Themes And Cinematic Techniques In Stanley Kubrick's The Shining

The Shining
Stanley Kubrick was regarded as "one of the greatest and most influential directors of all time". He was best known for his brilliant signature themes and cinematic techniques. Kubrick’s adaptation of the film The Shining help us get a clear understanding of his directorial style. The use of slow, protracted shots, long tracking shots, extreme camera angles and sound effects were effectively used in some scenes that help build a special kind of suspense allowing the audience to be fully engaged and be a part of the story he was trying to tell.

Scene 1: Hallway Scene (Dead Twins)
This scene opens with an extreme long shot following Danny riding his tricycle down the hallway in the haunted hotel. The first few seconds of this shot
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The use of this technique was so essential to the scene because it makes us as though we are following Danny riding his tricycle in this empty area where he is about to enter a dangerous place and this creates tension and terror. Furthermore, the disturbing music starts to get louder and he used a low angle shot which builds more thrill and suspense then it cuts to a close tracking shot following him from behind as he approaches a turn in the hallway. As soon as he makes a turn, he immediately stops and we see an extremely long shot of the ghosts of the identical twins standing from afar away. This scene where the twins appeared unexpectedly definitely sends shivers down any viewer’s spine. Both girls were dressed in a light blue doll-like dresses with frill sleeves and ribbon belts and they were very pale looking. The way Kubrick used long shot with low angle made this scene very creepy. This was followed by shot reverse shots cutting back to a close up of …show more content…
The sound effect used in the background contains scratching of string instruments creating an extremely disturbing feeling to the audience. The monotonous and high-pitched sound created by this emphasises Jack 's madness, as there is no sort of rhythm which can be used to reflect his mood as he seems personally broken like the rhythm of the song is. While searching for Wendy he says the line, "come out, come out, wherever you are" in a childish voice. The innocent aspect of it creates tension which adds more suspense because of the strangeness of the context within the situation. Just like the hallway scene, the camera angle at this stage is at eye level and is slowly moving from a long shot to a close up of Jack from behind. He is carrying an axe with him which gives the audience a really intense feeling making us think that we are about to witness the murder of an innocent character. It cuts to a medium shot of Wendy locking herself in the bathroom. This shot shows that she is now cornered in the bathroom with no escape. The background music starts to get louder at this stage and it shows an inward zoom on to the bathroom door and cuts between the faces of both characters. The close up shots of their faces allows us to see both of their reactions and emotions. A stark contrast was made between the white light of the bathroom Wendy was in the dimly lit bedroom

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