's 1980 film, The Shining
, is one of the most memorable films of all time. Kubrick's film is one that has several strange twists, and ends on a very odd note, with Jack Torrence
), freezing to death in the gardens of the Overlook Hotel
while his wife and son escape his wrath. The end becomes even more confusing because of the photograph of a party at the Overlook from the 1920's showing Jack as the caretaker. While discussing this with some friends, I heard an extremely interesting interpretation of this film.
The story is not about a man who goes to the Overlook in the 80's and slowly begins to go mad and tries to kill his family. Jack Torrence does not exist. The murders already happened in the 1920's, when the previous caretaker, Delbert Grady, murders his wife and twin daughters. Jack Torrence is Delbert Grady, or vice versa, as he hears it in the men's room from the ghost waiter who spills a drink on him. The ghost states, "You are the caretaker sir. You always have been."
Jack is in Hell for his crimes. In Hell, he is being forced to relive this horribe time. The ghosts are the demons that are egging him on. In Dante's Inferno, the deepest layers of Hell are not burning as the other layers are, but are rather frozen over in ice. The tormented souls are kept frozen by the winds created by Lucifer's wings. In one of the deepest layers, there is a section frozen in ice that is for the punishment of those who have committed crimes against their families.
As Jack relives this nightmare at the Overlook, he is continuously tormented. His writing is non-existent, all he writes for his book is, "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy." His wife annoys him to no end (done extremely well by the naturally annoying Shelly Duval), and his son is strange. He is most tormented and tempted by the ghouls, one who is a hot naked woman who turns into a disgusting disfigured hag, and others who are just plain freaky. At the end, Jack is doomed to failure, for he cannot complete his evil wish of killing his family. He finally freezes to death in the Hedge Maze in the garden. The freezing to death is symbolic of Dante's Inferno, for Jack is frozen in punishment for crimes against his family.