Formal Analysis of The ShiningIn his exemplary horror film, The Shining, Stanley Kubrick usesvarious components of editing and sound to create unique and terrifying scenes. Kubrickdepends on editing and sound design to help the horrifying and unpleasant feelthat was made in the in the film. All throughout the movie, the unique sounddesign and strong editing techniques create many diverse effects on the viewer,however the most evident effect created a sense of fear and suspense.
Onescene specifically emerges as a skillfully edited part in the movie. In this scene, Wendyand Danny both wander around inside the massive hedge maze. The scene then cutsto a shot of Jack walking up to a model of the maze that is in the lobby. Thescene then cuts to a close-up of the model of the maze.
Tiny versions of Wendyand Danny are shown walking through the maze. The Jack and the viewer can hearWendy and Danny talking even though he is not with them. This helps the allusionthat Jack is viewing them experience the maze. As the scene proceeds, it cutsto clips of Wendy and Danny walking in the actual maze. The maze scene is a caseof parallel editing.
Using parallel editing in the scene, theviewer accept that Wendy and Danny are experiencing the maze while Jack iswatching the through the model of the maze. This leads the viewer to trust that Jack isviewing over the two experience the maze, alongside the sounds of the two laughingand talking. Thistechnique of editing, connecting two scenes together, adds a suspense aspect showingthe viewer that something strange is going on.
Anotherscene in which editing is utilized to conjure disturbing thoughts is the scene when Wendy findsJack’s typewriter and the papers that he has been working on. Wendydiscovers that Jack has been constantly typing “all work and no play make Jack adull boy” on all of the sheets of paper. Jack unexpectedly wanders intothe room and starts talking to Wendy. They both walk across the room yelling at eachother. Wendy realizes that Jack is no longer himself. After he keeps walkingafter her, she hits Jack in the head with a baseball bat as he is walkingtowards her on the stairs.
The medium shots andreverse shots used during this scene shows the seamless interaction of Jack andWendy’s discussion. In spiteof 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 utilizingreverse shots again and again, the viewer can feel the tension and uneasinessof the interaction.The editing in this scene has a fast tempo in which the shots of Wendyare very quick before they cut back to Jack, which makes the viewer nervous anduneasy.Onescene that the editing shows Jack’s insanity is the scene in which he goes intothe Gold Room. The viewer can see that Jack is plainly alone in the room, andhe takes a seat at the bar.
It is apparent that the bar has no drinks in stock. Thereis a shot of Jack walking to the bar. Then, Jack sits down on a stool and beginsto talk to someone, even though no one is in the room.
It then cuts to areverse shot of Lloyd, the bartender, in front of a fully stocked bar. The editing in thisscene is interesting because it is known that the room and bar is empty, andyet shows Jack’s growing insanity when he envisions these twothings. The fact that he has a full discussion with the bartender who isn’treally there is confirmation of his insanity. The shot/reverse shot editing additionally makes thecontinuity of the scene flow seamlessly.
Inone of the beginning scenes, Danny is brushing his teeth. Tony, his imaginary friend, warnsDanny about the horrors of the hotel. The scene rapidly cuts from Danny in themirror to a picture of blood flooding out of the elevators of the hotel. Editingadds to this scene by method for the a foreshadow. The foreshadow clip showspools of blood flooding from the elevator. As the viewer sees the pools of blood flowingthrough the room, quick one second shots of twins and Danny screaming appear.
Theediting makes a significant horrifying impact on the viewer. In spite of thefact that it isn’t yet certain why there is blood in the elevators, the shotforeshadows the terrifying events that will later happen at the hotel. Thisforeshadowing scene gives the viewer a feeling of approaching fate, and makesthe viewer uneasy about the family’s stay at the hotel.
There are many scenes inThe Shining that greatly show differenttechniques of editing and sound design. Most of the editing methodsand sound in the film is done in such a way that it makes the viewer experiencea disturbingand uneasy feeling all throughout the movie. The two components in the movieboth add tothe continuity and suspense, making the scenes flow smoothly together. The Shining would not have been such an effectivehorror film if it wasn’t for the deliberate and masterful usage of editing andsound design.