiled in consumerism and vanity.

Unlike the Druid in the old myths, Bill does not become wiser instead he closes his eyes to reality.


The Songs of My People?

When you are adopted, your family and its definition expands into interesting territory.  At first, I made no claim to anything else than what I was...Athabaskan.

But since no one ever knew who Athabaskan were (except if my fellow conversationalist was Canadian or Russian or an Alaskan), everyone just thought I was Inuit or Eskimo.

This annoyed me as a child, because my part of the Indian family tree barely resembled them culturally.   After awhile I would just accept the "like an Eskimo" comments even though my ancestors were considerably further south than the arctic circle.

It was hard for me to accept allegiance to my extended, adopted roots.  Even though I was smashed into their corner as well.  My Great Grandmother found it easy to claim my heritage.  It made her thrice-first...she claimed English Pilgrim heritage, New Amsterdam Dutch heritage and through me Native Alaskan.  All first people in the Americas.  It was only natural in her mind.

Of course she was still thinking about the WASP glory years.  The ancestors who carved that city on the hill, that Protestant nation of good sense.  The Dutch gumption to live out their years amongst the Natives desperately trying to forestall the English encroachment.

To this day I both laugh when I recognize WASP in jokes and I cringe as well.  Being WASP or related to them does not hold the allure it once had.  Not even when my Great Grandmother was still alive.  They were on their downward spiral.  The one thing they have in common with my Native Ancestors is that they are going extinct.

And who wants to claim a background that has been iconized by hated villains such as Daisy Buchanan or Gloria Upson in popular culture?

My mother solved this dilemma by emphasizing her Irish side more than the WASP remnant.  She saddled me with an Irish name which further confused everyone around me.  In high school, I would just let my classmates stew with trying to put together the Native American...Irish...Italian designations.  I would stifle my laughter when they came up empty.

Growing up with Irish means you have to grow up with the drunkard jokes.  Unlike my Great-Grandmother being thrice blessed in her heritage I was thrice cursed.  I could claim allegiance to the three biggest drunkard heritages in all the world, Native American, WASP and Irish.  Its amazing how relatively sober I am.  Even so, I feel the affinity for alcohol and its easy answer for dealing with problems.

Another thing growing up with Irish relatives...you get used to the DOOM.   On one hand my WASP grandfather would push the stiff upper lip, gracious smiles and my Mother's side had the ALL IS LOST funks.  Lets say, I totally understand Eugene O'Neill and his headspace.  Hysteria R' US, indeed.  And yet popular culture totally ignores the gloominess and pushes the simpleton Dances with Leprechauns stereotypes over the Long Day's Journey Into Night.

Darby O'Gill...I remember watching it during a Sunday TV special.  My grandfather muttering under his breath and the rest of us ignoring him.  The banshee scenes were up there with my all time greatest film induced trauma moments.

Another mixed feeling I have with the Irish is their veneration of the Kennedy clan.  Then again not all feel that way.  I remember my Grandmother never failing to add that they were good for nothing bootleggers.  But I can still see why they were so idolized, storming WASP bastions and aping their lifestyle.  Which upper class Irish never fail to follow in those footsteps.  I always wondered why.  Why emulate people who called you apes?

The Italian side...doesn't hold as much sway over me as the rest.  If my Grandfather muttered about the Irish, you can only imagine his one sided conversations about the Italians.  The one thing I remember from the Italian side is that letting everyone know how you felt was not considered a sin.  This is totally anathema to the WASP or Irish way of dealing with problems.  It is anathema for the Native Americans as well.  I recently read that Native American culture felt that being emotional or showing emotions was low class and irrational.  Hence the stone face portraits galore.  But it also explains their gravitation toward alcohol.  The same impetus shared by WASPs and the Irish.  So being able to speak my mind was always just a far flung dream for me.  I didn't understand my Italian relatives.

The food was great though and there was plenty of it.  No boring baked potatoes or bland mush at the Italian table.  Heaven is Italian food.

However claiming the Italian part of the family was no easier than the rest.  American culture up until the 1980's was all about how Italians were incredibly violent and prone to gangsterism.

I hated The Godfather for many, many years.  But now it is a relic from a more distant past, I can appreciate it now.  I never forget the cannoli either....


As a young person, I never claimed common ties with any of my people.  But the influences are there and as I get older they come out.  All of them have been a big force in forging my personality.  As an old or older person, I find that I have to make peace with the warring heritages of my family.  I have to accept who they were, who they are and why I am because of them.  On one hand I am Native American who were the first in America and on the other hand I have family who took land from Native Americans.  On one side I have family who ruled culture and politics since the Pilgrims on another side I have family who were reviled as being of lesser stock.  As you can see it all messes with the mind and I have to come to grips with it.  Yet to deny any of them would be a crime.  How can you deny family?  It can't be done.


The Torture of the Elements - Now You See Me

Now You See Me was a film that I just recently watched despite being released about a year ago.  I caught part of it on cable and it intrigued me enough to borrow it from the library.  This film was also written up on the Vigilant Citizen site.  This site does have interesting insights on arcane imagery but all too often it collapses into a dead weight of hysteria.  VC goes into Illuminati rigamarole but let me tell you, I think the film's intent is more pedestrian and more disturbing than a big commentary on secret groups.

First things first about Alchemy.  I don't believe at its heart that it has dark intentions.  All of my readings point to it being a belief system about enlightenment much like Buddhism.  Its tenets are about finding balance and bliss in life.

This is not the Alchemy we see in films and books.  I see the exact opposite.  In the Harry Potter series, the alchemical hero, Harry, engages in torture and attempted manslaughter.  But he is still held up to be a man of pure love, worthy of worship.  The same occurs in the film Prometheus, David8 is the alchemical hero but murders the boyfriend of his future Soror Mystica, Elizabeth.  The film implies heavily that he is blameless because he is a slave of the Saturn figure in the film.  Yet, the film also keeps implying that he has free will.

In Now You See Me, the film plays heavily with story elements stolen from The Count of Monte Cristo.  But unlike the far superior Dumas novel, the film subverts Dumas' moral denouncement of revenge.  The hero of Dumas' tale destroys himself in the process of his revenge, the alchemical hero of Now You See Me achieves Quintessence with true love as his reward!

This film celebrates revenge and announces to the viewer that it is a noble pursuit along with robbery.  The practice of revenge is far from the tenets of Alchemy that champions emotional and mental balance.

Entering the Cave

The film begins with an introduction of the four elements and the hidden alchemist.  In order to achieve quintessence the alchemist balances and harnesses the power of the elements.   Above the 4 is the Tria Prima: Mercury, Sulphur and Salt.  The union of those three leads to the union of the red king and the white queen  leading to the birth of the philosopher's stone/child/quintessence/true love.

The hidden alchemist chooses 4 magicians each representing the 4 elements.

Fire - J. Daniel Atlas -The Lovers card
Water - Henley Reeves - The High Priestess card
Air - Merritt McKinney - The Hermit card
Earth - Jack Wilder - Death card

Why did I decide upon these designations for each of these characters?  In the case of J. Daniel and Henley they are presented as the quarreling lovers.  In this film there are two sets of lovers, two Red Kings and two White Queens.  One set actually reaches quintessence at the end of the film.  But in the case of J and Henley their journey, or chemical marriage, has not occurred by the end of this film.  There are rumors that there will be a sequel (my bet is on two sequels) and their ultimate union will be the main story arc for the rest of the films.  I give them the fire and water designation because when these elements finally unite they herald harmony and union of all 4 elements.

Merritt and Jack, I had to think awhile about their designations.  The film is tricky with their visual symbols.  Both display characteristics of the god Mercury and his metal quicksilver.  My final decision rests on the simple fact that Merritt (played by Woody Harrelson) is the more important character, he is also an impish conductor of disharmony between BOTH sets of lovers.  He also has more interaction with J and Henley completing the first iteration of the Tria Prima. Therefore he became the element Air with Jack taking on the role of Earth.

The Alchemist leads them to a dark apartment.

The concept of the cave or castle is that it represents the oven in which the Alchemist tortures/transforms the elements.  The apartment in this film represents the first heating to purify the elements to form them into the stone.  The major symbol that this is so, is the presence of the white rose.  The rose represents the Albedo stage of the great work, it represents the purity that the cooking of the elements aspires to and it also symbolizes the chemical marriage between the Red King and White Queen.

The Nigredo - The First Magic Show

The Nigredo stage represents the death stage.  The film frequently mentions the supposedly doomed Lionel Shrike who died during a Houdini inspired magic trick that had gone horribly wrong.  The figure of Houdini also resides in the film's nemesis, Thaddeus Bradley.  Bradley makes a living debunking magician tricks much like Houdini's quest to debunk spiritualism.  Now why the film makes much ado about a former magician explaining magician tricks really makes no sense.  Since magic shows are built on the fact that everything is sleight of hand and part of the challenge is for the audience to figure out how the trick was done.

The reason why the nemesis is a black man is due to another Alchemical symbol called the Black King or the Ethiopian.  The Black King is the foremost symbol of the Nigredo stage.  He is the stone in its initial state, waiting to be purified.  This film also showcases another King, Old King Saturn, who is Arthur Tressler.  King Saturn is mostly shown in artwork as an old man with a scythe, he is a figure that creates and destroys.

Each round of the stage show highlights how each magician or element begin to work together more harmoniously.  But the real changes are shown in the chemical marriage between the two couples, J Daniel/Henley and Dylan/Alma.  The chemical marriage is the marriage of opposites so frequently alchemical tales have a warring couple.  Out of the two couples the J Daniel/Henley is the most important.  As mentioned before,the film is playing upon the tria prima factor with J Daniel representing sulphur or heart, Henley representing Salt or body and Merritt representing Mercury or Mind.  Usually the tria prima showcases the red king and white queen as representing Sulphur (male) and Mercury (female) with their "rival" falling away as the sulphur and mercury unite.  This film argues that it is J Daniel who must learn to trust Merritt in order reunite with Henley as a more deserving partner.  If there are sequels, the love triangle between all of them will take center stage.  Ultimately J Daniel will make a sacrifice for all his fellow magicians that will herald the philosopher's stone and win him Henley's love.

Now in regards to the actual magic show, it represents the Nigredo as a burial.  A king figure is "buried" in a vault of riches.

The Albedo - The Second Magic Show

The second couple of Dylan and Alma kick off the chemical marriage of the albedo stage.  In artwork the couple is usually shown making love, dying, being buried then to rise and be reborn.  Time is a very important indication in Alchemy.  So the fact that 4 Horseman are performing their 2nd show during Mardi Gras is important.  According to Brian Cotnoir in The Weiser Concise Guide to Alchemy, the spring equinox is the height of the great work, the center of the chemical marriage.

The conductor of this process is the Air element which is why Merritt is shown as an instigator of trouble for J Daniel and Henley on their plane trip to New Orleans and he is the main magician in the second show.  The film also shows more albedo symbols such as the clouds the Horseman's plane flies above, the bubble trick that impresses the audience of the second show, and more examples of Merritt's mentalism.

The sacrifice of the King Saturn figure, Tressler, is an indication that elements have achieved conjunction and it is clear that Dylan and Alma have fallen in love.

The Rubedo - The Third Magic Show

Now that the elements have been united, the philosopher's stone is ready to be born.  The indication for the rubedo however is not solely showcased in the last magic show.  The film has a red death in which the audience thinks that Jack Wilder dies in a bid to save the other Horseman.  Wilder dies in an inferno representing the final fire uniting the couple of opposites.

The last 3 Horseman, the Tria Prima, conduct the final show.  Their sacrifice is giving up fame and fortune for the mysterious Eye.   There is also an indication that Mercury/Merritt and Sulphur/J Daniel have come to an understanding if not outright friendship.

The final stage, the philosopher's stone of the film, is the reveal of the 5th Horseman...the Quintessence.  Who turns out to be none other than police officer Dylan Rhodes.


Unfortunately, as most films using Alchemy, the creators thought that merely showing the steps and symbols of Alchemy shows character growth.  They think the symbols will do everything thereby letting characterization fail.  This is why Rowling can think Harry Potter is a symbol of pure love while he commits questionable actions.  It is also why Dylan Rhodes of this film can be the embodiment of the Philosopher's Stone while committing illegal acts and encouraging others to do the same.  Instead of being a force for love and enlightenment, he is a figure of revenge.  His rage at the loss of his father justifies his crimes.  Alchemy is about letting go of desires such as revenge and emotions such as rage.  It is about love for humanity and forgiveness of faults.  But the creators of the story can't see this, since they did their paint by numbers Alchemy kit.

Therefore we see Dylan being rewarded with true love and reunited with his Queen, Alma.  To drive the fact that they are so wonderful...the philosopher's stone...Alma decides not to report Dylan's crimes.

As for the Horseman?  They will get a sequel which will represent the Albedo stage of the work.  Alchemy is a circle, the tracts state that to truly achieve the stone, the great work must be repeated 3 times.  Each cycle represents a more purified stone.

Nigredo Cycle - Now You See Me
Albedo Cycle - Now You See Me 2
Rubedo Cycle - Now You See Me 3

References for this essay:
Lyndy Abraham - A Dictionary of Alchemical Imagery
Brian Cotnoir - The Weiser Concise Guide to Alchemy
Dennis William Hauck - The Complete Idiot's Guide to Alchemy


I Am a Ghost

Lately I've been on a horror film binge view fest.  I just don't have the time to discuss all that I watch.  I have finally seen Cabin in the Woods (eh, intentionally cheesy and too clever for its own good) and the newest remake of Carrie (horrible...avoid it at all costs).

Then, this past weekend, I Am A Ghost appeared on Itunes.  It looked intriguing but I was hesitant because I hadn't heard about it.  I did a little research and it is a very small and independent film with some very nice reviews.  The word around the blogs was that it only cost $10,000 to produce but it doesn't look cheap at all.

The story centers around a mysterious young woman wandering a huge, desolate Victorian house.  She goes about a daily routine repeatedly but the viewer can't help but notice that the routine has slight changes.  Also the time frame is confusing.  Although the house seems to be existing in a time period sometime around the late 19th Century...the young woman's clothing are Edwardian and yet she wears bonnets that are more in the style of the 1860's.  To add to the confusion she is surrounded by very modern (relatively speaking) devices.  It leads the viewer to wonder...are there really ghosts in this film?  The general atmosphere in the film is unsettling leading up to very disturbing finale.

Even though the film was made cheaply, it looks very elegant.  The lighting is beautiful and the colors are at times rich and other times faded.  It all depends on the mood of the heroine.  The set design is extremely nice with little victorian touches that are extremely oppressive to our modern sensibilities.

I'm glad I took a chance on this film and I highly recommend it!



Eraserhead was on my list, along with Freaks, of horror films I wanted to watch.  I haven't had the nerve to watch Freaks as of yet, but when I saw Eraserhead at my local library I grabbed it.  Incidentally this film was one of the biggest influences on Kubrick's The Shining.  Indeed Kubrick's film seems to be a big love letter to young Lynch's debut.

Is the film a straight horror film?  No.  Is it horrific?  YES!  I've never been so scared while watching a film.  Not only was I scared but felt psychologically exposed by it.  This film never lets up, it only provides the barest minimum of tension release and that is only in the first quarter of the film.  The disturbing imagery piles up speaking straight to the viewer's subconscious.

I can only describe the experience as a free form anxiety attack.  Let me warn you, this film is not for the faint of heart and whatever you do, DON'T WATCH IT BEFORE BEDTIME!

What of the story?  If you are familiar with Lynch's later work than a coherent storyline is not a factor.  What there is of it seems to be the experiences of a young man pushed into a shotgun marriage due to his girlfriend's unplanned pregnancy.  The film plays with wild Freudian imagery highlighting issues such as sexual desire, sexual fear, body horror, fear of intimacy, social immaturity, fear of parenthood, spousal hatred, fears of old age and death.

The look of the film harks back to the German expressionist cinema of the 20's and film noir of the 30's/40's.  The black and white palette is rich with deep contrasts of shadows and light.  It is an extremely beautiful film even though it is hard to miss that fact due to the unnerving images.

I highly recommend this film if you love horror films, art house flicks and a bit of a cinematic daredevil.


Lives of their own

There have been so many wonderful theories on Kubrick's enigmatic adaption of Stephen King's The Shining.  My favorites are written by Rob Ager and Jonny53.  There are numerous interpretations out there some logical and others bizarre (Native American mass murder?).  The one that has recently interested me I originally read a while ago on IMDB.  However due to IMDB's overzealous policies of data dumping, the posts regarding this theory have long since vanished.  So I'm being very forthright when I state that this theory is not my idea.  I make no claim to creating it.  And I have no information on that brilliant person who did write about it.  This post is merely my attempt to recreate it and present it as one of the many fantastic theories that reveal the extensive work that Kubrick encoded into his film adaption.

One recurring theme in Stephen King's novels and short stories are about characters taking lives of their own.  All writers have experienced it in one form or another.  Whatever the reason characters refuse to behave in the way a writer wants him or her to behave.  They refuse to do what the writer needs them to do in the story.  Sometimes they even rewrite the story or change its focus.  The experience is rather uncanny and I can see why King would frequently visit it in his stories about horror.  It has been a long time since I've read The Shining, so I'm not sure if King touched upon this favorite theme in this novel. We do know that King and Kubrick had a few conversations while Kubrick was adapting King's novel into a film script.  I'm sure that Kubrick also read King's other work for insights.  This is important because the resulting film was intensely personal for both King and Kubrick.  I often wonder if Kubrick was tickled by the fact that both he and King shared the same initials (SK).  This theme of characters coming to life or controlling the writer is important because I believe that Kubrick used this as a main theme in his adaption.

What we are watching in Kubrick's adaption is a mixture of Jack's book and life.  As the film progresses through the boundaries between Jack's imagination and reality become blurry.  Also I don't believe Kubrick was cheating on the ghost factor.  They do exist and he gives a large hint to their reality well before the famous kitchen storeroom scene.

In order to understand this theory, a film viewer must pay attention to three factors:  the use of the color red, the presence of mirrors and Jack's typewriter.  All are used at key points just before or during important scenes.

The Interview

Jack's ride to the Overlook for his interview and the interview itself are reality.  A common complaint regarding the film was how ridiculously insane Nicholson's Jack was in the film. But this is not the case at the beginning.  During the interview Jack is rather low key.  Granted he is a bit stiff, but he was interviewing for a potential job.  What starts us on the dark road to insanity is Ullman revealing the awful history of a former hotel caretaker.  Please note this story is after Jack tells Ullman that he is trying to write a novel.  As soon as the Grady story is mentioned, Kubrick pointedly shows Jack's face light up.  Eureka.  The subject of his novel has just fallen into his lap.

Now in regard to some of the visual clues.  It is important to note that Jack is not wearing any red at all. The first spots of red we see are in the hotel walls also in Ullman's tie and shirt.  The color of Ullman's clothing is a big signpost that we are plunging into Jack's "novel" because he is the one who gives Jack ideas.

We immediately segue into a sequence with Wendy and Danny.  Their clothing is splattered in red which shows an eerie foreshadowing.  I find it interesting that Kubrick created a connection between Ullman and Jack's family.

The color red can symbolize danger, overwhelming emotions, sacrifice, war.  By contrast we see Jack dressed in green.  Kubrick seemed intent on creating a message that this Jack is not the same man that we see in the rest of the film.  The color green symbolizes jealousy, everlasting life, nature, youth and misfortune.  Why does Kubrick turn Jack into the Green Man or Jack o' the Green?  The Green Man is often shown as the horned god, Cernunnos the patron of the stag and protector of wild animals.  In many pagan myths the Green Man/Stag must die in order to be reborn and herald a new spring.  Cernunnos is also thought to be a god of the dead, who leads souls to the afterlife unless he considers them unworthy.  If unworthy, the souls are condemned to be wander lost.

Many have argued in their theories that Ullman knows more than he lets on about the nature of the hotel.  That Ullman may "offer" up sacrifices to the hotel from time to time.  This could be supported in the music Kubrick used which is very religious (Penderecki's Utrenja) and the aforementioned Green Man symbology.  So is Ullman engaging in magic to keep up the hotel's success?  As you can see, the colors are showing Ullman as a predator and Jack as prey.

The Mirror

Meanwhile Danny has a vision of the impending disaster. But the vision is not about Jack becoming homicidal.  Far from that, his vision is about the Grady tragedy.  The tragedy that Jack has decided to write about in his tentative novel.  Now why is that?  I find it fascinating that Danny sees the novel but not reality.  Many accuse Kubrick of not staying true to King's intention in the book.  That Kubrick just made Jack a straight villain not a man who was possessed.  In this theory Kubrick sticks as close as possible to the Jack in the book, more so than people realize.  Danny's first vision supports that a power, outside his and Jack's control, is driving events towards murder.

As a result of this vision and blackout, a doctor is called to treat Danny.  During the discussion between Wendy and the Doctor, Jack's fatal flaw is revealed.  Jack has a short temper and he once beat Danny.

Closing Day - Thursday October 30, 1980

The Death of Cernunnos

As you can see the timeline begins its countdown toward the final events.  It isn't just random.  It points towards both the structure of Jack's novel and magical numbers.  The viewer must also take into account that the Grady tragedy occurred exactly 10 years previously.  Why else mention the year as 1970?  And Kubrick set his film in present day and the same year as the film's release 1980.  In gematria circles, the number 10 represents completion, whole knowledge, the full course of life.  So at the end/beginning of every cycle the hotel gets its sacrifice.  Which is why the Grady tragedy occurred in 1970 with no other tragedies during the rest of the 1970's.  They were a sacrifice of 4 (Mother, Father, and 2 Daughters).  This is a new cycle and Jack's family will potentially be a sacrifice of 3.  Since it seems that Kubrick is equating Jack with a pagan deity, it is interesting to note that this date is the day before Samhain.  In the pagan calendar it is thought that the horned god Cernunnos dies on October 31st.


The ride up to the hotel is reality but it is already showing signs of Jack's fictional retelling of the Grady story.  As this scene shows, Jack is probably not a very good writer.  He would be unoriginal enough to make his novel a fictional account of his own family's brush with Grady like danger.  We hear stilted dialogue and hackneyed references to the Donner party.  Also important to notice that Kubrick uses an obvious rear projection screen technique to mimic a vehicle moving past scenery. The viewer should also be aware that the picture is now flipped.  During the opening credits, the car was shown to the right of the screen with the mountain also on the right side.  During this ride, the car is now shown to the left of the screen and the mountain has jumped to the left as well.  The car is in fact leaving the hotel.  Why the reversal?  It is a sign that we are now in sinister territory, stuck between reality and Jack's imagination, symbolically between justice and the unconscious.  There are more important wardrobe colors to found in this scene as well.  Jack is still in his signature green.  Wendy is dressed in brown.  But Danny is in blue.  Danny is almost always wearing something blue in his clothing.

Hotel Tour

The next scene we see is Jack waiting in the lobby for Ullman and his assistant Bill.  Right away, we can see that Ullman is still adding the color red to his wardrobe in the form of a pair of pants. There is a visual joke regarding the Torrence family luggage which is piled high by the front door.  It is not possible that all this luggage fit into a VW volkswagon.  So how sure are we that Jack even drives a VW?  Is it the fictional Jack that drives a cute little yellow VW bug?

Another hint that the scene is a kind of kooky novel, Jack merrily states that his son is in the game room.  But he forgets to account for the whereabouts of his wife.  The film pointedly cuts to Danny, in the rec room, playing darts.  Once again Danny gets a glimpse of Jack's novel in the form of the Grady girls.  Now if the color Red is an indication of the Overlook's power, then the opposing power color is blue.  As I mentioned before, Danny is frequently shown wearing his "Shining" blue.  We also see that the Grady girls are also in blue.  Did they once shine?

Now the hotel tour can be seen as a bit superfluous and a curious waste of time.  After all Jack was already shown the area during his first visit.  But as an indication of subsequent events, the tour is extremely important.  Jack and Wendy's first visit to their apartment is mirrored later in the film under more horrific circumstances.  The camera in the later sequence shows Ullman's POV as if he were still showing the hapless couple their living quarters.  We see all the important landmarks from the Maze, snowcat garage to the Gold Ballroom.

It is the Ballroom that is the most significant.  Rob Ager pointed out in his commentary that the furniture moves on its own in the ballroom (and other areas as well).  This frequently attests to the fact that the hotel is really haunted.  But there is also another correlation, the tour of the Ballroom perfectly mirrors Jack's plunge into the Ballroom's past.  Ager pointed out that the bar chairs were out of place.  As if Wendy, Ullman, Danny and Watson had all been sitting at the bar.  Ultimately they do sit at the bar, because in Jack's fantasia of the good life they appear as the "ghosts".  Ullman is Lloyd.  In reality Ullman tells Jack there is no liquor during the winter.  His ghostly evil twin Lloyd is a bartender.  The couple sitting at the bar while Jack dances past is none other than his wife and child.  Watson turns into the diabolical Delbert Grady.  The only two who don't seem to have doppelgängers are Jack and Halloran.  Until the staging is revealed that these two are mirrors of one another.  As they are introduced, Halloran and Jack shake hands with the same body language.   They face each other as if looking in a mirror.  I wonder how many times Kubrick had the actors film this scene until they looked twin like.

The Shining

The conversation scene between Danny and Holloran is one of the most important in the film.  Because Holloran explains to Danny the particulars of the talent they share.  The power of the shine is portrayed as the color blue and both characters have blue in their clothing.  This is also the only scene, at the hotel, that does not have Jack's influence on it.  We are watching reality.  What is also important to note is that Holloran stresses that there are people who have the shine but do not know it.  The unspoken part is that both suspect another individual at the hotel with shining power but it is unknown if they can pinpoint that unknown player as Jack.  Jack is not aware of his talent, he can't control it like Holloran or Danny.  But his novel releases and focuses the latent talent and allows everything in the hotel and his broken psyche to gain form.  The book, in essence, is like Danny's Tony, a coping mechanism for raw talent.

The other significant subject in their conversation is about Room 237.  While Holloran refuses to discuss the room, it is clear something is wrong about it. So Danny bringing it up rings alarm bells.  What lives in that room?  And why does it not fit into Holloran's theory that past hauntings are just like pictures in a book?  I wonder if the room is even used at all in the hotel.  Perhaps it stays locked all year around keeping whatever monster the hotel harbors a prisoner.

One Month Later - Sunday, November 30, 1980

The film flashes this important title because we need to take into account that nothing happened during this time.  There were no ghosts in the hotel, Jack was a regular guy and Danny had no visions.  Presumably Jack performed all the duties that were left to him as a caretaker.  As we learn later in the scene, Jack has not been writing.  Which indicates that for this one month he hesitated to use the Grady story as his basis.

The scene opens with Wendy bringing Jack his breakfast.  As Wendy enters their apartment, we see Jack's sleeping reflection in a mirror.  Kubrick stresses the Widdershins factor yet again in that we are not seeing the natural Jack, we are looking at his opposite...his doppelganger.  As the scene progresses, Kubrick pans in closer to the mirror until the camera travels through the mirror.  It is quite clear we are no longer in reality but inside the backwards mirror world of the book.

The Haunted Typewriter

The one element that is the most important in the film yet rarely written about in most theories is Jack's typewriter.  It is the one object that holds power and constancy throughout the film.  The shots of it, when in use or unused, are a totem and signpost to the viewers.  Whenever we see the typewriter, we know that what occurs around its image is distorted or even unreal.

The first shot of it we see, it lies ominously on a table with Jack playing handball in the background.  We now know that Jack has begun to write.  How much of it is on paper or just in his head is famously revealed later.  But as of this point in the film, he is writing.

Anything that has influence of his book, his fictional account of the Grady story, has the color red included somewhere in the scene.  The first typewriter scene, is the first time Danny and Wendy enter the maze.  Both are wearing red clothing items.  The film cuts to Jack, staring into the maze replica and imagining his fictional family in the maze.  Importantly, Jack is wearing no red items but he is wearing a blue shirt.  Jack is shining.

Tuesday - December 2, 1980

The film opens this new day with a shot of the hotel and in the background we hear a howling wolf.  In keeping with symbolism of the horned god, we discover that The Wild Hunt has begun.

The film shows Wendy preparing dinner for the family.  Kubrick gives a sly visual joke in the fact that she plans to feed her family an industrial sized can of fruit cocktail.  I mean really, could the three of them eat all of that fruit?  But the reason why we are shown Wendy is that this scene is a baseline for reality.  She is not dressed in red.  So the TV broadcast of the large snowstorm approaching their area is very real.  Wendy is dressed in a blue shirt.  Some theorists, like Jonny53, believe that the whole Torrence family in this film can shine.  Perhaps he is right, because in addition to Wendy's blue shirt we can hear the news broadcast announce that an Aspen woman was reported missing.  This occurred while hunting with her husband.  The wild hunt indeed.

We then see Danny on his bike making a circuit of the second floor.  The scene is saturated in red, from the floors to the elevator doors.  Danny is even wearing a red shirt but paired with blue overalls.  He stops in front of Room 237 which seems more and more like the door to Jack's deepest most disturbed desires.  What does Danny see but the two Grady girls flashed into his mind.

Immediately we cut to see Jack writing on his typewriter.  It seems that Danny was existing in both book and reality.  His glimpse of the Grady girls was his perception of his father's fascination with the Grady murder and Room 237 is Jack's desire to murder his own family.  Wendy enters the scene but is now shown to be wearing red boots.  However I have my doubts that this woman is the real Wendy.  While she does mention that the weather broadcast states that there will be a bad snowstorm she never mentions that she was cooking dinner.  Instead she tells Jack that she will bring him sandwiches.  This is odd because Wendy in the kitchen clearly set the table for three people.  After receiving a rather harsh lecture from Jack, Wendy leaves and Jack immediately starts typing again.  The viewers now know that Wendy never left the kitchen and what we saw was some wish fulfillment fantasy in Jack's imagination.  Many theorists make note that Jack pulled the paper from his typewriter when Wendy enters but it mysteriously reappears after she leaves.  They tie it into the poltergeist haunting aspect of the film.  I have no doubt that the movement of objects indicate the haunting of The Overlook.  But in this scene, it supports the book/reality idea.  Jack was imagining this whole scene.  Everything between Jack's typing was straight fiction.

Thursday - December 4, 1980 

Once again we Danny and Wendy playing in the snow while dressed in red clothing.  They pass the red snowcat which is strangely outside the garage.  Meanwhile Jack is in a trance.  The typewriter shown in the background.

Saturday - December 6, 1980

We start this day with a shot of the worsening snowstorm and Jack furiously typing up his next scene.

Meanwhile we get a shot of the real Wendy discovering that the phones have gone out due to the storm.    Just who was she going to call?  She checks up with Forest service regarding the phone lines which she is told will be out until spring.

Danny is once again on his bike and traversing an unknown area of the hotel.  This time the scene is predominantly blue and the red is only in his jacket.  He has a vision of the Grady girls.  But this time they are stronger and can speak to him.  The growing power in the Grady vision is in direct correlation to Jack's book.  The closer Jack gets to the climax of the story the more power the Grady ghosts have and it is all shined directly at Danny.  Kubrick teases us pointblank with the book sub-theme of the film by having Tony tell Danny that he is looking at pictures in a book.

Monday - December 8, 1980

We begin this day with both Danny and Wendy in silhouette.  It is probably a cue to show that reality is dimming for Jack.  He has stopped writing and is now hiding in bed.  Danny sneaks into the family apartment but is horrified to discover that Jack is not sleeping.  Kubrick hints that Jack is now losing track of who he is by showing his reflection in a mirror.  He is almost living full time in his book, almost widdershins completely.  Jack's echoing the Grady girls is another sign that the previous scene was what he was writing on his haunted typewriter.  Danny asks if Jack would hurt his family.  This immediately sets off Jack's latent rage at his family.

The scene cuts off strangely as if the film is missing the rest of the scene.  According to theorist Rob Ager, it did. What was cut off was Jack's beating and rape of Danny.

Wednesday - December 10, 1980

What we see now is a fictional retelling of the crime.  Danny is no longer on his bike.  Instead he is playing (Come and Play with us Danny).  Jack's hand ball rolls toward him, apparently from the now opened Room 237 apartment.  Danny is shown walking toward the open door.

Wendy is in the process of taking care of the jobs that Jack should be performing.  She hears him screaming and we discover that he has fallen asleep in front of his typewriter.  Jack has now been fully consumed by his own book.  He is no longer in green but in a deeply colored red jacket.  Whoever Jack was in the previous scenes is gone.  The red is not only an indication of the book but an indication of how much he hurt Danny.  He wears the jacket much in the same way that Lady Macbeth can't get rid of that spot.  He is hiding now in his novel, writing another reason why Danny was hurt.  Anything rather than face the crime he has just committed.

He tells Wendy that he dreamed that he hurt his family.  Even in fiction, Jack can't hide from what he did.  Danny appears covered in bruises.  Wendy immediately connects Jack to the beating.  She carries Danny out of the room and away from Jack.

The first ghost

Reeling and writhing with anger, Jack stomps into the Gold Ballroom.  I believe it was Rob Ager who cannily pointed out that every time Jack passed a mirror he acted out.  Almost as if Jack is switching personalities or what was inside him is revealed by the mirrors.  As he sits at the mirrored bar, he covers his face to avoid looking at himself.  When he looks up he greets "Lloyd".  Lloyd is a character in the book and behaves much in the way Jack has written him.  Lloyd mouths platitudes and listens placidly as Jack confesses his past abuse of Danny and his justifications of that abuse.  His desire to forget the attack on Danny is further symbolized in the drink that Lloyd gives to him.  Wendy interrupts the rather one sided conversation with the news that there is another person in the hotel.   However I don't believe this is the real Wendy.  This Wendy is a wish fulfillment vision by Jack.  One visual hint that this could be so is that when Wendy runs into the ballroom, she turns her head away from each of the mirrors in the hall.  What is also odd is that she left Danny alone in their apartment.  If she really thought that there was a stranger in the hotel, wouldn't she have had Danny by her side?

Room 237

Halloran is shown in the next scene receiving an image.  The three main colors of the film surround him.  His pajamas are blue indicating his shine.  The sheets are green indicating the pagan Cernunnos imagery.  Above his bed is a red portrait of a nude woman both a sign of the hotel's power and Jack's intentions.  We see Danny in contact with him.  He is now dressed in red mirroring the picture above Halloran's bed and Jack's clothing.

Jack wends his way into the forbidden hotel room and imagines that he sees a beautiful woman.  As others have noted, this woman is seen only in the bathroom and only in front of mirrors.  It is through the mirror that Jack sees the opposite of this young woman, an old witch.  Many theorists think that the audience have been given a glimpse into Jack's soul and a very stylized depiction of what he did to Danny.  Which ever version he saw (Danny's or Jack's)  Halloran is disturbed enough to make an attempt to contact the hotel.  The phone Halloran is using is ominously red.

He did it to himself

As we continue with this fictional recount of Danny's attack and aftermath, Jack goes back to the apartment.  We get a visual hint that we are still widdershins as Wendy and Jack pause at the entrance to the apartment in front of a mirror.  It should be noted that this scene strongly mimics the first time Jack and Wendy saw the apartment.  They peek into Danny's room then sit in their bedroom.  Here Jack writes that he convinces Wendy that Danny suffered from a epileptic attack.  Just like the one he had at their Boulder home. His rage at Wendy comes out once again and he runs away from the apartment.  He takes a look back at Danny's room as he leaves.  Or does he?  If this scene mimics the first visit to the apartment then Jack would be looking at the spot where Ullman was standing.

Who is buying my drinks?

Once again Jack is acting out a violent tantrum, knocking hotel objects onto the floor.  He is surprised to discover that there is a party in the hotel.  As the camera tracks past party balloons, the music cues in a snippet of a Jack Hylton's "Masquerade"(definitely a reference to Jack pretending to be a good family man).  The gold ballroom is fully lit now and filled with party guests dressed in 20's clothing.  The music cue has changed to Ray Noble's "Midnight, The Stars and You".  Jack sits at the bar and greets Lloyd again.  But then something odd and significant occurs, as Jack hands Lloyd money for his drinks, Lloyd tells him the money is no good in the hotel.  Everything up to this point in the story has acted according to Jack's authorial wishes.  But the refusal of the money throws him off.  He didn't write this, this is Lloyd acting on his own account separate from Jack's book.  Jack, no longer acting his lead character, demands to know who is in charge and covering his drink tab.  He allows himself to be dissuaded from further questioning by accepting Lloyd's explanation that it doesn't concern him.

The Other Grady

It is obvious by now that there is another force at work upon Jack.  As he loses himself inside his own novel, he is outside of reality and open to attack.  Although the film is primarily psychological, Kubrick did hold true to the haunted hotel theme of the book.  Whereas the ghosts are up front and visible in the novel, the movie lets them creep up until Jack can no longer ignore them.

A waiter drops a cocktail on the dancing Jack.  They enter a strikingly red bathroom filled with mirrors.  And here Jack meets Grady.  But please note he doesn't meet the REAL Grady.  The real Grady was named Charles, the Grady Jack meets is his own creation called Delbert.  The meaning of the names back this up as well.  Charles means "Man" but Delbert means "Day Bright". The bright lights and the mirrors and the Freudian bathroom setting reveals the inner Jack.  It is interesting to note (in keeping with Freud) that the toilet stalls do not have doors. But it isn't all cut and dried as that, there is still mystery.  Because the fictional Delbert does not act in the way that Jack has written him.  He refuses to be identified as the man who killed his family at the Overlook 10 years previously.  Kubrick has cannily emphasized that this scene is the same as the Room 237 scene.  Jack is positioned in the same way towards Grady as he was toward the young hag.  The Widdershins factor is now even more prominent with constant switching between left/right with the two characters mirroring each other.  As the two "Caretakers" discuss their families, Delbert implants the suggestion that his family must die.


As the hotel possesses Jack, we see Wendy already planning her escape.  However Danny is experiencing his own possession.  He has now allowed his alternate personality/imaginary friend to take over.  He tells his mother that "Danny" is gone.  But exactly which Danny is he discussing?  The book revealed that Jack's full name is John Daniel Torrance.  I believe it was suggested by another theorist that little Danny is channeling his father.  So as Hotel Grady takes over Jack, Jack takes over his own son.  Meanwhile "Jack Grady" is disabling the family's only lifeline to the outside world, their CB radio.  In turn, Halloran is thwarted in trying to contact them.

8AM - Thursday - December 11, 1980

The 11th day is important in magic. 11 is the number of psychic power.   On some gematria websites it states that 11 is a number of bad omens since it is 1 more over the perfection of 10.  The number 11 also symbolizes martyrdom, disorder and punishment of the wicked.  Obviously this is the day of sacrifice for the Torrance family.

We see Halloran traveling to Denver and attempting to arrange transport to the Overlook.  But oddly we also see that Jack is writing again.  This indicates a return to reality outside the addled mind of a possessed and drunken Jack.   We aren't sure who he is writing about but the next scene gives us a big indication...Halloran.  We get a hammy dialogue between Halloran and his friend about the transport to the Overlook.  It has the same stilted feeling of the dialogue the Torrence family had on their drive at the beginning of the film.  This accounts for the discrepancy between the worried Hallorann of the night before and this stuffed doll version stating that he was an errand boy for Ullman.

One clue that we are watching fiction is that Durkin (Halloran's friend) has cartoons playing on his television.  The same cartoons that Danny/Jack is watching at the hotel.  Also note the posters that  are on Durkin's wall.  All of them extremely childlike referencing dogs and woodland creatures.  What kind of auto mechanic hangs pictures of childish animals in his place of business and watches cartoons?

Also why would Ullman call the HOTEL CHEF to do the HR side of the business?  He wouldn't,  if Ullman even thought of anything going wrong with his sacrifice he would have had his right hand man, Bill Watson, go to the hotel.  This indicates to me that this Halloran is straight fiction. What we see is Jack's racist, self loathing doppelgänger of himself.  This Halloran is all the good things still left inside of Jack.  The parts that must be sacrificed!

The fact that the murder we see may have never happened is highlighted by one very big, very important missing feature.

Why no Christmas?

The film takes place entirely after the Thanksgiving holiday.  Kubrick skipped over it entirely.  This may have relation to the Indian massacre motif that many theorists state that Kubrick was using.  But considering the Torrance family have a young child and they are far away from home, Christmas should have been a very, very big deal for them.  So where is their Christmas tree?  Where are the homemade christmas decorations that all children love to make?  Why isn't Wendy ever shown trying to decorate or bake Christmas cookies?  The simple answer is that it supports the argument that we are watching the fictional story that Jack is writing.  He neglected to include seasonal detail.  It also supports the supernatural sub-theme of the sacrifice of the Green Man.  We are in pagan territory here and Christianity has nothing to do with this story.  Unless, of course, we listen to the music Kubrick used.  Even so, evergreen plants held a big significance to the pagans who worshipped at the solstice. These plants were used to keep harmful ghosts away.  So it is quite telling that there is no "protection" of a lighted tree for the Torrance family.

Watch your Cartoons

The symbiosis between Jack and Danny/Tony continues as Wendy tells Danny that she will leave their suite for awhile.  Note that Danny is wearing almost the exact outfit that Jack was wearing when they had that "talk" and sitting in the same position on the bed.  Danny is drenched in red.  While there is no hint of red in Wendy's clothing.  This is an interesting duality.  It suggests that while Wendy is in reality, Danny is stuck inside his father's book.  As Wendy leaves, she grabs a bat.  Which is strange because we've never seen anyone use the bat in a pickup baseball game.  We constantly saw Jack throw balls, it seems the bat appears with Wendy finally taking her equal place in this marriage.  It indicates that she is now willing to take charge and stop depending on Jack, stop building him into her own father figure.  Another interesting indication is that the balance of power has tipped towards meek Wendy.  She, in essence, "speaks softly and carries a big stick".

How do you like it?

As Wendy searches for Jack in the hotel lounge, she starts to read his manuscript.  In this famous scene, we discover that what we thought Jack was writing was just gibberish.  Instead we saw it play out in the film.  We were inside Jack's story/hallucination and none of it ever made it into the physical world.  This is where the film stops being encaged inside Jack's head and begins to show real POVs for Jack's prisoners, Wendy and Danny.

As Jack stalks Wendy around the lobby, it is quite clear that Jack is speaking to her as if she were another one of his delusions.  She is just another character in his book.  He in turn has taken on arguments used by his Delbert Grady character.  Who do we see in this scene?  Are we watching the actual Jack or the diabolical Grady persona?

The film makes one more big point in this scene before Wendy finally knocks Jack's skull.  As Jack is raving about his responsibilities to his employers, there is a shot of Wendy in front of that famous series of black and white photos.  Those photos which mysteriously jump to a new wall and location in the last shot of the film.

The Store Room

As Wendy steps further into the challenge of protecting herself and her child, we see that she has found strength to drag Jack all the way from the lobby to the kitchen.  In her fear, we see the film meticulously document how the storeroom door is opened and locked.  It has a sliding bolt on top, in the handle is another bolt connected by chain which prevents the handle from releasing.  The film documents the lock mechanisms to make it clear that it would be impossible for Jack to escape without help.  However, earlier in the film there was an indication that there was another door into the storeroom.  This set anomaly along with many others was pointed out by film theorist Rob Ager.

Wendy soon discovers that Jack has trapped her just as surely as she has done to him.  He has completely destroyed the snowcat and her only means of escape.

4PM - Thursday - December 11, 1980

We lose 8 hours of time between 8AM and 4PM because Jack has been sleeping.  Which indicates he still driving the alternate reality of the film.  But why make an indication that is 4PM?  According to gematria, the number 4 indicates double duality.  It can also represent the Trinity.  But since Kubrick's film is an evil widdershins of everything good.  The trinity doesn't represent god.

Holy Ghost - Delbert Grady
Father - Jack Torrence
Son - Fictional Caretaker Jack Torrence

Jack speaks to what he thinks is his own fictional creation, they all unite and become 1.  It is only after Jack gives himself to this evil inversion that Delbert Grady releases him from his storeroom prison.  Now there is debate on how Jack escaped.  Some say he used that mysterious second door in the storeroom.  There is another group who states that Jack used psychic powers to release himself.  A smaller group of theorists hypothesize that Danny or even Wendy released him.  I choose to believe Kubrick himself when he stated that he was creating a ghost story.  We had indications earlier that the ghosts existed outside Jack's hallucinations when they acted autonomously.  Here, finally, we have proof that there is something haunting the Overlook hotel.  It may call itself Delbert Grady, it may masquerade as a beautiful women in a tub or a bartender but it is real and it is evil.

Halloran travels to The Overlook

We now see that Halloran has indeed traveled to the Overlook as we see him drive that precarious road in full white out conditions.

Meanwhile Danny is still channeling his father.  He picks up a weapon indicating that Jack has gotten his hands on the ax.  As Jack gets ever closer to the family apartment, Danny becomes more frightened.  When he is finally released from his trance, Jack begins to batter down the apartment door with his ax.  Wendy again shows resourceful thinking by grabbing the knife she took from the kitchen to protect herself and Danny.  She also manages to get Danny out of the bathroom window and away from immediate danger.  Unfortunately she is still trapped.

There is an interesting little continuity error here during the bathroom door scene.  We see only one door panel knocked out by Jack in his effort to get into the bathroom.  But when Halloran arrives in the snowcat, we see Jack standing before two panels knocked out.  One very cleanly, the other ragged from the ax.  The punched out shapes in the door look like the number 11.

The word made flesh

We see that Jack has almost magically jumped a couple of floors to the kitchen again.  As he limps towards the front entrance.  We see this teleportation trick again when he murders Halloran.  His presence jumps from lobby stairs to behind one of the lobby pillars.

As Halloran is murdered the film's score jumps to life as it plays Penderecki's Utrenja Part II "The Resurrection of Christ" Ewangelia (The Gospel).  As the musical liturgy plays we realize that what we have been watching was an elaborate Black Mass with religious inversions.  The Hotel received its sacrifice and infusion of power with the death of Halloran.

The hotel begins it manifest its other inhabitants to Wendy as she searches the hotel for Danny.

Meanwhile Danny completes the final sacrifice as he leads his father into hotel's garden maze, entrapping him.  Jack then freezes to death.  Danny and his mother are allowed to escape.

Jack's Fictional Epilogue

We see the frozen Jack in the bouts of a final hallucination.  In the never written book that existed only in Jack's mind,  Jack is a glamorous inhabitant of the hotel.  He imagines himself in those old pictures lining the hotel walls.  There he stays forever and ever and ever.  In ten years, 1990, he and his fellow ghosts will be allowed to come and play.


This is not the only film in which Kubrick played with number symbolism, inversions and black mass motifs.  There is evidence that he did the same in his last film Eyes Wide Shut.  That he constantly equates luciferian imagery with the elite is very interesting.  It seems that Kubrick thought the pursuit of power, money and sex was akin to a death cult.  That rampaging lusts for all was the absolute corruption.  It makes men kill their families.  It makes rich people prey on poor.  It creates a society that thrives on blood sacrifices committed on "magical" days.