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10 Conspiracy Theories Behind Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining” –
When it comes down to films that leave more questions than they answer, in the top ten is going to be Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining. Deviating from the Stephen King source novel, it’s been the subject of hundreds of conspiracy theories, deep analyses and even a brilliant documentary called Room 237. While King had nothing good to say about the film, and still doesn’t, Kubrick religiously refused to divulge the secrets of the movie, or give any explanations for any of it. That means we need to come up with our own.With Doctor Sleep, the sequel to the film and the novel hitting theatres, it’s a good time to brush up on some of the crazy theories that the internet has to offer.Because Tony says so.
It’s an admission/apology for the faked moon landing
This is the most popular theory; that Kubrick worked with the government to fake the 1969 Apollo 11 moon landing, and this film is all about secretly admitting it to the world.According to the theory, the sweater that Danny wears is a huge piece of evidence, as well as, Tang (which was a favourite drink of the Apollo astronauts) is on the Overlook’s shelves, the dead twins symbolize the failed Gemini missions, Jack’s typed manuscript has the word “All,” which actually looks like “A11”, and that Kubrick changed the room number from 217 to 237 because the moon is 237,000 miles from us.Plus, he was working on 2001:A Space Odyssey at the time, so he had the space sets on hand anyways.Dunno, sounds like a stretch.
It’s about the treatment of Native Americans
Again, the theory revolves around Kubrick using the film as an apology. This time, it’s for the treatment of Native Americans and colonialism.The film is full of Native imagery, from the rugs, to the Calumet baking soda cans in the pantry, to the paintings on the wall. Plus the blood in the elevator symbolizes all the blood shed.Then there’s Kubrick’s addition of the hotel being built on a Native burial ground, which isn’t in the novel. Why else add that in?
It’s about the Greek myth of Theseus and the Minotaur
This is based on the fact that the original novel didn’t have a hedge maze. So apparently, this lends itself to the theory that it’s a deliberate visual reference to the Greek myth. Plus, the hotel itself seems like a maze.According to this theory, Jack becomes the minotaur with his bullish behaviour, bulging eyes and anger, and Danny is our poor hero, sent to slay the beast.Pretty weak theory, Minotaur fans.
It’s about the Holocaust
This one is primarily rooted in numbers; especially the number 42. According to the theory, the Nazi’s started their “final solution” in 1942, and it shows up on Danny’s shirt, the number of cars in the parking lot, the film The Summer of ’42 that Wendy and Danny watch, and the fact that if you multiply Room 237 (2x3x7), you get 42.Then there’s the German typewriter, the image of a yellow eagle on a t-shirt, and other bits and pieces. There’s a caveat, though.While Kubrick was a Bronx-born, non-practicing Jew, he publicly admitted that putting the truth of the Holocaust on film would be “un-survivable” for him, so he’d never even attempt it.
The film is meant to be watched backwards and forwards
As if the film isn’t freaky enough, if you were to watch it backwards and forwards, simultaneously, with the films superimposed over each other, you’d unlock the “Kubrick Code.”Watching it this way, brings out some subtextual similarities and congruences with the beginning and the end events, with the two versions meeting right in the middle, when Halloran is watching tv.I dunno about this one. Kubrick was a fan of secret messages and visual symmetry, so it might work.
It’s all a dream/nightmare
There’s a hotel layout that makes no sense, ghosts that show up where they shouldn’t, supernatural abilities, elevators filled with blood, etc… The only thing that makes sense is that this is a dream/nightmare, where logic and physics don’t matter.Apparently, everything is an alcohol-fuelled dream in the mind of Jack Torrance.This is an easy cop out theory, though.
It’s about CIA mind control
Eventually, everything comes down to the CIA’s secret mind control project called MKUltra, right? Ran from the early 1950’s to 1972, it subjected human test subjects to a number of illegal techniques (LSD, sensory deprivation, etc…) to test out interrogation methods and develop mind control. Other branches even looked and trying to develop telekinetic powers in subjects. As the theory goes, the entire Overlook hotel is a construct in Jack’s mind as he undergoes the testing.The main proofs are the dreamlike qualities mentioned in the previous theory, plus the Monarch Ski poster in the lounge, behind the Grady twins. And, as well all know, Monarch was the secret code name of Project MKUltra. So, there you go.
It’s about the Illuminati
It really wouldn’t be a list of conspiracy theories, if it didn’t mention the illuminati, would it? This theory suggests that Kubrick deliberately places symbols all throughout the Overlook – triangles, ladders, the all-seeing eye, etc… All these point to his involvement with the group.But somehow, between the release of this film, and the release of his last one, Eyes Wide Shut in 1999, his opinion changed and he revealed the secrets of the group. So they killed him.Mmmmkay…
It’s not the Overlook’s fault: Danny causes everything
This is a newer theory, suggested by Twitter user Delaney King, where it’s all Danny’s fault. He’s definitely got the Shining, but so does Jack. Danny unknowingly broadcasts all the horrible things that Jack sees, and Jack, who doesn’t know he’s got the shine, believes it all. But, because Danny’s a kid, what he projects makes no sense. His overactive mind combines ideas that he overheard, reads about, or sees inside the Overlook, into a shitstorm of ideas.The writer goes on to suggest that the whole thing is a metaphor for TV. On one hand, we’re captivated and enraptured by what we see, and on the other, that leads us to blindly believing what we see as the objective truth.It’s also explains why Jack goes crazy so quickly; he’s recovering, bored, frustrated and looking for an escape. Danny’s broadcasts offer him some sort of meaning and purpose. You should probably read through the entire thread to get the whole gist of it.
So, who’s ready to sleep?
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