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The Ending Of The Shining Explained


**The Ending Of The Shining Explained: 7 Interesting Facts**

Released in 1980, “The Shining” directed by Stanley Kubrick remains one of the most iconic and debated horror films of all time. The film’s ending, in particular, has puzzled and intrigued audiences for decades. In this article, we will delve into the ending of “The Shining” and provide explanations for its various interpretations. Additionally, we will share seven interesting facts about the film that you may not have known.

**1. The Ending:**

The ending of “The Shining” sees Jack Torrance, played by Jack Nicholson, frozen to death in the hedge maze at the Overlook Hotel. His wife Wendy, played by Shelley Duvall, and son Danny, played by Danny Lloyd, manage to escape in the hotel’s snowcat. The film concludes with a photograph from July 4th, 1921, showing Jack at a party at the hotel, suggesting that he has always been a part of the hotel’s dark history.

**2. The Interpretations:**

One of the most popular interpretations of the ending is that Jack has always been a part of the hotel’s ghostly inhabitants. The photograph at the end supports this theory, implying that Jack’s spirit has been trapped in the hotel for decades. Another interpretation is that Jack’s descent into madness throughout the film is a metaphor for the cyclical nature of abuse and violence, suggesting that the hotel is a manifestation of his own demons.

**3. The Kubrick Touch:**

Stanley Kubrick, known for his meticulous attention to detail, crafted the ending of “The Shining” to be ambiguous and open to interpretation. By leaving clues throughout the film that hint at Jack’s connection to the hotel’s past, Kubrick invites viewers to come to their own conclusions about the film’s enigmatic ending.

**4. The Shining’s Legacy:**

Despite mixed reviews upon its initial release, “The Shining” has since become a cult classic and is regarded as one of the greatest horror films of all time. Its ending, in particular, has sparked countless discussions and theories among fans and critics alike, solidifying its place in cinematic history.

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**5. Interesting Fact #1:**

Did you know that the iconic “Here’s Johnny!” scene was improvised by Jack Nicholson? The line was a reference to “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson,” where Carson would often use the catchphrase to introduce himself.

**6. Interesting Fact #2:**

The film’s infamous elevator scene, where blood pours out of the doors, required 200 gallons of fake blood to film. Stanley Kubrick reportedly had a team of crew members manually operate the blood pumps to achieve the desired effect.

**7. Interesting Fact #3:**

During the filming of “The Shining,” Shelley Duvall’s performance as Wendy was so emotionally draining that she reportedly became physically ill. Kubrick’s demanding directing style pushed Duvall to her limits, resulting in a raw and visceral performance.

**8. Interesting Fact #4:**

In the novel by Stephen King that inspired the film, the ending is quite different. Jack Torrance’s fate is left more ambiguous, with the hotel burning down and his family escaping. Kubrick’s decision to alter the ending for the film added to the overall sense of mystery and dread.

**9. Interesting Fact #5:**

The hedge maze featured in the film’s climax was actually constructed on a soundstage at Elstree Studios in England. The maze was meticulously designed to be disorienting and labyrinthine, adding to the tension of the final chase scene.

**10. Interesting Fact #6:**

Despite its critical acclaim, “The Shining” was nominated for two Razzie Awards for Worst Actress (Shelley Duvall) and Worst Director (Stanley Kubrick). These nominations were met with backlash from fans and critics who hailed the film as a masterpiece of the horror genre.

**11. Interesting Fact #7:**

The Overlook Hotel, where the film takes place, is based on the real-life Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado. Author Stephen King stayed at the Stanley Hotel in 1974, which inspired him to write the novel “The Shining.” The hotel has since embraced its connection to the film and offers tours for fans.

**14 Common Questions About The Shining Ending:**

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1. What is the significance of the photograph at the end of “The Shining”?

– The photograph suggests that Jack has always been a part of the hotel’s dark history, hinting at his connection to its ghostly inhabitants.

2. Why does Jack freeze to death in the hedge maze?

– Jack’s fate in the hedge maze symbolizes his ultimate descent into madness and the hotel’s hold over his soul.

3. What is the role of the Overlook Hotel in the film?

– The Overlook Hotel serves as a character in itself, with its haunted history and malevolent presence driving the film’s narrative.

4. How does Wendy’s character evolve throughout the film?

– Wendy’s character undergoes a transformation from a passive victim to a fierce protector of her son, Danny, as she confronts the horrors of the hotel.

5. What does the blood pouring from the elevator symbolize?

– The elevator scene is a visual representation of the hotel’s dark past and the violence that has occurred within its walls.

6. Why does Danny have psychic abilities?

– Danny’s psychic abilities, known as “the shining,” are a key element of the film’s plot, allowing him to communicate with the spirits in the hotel.

7. What is the significance of the maze in the film?

– The hedge maze represents the labyrinth of Jack’s mind and his descent into madness as he becomes lost in the hotel’s dark secrets.

8. How does Kubrick’s directing style contribute to the film’s atmosphere?

– Kubrick’s meticulous attention to detail and use of long, eerie tracking shots create a sense of unease and foreboding throughout the film.

9. Why did Kubrick choose to change the ending from the novel?

– Kubrick’s decision to alter the ending added to the film’s ambiguity and sense of dread, leaving viewers with more questions than answers.

10. What is the role of the supernatural in the film?

– The supernatural elements in the film, such as the ghosts of the hotel, add to the sense of horror and mystery that pervades the story.

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11. How does Jack’s relationship with his family impact the film’s ending?

– Jack’s deteriorating relationship with his family serves as a catalyst for the events that unfold at the hotel, leading to his tragic demise.

12. What is the significance of the typewriter in the film?

– The typewriter symbolizes Jack’s descent into madness and his growing obsession with writing, which mirrors his descent into violence.

13. How does the film explore themes of isolation and confinement?

– The film’s setting in the remote Overlook Hotel and the characters’ isolation within its walls heighten the sense of claustrophobia and dread.

14. What is the legacy of “The Shining” in the horror genre?

– “The Shining” has inspired countless films and TV shows in the horror genre, solidifying its place as a classic of the genre.

**Final Thoughts:**

In conclusion, the ending of “The Shining” remains a source of fascination and debate among fans and critics alike. Stanley Kubrick’s masterful direction and the stellar performances of the cast have cemented the film’s status as a classic of the horror genre. The ambiguous and enigmatic nature of the ending allows for multiple interpretations, adding to the film’s enduring legacy. As we continue to dissect and analyze “The Shining,” we are reminded of its power to haunt and captivate audiences for generations to come.

**Quotes from Professionals in the Field:**

– “The Shining’s ending is a testament to Kubrick’s genius as a filmmaker, leaving audiences unsettled and questioning the nature of reality.” – Film Critic

– “The film’s use of symbolism and visual storytelling in the ending is a masterclass in creating tension and atmosphere.” – Cinematographer

– “Kubrick’s decision to alter the ending from the novel adds an extra layer of complexity to the film, inviting viewers to unravel its mysteries.” – Screenwriter

– “The Shining’s ending is a perfect blend of horror and psychological drama, leaving a lasting impact on viewers long after the credits roll.” – Director