Formal Analysis of The Shining

In his exemplary horror film, The Shining, Stanley Kubrick uses
various components of editing and sound to create unique and terrifying scenes. Kubrick
depends on editing and sound design to help the horrifying and unpleasant feel
that was made in the in the film. All throughout the movie, the unique sound
design and strong editing techniques create many diverse effects on the viewer,
however the most evident effect created a sense of fear and suspense.

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One
scene specifically emerges as a skillfully edited part in the movie. In this scene, Wendy
and Danny both wander around inside the massive hedge maze. The scene then cuts
to a shot of Jack walking up to a model of the maze that is in the lobby. The
scene then cuts to a close-up of the model of the maze. Tiny versions of Wendy
and Danny are shown walking through the maze. The Jack and the viewer can hear
Wendy and Danny talking even though he is not with them. This helps the allusion
that Jack is viewing them experience the maze. As the scene proceeds, it cuts
to clips of Wendy and Danny walking in the actual maze.

The maze scene is a case
of parallel editing. Using parallel editing in the scene, the
viewer accept that Wendy and Danny are experiencing the maze while Jack is
watching the through the model of the maze. This leads the viewer to trust that Jack is
viewing over the two experience the maze, alongside the sounds of the two laughing
and talking. This
technique of editing, connecting two scenes together, adds a suspense aspect showing
the viewer that something strange is going on.

Another
scene in which editing is utilized to conjure disturbing thoughts is the scene when Wendy finds
Jack’s typewriter and the papers that he has been working on. Wendy
discovers that Jack has been constantly typing “all work and no play make Jack a
dull boy” on all of the sheets of paper. Jack unexpectedly wanders into
the room and starts talking to Wendy. They both walk across the room yelling at each
other. Wendy realizes that Jack is no longer himself. After he keeps walking
after her, she hits Jack in the head with a baseball bat as he is walking
towards her on the stairs.

The medium shots and
reverse shots used during this scene shows the seamless interaction of Jack and
Wendy’s discussion. In spite
of the fact that the scene is without a doubt made out of a range of different takes,
the reverse shots help in building the continuity of the scene. By utilizing
reverse shots again and again, the viewer can feel the tension and uneasiness
of the interaction.
The editing in this scene has a fast tempo in which the shots of Wendy
are very quick before they cut back to Jack, which makes the viewer nervous and
uneasy.

One
scene that the editing shows Jack’s insanity is the scene in which he goes into
the Gold Room. The viewer can see that Jack is plainly alone in the room, and
he takes a seat at the bar. It is apparent that the bar has no drinks in stock. There
is a shot of Jack walking to the bar. Then, Jack sits down on a stool and begins
to talk to someone, even though no one is in the room. It then cuts to a
reverse shot of Lloyd, the bartender, in front of a fully stocked bar.

The editing in this
scene is interesting because it is known that the room and bar is empty, and
yet shows Jack’s growing insanity when he envisions these two
things. The fact that he has a full discussion with the bartender who isn’t
really there is confirmation of his insanity. The shot/reverse shot editing additionally makes the
continuity of the scene flow seamlessly.

In
one of the beginning scenes, Danny is brushing his teeth. Tony, his imaginary friend, warns
Danny about the horrors of the hotel. The scene rapidly cuts from Danny in the
mirror to a picture of blood flooding out of the elevators of the hotel. Editing
adds to this scene by method for the a foreshadow. The foreshadow clip shows
pools of blood flooding from the elevator. As the viewer sees the pools of blood flowing
through the room, quick one second shots of twins and Danny screaming appear. The
editing makes a significant horrifying impact on the viewer. In spite of the
fact that it isn’t yet certain why there is blood in the elevators, the shot
foreshadows the terrifying events that will later happen at the hotel. This
foreshadowing scene gives the viewer a feeling of approaching fate, and makes
the viewer uneasy about the family’s stay at the hotel.

There are many scenes in
The Shining that greatly show different
techniques of editing and sound design. Most of the editing methods
and sound in the film is done in such a way that it makes the viewer experience
a disturbing
and uneasy feeling all throughout the movie. The two components in the movie
both add to
the continuity and suspense, making the scenes flow smoothly together. The Shining would not have been such an effective
horror film if it wasn’t for the deliberate and masterful usage of editing and
sound design.

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