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The Kubrick Corner

PART 1: More than meets the eye
Introduction to themes
The Kuleshov effect
Kubrick as cold rationalist
PART 2: Opening Shots
The Kubrick Aesthetic & Spectatorship Theory
Concept Art and Storyboards
Kubrick's bathrooms
Dinner with Stanley
PART 3: The Killing
Simultaneity and Overlap
The Unknown Kubrick
The Early Films
PART 4: Paths of Glory
Creation and Destruction
PART 5: Spartacus
I Viddied Spartacus
PART 6: Lolita
Michael Ciment on Lolita
1962 Kubrick interview
PART 7: Dr Strangelove
War and Sex
PART 8: 2001: A Space Odyssey
A Cold Descent
SF Capital
Three Metamorphoses
PART 9: A Clockwork Orange
Alex as artist
Crime and Punishment
The Decor Of Tomorrow's Hell
Spectacle and Violence
PART 10: Barry Lyndon Reconsidered
The Vanity of Existence
Narrative and Discourse
Kubrick's Narrator and "The higher aesthetic"
PART 11: Imperfect Symmetries
Animal friends
Historicism and Hauntology
4 Articles
The Uncanny
PART 12: Deconstructing Masculinity
The Jungian Thing
Kubrick's Ulterior War
AMK Essays
Who am I?
Anybody's Son Will Do
PART 13: Eyes Wide Shut
3 Articles
Contemporary Sexuality and its Discontents
Squalid Infidelities
Crazy cults and Grotesque Caricatures
Was Eyes Wide Shut completed?
PART 14: A.I. Artificial Intelligence
Kubrick's A.I. by Ian Watson
New AI Page
PART 15: Kubrick's Psychopaths
Kubrick's office and grave
A Collection of Letters
The Quote Page
Scorsese on Kubrick
Kubrick Interviews
Useful weblinks, books and Guestbook

“In his essay on the uncanny, Das Unheimliche, Freud said that the uncanny is the only feeling which is more powerfully experienced in art than in life. If the genre required any justification, I should think this alone would serve as its credentials.” – Stanley Kubrick



The following article contains several segments from Sigmund Freud’s “The Uncanny”. The full book can be read here:



In preparation for writing "The Shining's" screenplay, Kubrick and novelist Diane Johnson read Freud's essay "The Uncanny".  Kubrick’s intention was to create a film in which the entire aesthetic and architectural construction was guided by Freud’s famous essay. As such, Kubrick's use of doubles, mirrors, repetition, patterns, repression, numbers, the familiar, phantasms etc, all seem to correspond to Freud’s ideas on The Uncanny, and how "uncanny feelings" stem from man’s repressed instincts.

In his writings, Freud stated that our animal minds attach “uncanny” or “magical” meaning to what are really ordinary events. We thus equate things like "repetition" and "patterns" with "destiny" and "mysticism". Freud saw that man, as a whole, still clung to primitive beliefs. As such, man tends to incorrectly rationalise events. Rather than investigate events logically, we repress them and perceive them as being Uncanny.

Thus, by referring to Freud's work on The Uncanny, Kubrick seems to be making a larger metaphorical point. Namely, that the spectral images he shows us throughout the film are not supernatural or mysterious in origin, but rather, completely familiar. Man's horrors aren't something to be explained away with mysticism, ghosts or magic, but to be fought off with logic and intelligence. We interpret these horrors as "bizzare", "horrific" and "odd" simply because we deny our  and refuse to confront them.

The rest of this article will contain excerpts from Freud’s essay. It's all very self-explanatory, but I will still provide brief comments under each segment in an attempt to show how Freud’s writings relate to Kubrick’s film.


“The uncanny is something which is secretly familiar, which has undergone repression and then returned from it. Everything that is uncanny fulfils this condition.” – Freud

Uncanny feelings arise when something familiar (a father, a house, a family member), starts to act a bit strange.

In “The Shining”, everything is familiar. We’ve been given a tour of the Hotel and the family members are all intimately familiar with one another. Only once Freud’s repression begins, do Uncanny feelings germinate.

On another level, the "ghosts" in the film are all "traumas" which are "secretly familar" but which have been rendered as "uncanny figures" after "returning from repression". Example: Jack's repressed violence and alcoholism becomes the spectral bartender, an uncanny figure who shouldn't exist, but who manifests a "secretly familar" repression.

“There is no question, therefore, of any intellectual uncertainty here: we know now that we are not supposed to be looking on at the products of a madman's imagination, behind which we, with the superiority of rational minds, are able to detect the sober truth; and yet this knowledge does not lessen the impression of uncanniness in the least degree. The theory of intellectual uncertainty is thus incapable of explaining that impression.” – Freud

Kubrick flirts with this idea in the film as well. We don’t know whether the ghosts are products of Jack’s imagination or real apparitions. Our rational minds are searching for an explanation. Uncanniness is derived from our own uncertainty.

“Death and the re-animation of the dead are typically represented as uncanny themes.” - Freud

The dead twins, the corpse in the bathtub and the resurrected caretakers, are all uncanny. They're dead but alive as traces in the present, just like the echoes of The Overlook's/America's/White Imperialism's violent past.

“Towards the end of the book the reader is told the facts, hitherto concealed from him, from which the action springs; with the result, not that he is at last enlightened, but that he falls into a state of complete bewilderment. The author has piled up too much material of the same kind. In consequence one’s grasp of the story as a whole suffers, though not the impression it makes.” – Freud

Here, Freud is talking about an "uncanny ending". He cites a work of fiction in which a book ends on an uncanny note. The reader is enlightened, given what he thinks is a “clue” or “explanation”, but is still left in a state of complete bewilderment. This "uncanny ending" leaves the reader with a sense of foreboding and supernatural mystery.

“Eyes Wide Shut” and “The Shining” both end on Uncanny notes. One’s grasp of the story is loosened. The “resolution” simply doesn’t resolve anything. But this is only a superficial feeling, as Kubrick’s endings are always questions or challenges posed directly to the audience. He’s not here to confuse you, rather he wants you to reconsider and rethink the film you’ve just seen.

“The Uncanny is something hidden which ought to have remained missed but which is brought to light.” – Freud

As such, Kubrick bathes his film in hidden numbers, repetitions, symbols and repeated patterns, knowing that they will lead to Uncanny feelings when discovered. The audience is left confused and enticed by this mystery and then attempts to bring these “mysteries to light” by creating meaning.

“The German word 'unheimlich' is obviously the opposite of 'heimlich' ['homely'], 'heimisch' ['native'] the opposite of what is familiar; and we are tempted to conclude that what is 'uncanny' is frightening precisely because it is not known and familiar.” – Freud

Here Freud is simply stating that for something to be uncanny it must be both familiar and unknown. "The Shining" excels at this, every shot both "normal" but possessing a sort of "frightening ambiguity".

“These themes are all concerned with the phenomenon of the ‘double’, which appears in every shape and in every degree of development. Thus we have characters who are to be considered identical because they look alike. This relation is accentuated by mental processes leaping from one of these characters to another — by what we should call telepathy —, so that the one possesses knowledge, feelings and experience in common with the other.” – Freud

In his essays, Freud notes that the uncanny often appears in relation with “the double”. Danny and Tony, the Grady twins, the mirrors, the dual compositions, the two boilers, the two Snowcats, the two Volkswagen’s, the two women, the two butlers, the two bears etc…Kubrick has built the film's entire aesthetic fabric around the notion of doubles being uncanny.

Freud also mentions that doubles “possess knowledge, feelings and experiences common with one another”. In the film, this is articulated by Jack sharing “experiences” with his doppelgangers.

“Or it is marked by the fact that the subject identifies himself with someone else, so that he is in doubt as to which his self is, or substitutes the extraneous self for his own. In other words, there is a doubling, dividing and interchanging of the self. And finally there is the constant recurrence of the same thing - the repetition of the same features or character-traits or vicissitudes, of the same crimes, or even the same names through several consecutive generations.” – Freud

Jack identifies with the apparitions and states that he feels like he’s always been at the Overlook. Like the twins, he feels as though he’s been at the overlook “forever and ever”. Jack is in doubt over his own identity. He seems to be composed of several different personalities (Delbert Grady, Charles Grady, 1921 photograph, present Jack). Kubrick thus splits Jack’s persona into 4 Jack’s. As Freud says, there is a doubling, dividing and interchanging of the self.

But why would Kubrick do this? The answer is in Freud’s next line: “Mankind is trapped in a constant recurrence of the same thing. The repetition of the same features, character traits and the same crimes, or even the same names through several generations.”

“The theme of the ‘double’ has been very thoroughly treated by Otto Rank (1914). He has gone into the connections which the ‘double’ has with reflections in mirrors, with shadows, with guardian spirits, with the belief in the soul and with the fear of death.” - Freud

Rank sees the mirror as a gateways into the soul. Man’s reflection is uncanny and scary and he refuses to look directly at his double. In the film, Jack constantly “slashes” at mirrors, turns his back on them, or blocks them with alcohol. He can not face his real double (himself).

“For the ‘double’ was originally an insurance against the destruction of the ego, an ‘energetic denial of the power of death’, as Rank says; and probably the ‘immortal’ soul was the first ‘double’ of the body.” – Freud.

Thus, Jack creates double personas to insure against the destruction of his ego. No I am not an abusive father, Jack says, and promptly creates a double in the gold room. Psychologically, these apparitions serve to mend Jack’s fragile view of himself. Freud also says that they are a “denial of the power of death”. Similarly, Jack (man) conquers death (immortalised in photograph) by becoming the double. 

“This invention of doubling as a preservation against extinction has its counterpart in the language of dreams, which is fond of representing castration by a doubling or multiplication of a genital symbol. The same desire led the Ancient Egyptians to develop the art of making images of the dead in lasting materials. Such ideas, however, have sprung from the soil of unbounded self-love, from the primary narcissism which dominates the mind of the child and of primitive man. But when this stage has been surmounted, the ‘double’ reverses its aspect. From having been an assurance of immortality, it becomes the uncanny harbinger of death.” - Freud

For a Kubrick film, the phallic imagery in The Shining is very subtle. The powerful sexual imagery of Dr Strangelove, Clockwork Orange and 2001: A Space Odyssey are all gone, replaced with far subtler castration imagery (penis carpets, phallic objects, phallic bathtub facade).

Freud states that the double is an attempt by the self to insure against destruction. People make images of themselves in an attempt to “live forever and ever”. Freud also states that the genital symbol, when doubled, is symbolic of castration.

Freud believed that “primitive men” and “childish people” are prone to narcissism and self love. As such, they create images of themselves to starve off death. Once the primitive stage has been surmounted, however, the double becomes a harbinger of death. One can see this transformation happening in The Shining, where Jack goes from a whiney man who attempts to shake off all responsibilities, to one who “assumes the responsibility and duty to kill”. Once he comes out of the locked pantry, Jack assumes Freud’s “uncanny harbinger of death” role. He becomes the murderous caretakers who lived before.

“The idea of the ‘double’ does not necessarily disappear with the passing of primary narcissism, for it can receive fresh meaning from the later stages of the ego’s development. A special agency is slowly formed there, which is able to stand over against the rest of the ego, which has the function of observing and criticizing the self and of exercising a censorship within the mind, and which we become aware of as our ‘conscience’. In the pathological case of delusions of being watched, this mental agency becomes isolated, dissociated from the ego, and discernible to the physician’s eye. The fact that an agency of this kind exists, which is able to treat the rest of the ego like an object — the fact, that is, that man is capable of self-observation — renders it possible to invest the old idea of a ‘double’ with a new meaning and to ascribe a number of things to it — above all, those things which seem to self-criticism to belong to the old surmounted narcissism of earliest times.” - Freud

Jack possesses no self-criticism. There is no critical eye on him, as such he “belongs to the old surmounted narcissism of earlier times”. When Wendy is confronted with the “physician’s eye” (doctor) she likewise promptly denies Jack’s abusive nature.

Freud also states that man is capable of self observation and that this act of studying prevents man from creating negative doubles. Thus, it is the job of we the audiences to criticise and transcend the Self.

“The factor of the repetition of the same thing will perhaps not appeal to everyone as a source of uncanny feeling. From what I have observed, this phenomenon does undoubtedly, subject to certain conditions and combined with certain circumstances, arouse an uncanny feeling, which, furthermore, recalls the sense of helplessness experienced in some dream-states.” – Freud

Here Freud is simply talking about how repetition (objects or events) cause uncanny feelings.

“If we take another class of things, it is easy to see that there, too, it is only this factor of involuntary repetition which surrounds what would otherwise by innocent enough with an uncanny atmosphere, and forces upon us the idea of something fateful and inescapable when otherwise we should have spoken only of ‘chance’. For instance, we naturally attach no importance to the event when we hand in an overcoat and get a cloakroom ticket with the number, let us say, 62; or when we find that our cabin on a ship bears that number. But the impression is altered if two such events, each in itself indifferent, happen close together — if we come across the number 62 several times in a single day, or if we begin to notice that everything which has a number — addresses, hotel rooms, compartments in railway trains — invariably has the same one, or at all events one which contains the same figures. We do feel this to be uncanny. And unless a man is utterly hardened and proof against the lure of superstition, he will be tempted to ascribe a secret meaning to this obstinate recurrence of a number; he will take it, perhaps, as an indication of the span of life allotted to him. Or suppose one is engaged in reading the works of the famous physiologist, Hering, and within the space of a few days receives two letters from two different countries, each from a person called Hering, though one has never before had any dealings with anyone of that name. Not long ago an ingenious scientist attempted to reduce coincidences of this kind to certain laws, and so deprive them of their uncanny effect. I will not venture to decide whether he has succeeded or not.” – Freud

Freud says that primitive man ascribes meaning to numbers, objects or events which are repeated. As such, Kubrick bathes his film in a semiotic language of repetition. The fact is not that these numbers have magical meaning, simply that they are Uncanny. The uncanniness of these symbollic repetitions is what is being contrasted with Jack’s repetitions, the intention being that we acknowledge and challenge Jack, rather than ascribe superstition to him.

Freud says, “unless a man is utterly hardened against the lure of superstition, he will be tempted to ascribe a secret meaning to this obstinate recurrence of a number”. Thus Kubrick challenges his audience not to accept the superstitious, but to see Jack/Grady/Delbert/Photo as something logical and horrific, rather than pre-destined and mysterious.

“For it is possible to recognize the dominance in the unconscious mind of a 'compulsion to repeat' proceeding from the instinctual impulses and probably inherent in the very nature of the instincts — a compulsion powerful enough to overrule the pleasure principle, lending to certain aspects of the mind their daemonic character, and still very clearly expressed in the impulses of small children; a compulsion, too, which is responsible for a part of the course taken by the analyses of neurotic patients. All these considerations prepare us for the discovery that whatever reminds us of this inner 'compulsion to repeat' is perceived as uncanny.” – Freud

Kubrick swathes his film in repeated numerical patterns. Wendy swings the bat at Jack 42 times. Tony says “Redrum” 42 times. Danny looks up and sees the door of room 237 at exactly :42 minutes into the movie and Wendy finds Jack’s novel at exactly 1:42, her fingers stopping at line 21 in the typewriter.

Danny and Wendy watch “The Summer of 42” at exactly 1:21 minutes and the scene used by Kubrick is exactly :24 minutes into that movie. Likewise, “Redrum” is written on the door 2 separate times, combining a total of 24 lipstick strokes. The timecode in the last scene (2:21), corresponds to 21 pictures on the wall, the middle of which says 1921, a date which itself adds up to 24. Wendy also reveals 21 (or is it 12?) pages of Jack’s book and the staircase she lures him up is comprised of 42 steps.

Similarly, Danny says “REDRUM!” 42 times (in Tony’s voice) and Wendy tugs at the pantry latch 24 times. The use of 42, 24, 21 and 12 in a movie already filled with doublings and mirrors seems odd and uncanny and this is exactly the intention Kubrick hoped to create.

There are many people who document all these weird occurrences, but perhaps they succumb to what Freud calls the “childish superstitious mentality”, ascribing “mystical meanings”  to the Uncanny in the hope of reasserting order, of resolving the mysteries of the film.

But as Freud says, it is the “compulsion to repress and repeat” coupled with an “inability to be rational and reject the superstitious” which is horrific, and not Kubrick’s semiotic fabric, which aims instead to symbolically reinforce Freud’s themes.

“It seems as if each one of us has been through a phase of individual development corresponding to this animistic stage in primitive men, that none of us has passed through it without preserving certain residues and traces of it which are still capable of manifesting themselves, and that everything which now strikes us as 'uncanny' fulfils the condition of touching those residues of animistic mental activity within us and bringing them to expression.” - Freud

Freud is saying that those who feel “the uncanny”, do so because they still have repressed primitive instincts. Freud states that our ancestor's fondness for superstition, religion and fables is largely what causes our belief in ghosts, apparitions and mysticism. Thus, our current irrational beliefs are largely due to the irrationalities of our ancestors. They’ve been passed on from one generation to the next, much as generational violence has been passed on in Kubrick’s film.

“An uncanny effect is often and easily produced when the distinction between imagination and reality is effaced, as when something that we have hitherto regarded as imaginary appears before us in reality, or when a symbol takes over the full functions of the thing it symbolizes, and so on. It is this factor which contributes not a little to the uncanny effect attaching to magical practices. The infantile element in this, which also dominates the minds of neurotics, is the over-accentuation of psychical reality in comparison with material reality — a feature closely allied to the belief in the omnipotence of thoughts.” – Freud

Freud states that an uncanny effect can often be seen when our imagination (ghosts) interacts with reality (opening pantry door). He then says that this is the moment when our “infantile and neurotic elements” start believing in magical practises.

As such, we focus on “psychical realities” and ignore the “material reality”, which is exactly Kubrick’s point. The film’s self referential ending (“I know my whole life through, I’ll never forget you" counterpointed with the sound of the audience leaving) highlights that the “material reality” or “metaphorical truth” of the film will be overlooked by those looking for psychic explanations and mystical answers.

“We - or our primitive forefathers - once believed that these possibilities (afterlife) were realities, and were convinced that they actually happened. Nowadays we no longer believe in them, we have surmounted these modes of thought; but we do not feel quite sure of our new beliefs, and the old ones still exist within us ready to seize upon any confirmation. As soon as something actually happens in our lives which seems to confirm the old, discarded beliefs we get a feeling of the uncanny. Conversely, anyone who has completely and finally rid himself of animistic beliefs will be insensible to this type of the uncanny. The most remarkable coincidences of wish and fulfilment, the most mysterious repetition of similar experiences in a particular place or on a particular date, the most deceptive sights and suspicious noises — none of these things will disconcert him or raise the kind of fear which can be described as ‘a fear of something uncanny’. The whole thing is purely an affair of ‘reality-testing’, a question of the material reality of the phenomena.” - Freud

Here Freud is basically stating that only those who are rid of primitive beliefs can see through the uncanny. These individuals shrug off deceptive sights, signs and repetitions, and see the underlying truth.

In contrast, those who cling to the ways of our primitive forefathers, are doomed to believe in mysticism. Jack, who likewise clings to the ways of his ancestors, thus repeats his mistakes simply because he conjures up ghosts of the past. Ghosts which do not exist, but which he creates to affirm his own existence.

“Where the uncanny comes from infantile complexes the question of material reality does not arise; its place is taken by psychical reality. What is involved is an actual repression of some content of thought and a return of this repressed content, not a cessation of belief in the reality of such a content.” - Freud

Infantile complexes arise through the repression of content.

In the film, there are countless examples of repression. Jack represses his child abuse, Wendy represses Jack’s alcoholism, Danny represses his violent father, Wendy represses her sexual inadequacy (bearsuit blowjob- Jack doesn’t want sex with her), Jack represses his lack of writing talent…etc etc.

“Our conclusion could then be stated thus: an uncanny experience occurs either when infantile complexes which have been repressed are once more revived by some impression, or when primitive beliefs which have been surmounted seem once more to be confirmed.” – Freud

Man has repressed infantile and primal complexes. Uncanny experiences occur when these repressed complexes are triggered. Furthermore, Kubrick takes Freud’s understanding of the Uncanny and uses it as a metaphor for man wrongly ascribing uncanny feelings to what are natural horrors. Where Freud sees the uncanny as being the result of man’s repression of primitive superstition, Kubrick sees the uncanny as being the result of man’s repression of primal instincts.



Jung believed that the human psyche was fundamentally contradictory, and that in every person there are tendencies, feelings, characteristics, and complexes that do not jibe with ego consciousness. This other self is the double, the alter ego, the dark self, or, as Jung put it, the shadow. As a component of the unconscious, the shadow loosely corresponds to the Freudian unconscious, but Jung distinguished his understanding of the unconscious from Freud's, which consists primarily of repressed libido. Jung believed the shadow did contain significant sexual energy, but he disagreed with Freud over its nature. Whereas the one reduced the totality of unconscious energy almost exclusively to libido, the other believed the shadow contained not only libido but any impulse, drive, or characteristic that does not fit ill with one's value system and one's sense of self.

If, for instance, an aggressive girl is raised in a patriarchal culture that demands female submission, she as a woman will have significant psychic aggression, but such impulses will be a source of distress to her conscious ego because the value system in which she has been raised will have no place for a woman's anger. Her aggression, consequently, will be a part of her shadow-, while her ego--or all she is conscious of, that is, her consciousness--will contain all of the nice agreeable traits her culture has deemed acceptable. But her aggression will surface at times against her conscious will in slips of the tongue and in moments of impatience and losing her temper. Until it is acknowledged and properly dealt with, this aggression will trail her as a shadow-self wherever she goes. Unconscious of its presence, she will experience her shadow in the facial expressions of the people with whom she gets hot-tempered, in angry comments she did not intend to express, in the people and groups she most despises, and in dreams of beating with a stick the most venerable and revered patriarchs of her culture. The psychic shadow will trail her just like her physical one, and it will demand expression by erupting at the most embarrassing moments--at tea parties, peace rallies, baby showers, and yoga retreats.

The shadow is most commonly encountered, according to Jungian theory, in projection. In an attempt to defend itself, the threatened ego projects the undesirable traits onto the "other"--people we hate, groups we marginalize, and figures we demonize. This is the surest way to maintain the monarchy of the ego, for to experience the shadow as a projection outside of self is to distance oneself from one's inner demons. Scapegoating is, therefore, pure shadow projection. The ancient Hebrew practice of ritually loading one goat with all of the tribe's sins and offering the other as a sacrificial slaughter to Yahweh was a symbolic attempt to appease the tribal shadow. Other cultures, such as the pre-Columbian Mexicans and the Carthaginians, used captured warriors and even children for the same purpose. The shadow, according to Jung, can never be eliminated but only accommodated and assimilated. Attempts to eliminate it, as in scapegoating, result in a doubling effect, whereby we split off the undesirable parts of ourselves and/or our tribe, project it onto other people, and self righteously condemn them for traits we ourselves possess.

Batter up! America's two favourite sports, baseball and murder



Thanks to Jonny for the following information. His website can be found here:


In his website, Jonny believes that Kubrick’s use of numbers and timecodes point to a Mayan apocalypse. I disagree with many of Jonny’s points, so I’ve omitted most of what I don’t agree with. The above article (The Uncanny) was written in an attempt to provide a more logical interpretation to Kubrick’s use of numbers.


The number 12:


1. Room 237 adds up to 12.

2. The song at the end of the movie is "Midnight (12:00), The Stars and You".

3. 8 AM and 4 PM = 12.

4. We see Jack hit the bathroom door with his axe 12 times.

5. Danny says, “Dad” in the bedroom scene and the piano stabs 12 F notes in quick succession and the melody later plays 24 notes in 4, 4 measure sequences. The same music is heard when he walks up to room 237.

6. Jack’s throws the ball against The Colorado Lounge wall 12 times.

7. Danny and Wendy round 12 corners as they walk through the hedge maze.

8. Dick Hallorann tells them in the store room about 12 turkeys, 24 pork roasts, 30 12lb bags of sugar,12 jugs of black molasses, etc..

9. The names of 12 actual places are mentioned - 5 states and 7 cities.

10. There are 12 rugs in the Colorado Lounge as Jack types.

11. Wendy and Jack’s bedroom doors have 12 windows on each side.

13. Jack calls, “Danny” 12 times at the end of the movie.

14. “KDK 12 calling KDK 1” and The Overlook is KDK 12.

15. Whilst speaking in the mirror, Danny moves "Tony" (his finger) up and down six times. The result is that Tony moves a total of 12 times in this scene; six in the mirror and six in real life.

16. The wipers on the Snowcat slash 12 times, before Kubrick fades to a POV shot in which the wipers slash once during the fade and then another 12 times.

17. The lights on the snowcat flash 12 times.


The number 21:


1. At the interview, Jack says his trip took 3 and one half hours – 210 minutes.

2. Wendy stops at line 21 as she looks at the page in Jack’s typewriter and pulls up the sheet of paper 2 times.

3. Just Before Wendy calls the forest rangers, Jack types 21 letters on his typewriter.

4. There are 21 pictures on the wall in the final shots.

5. Danny passes 21 pictures on his first trip around the corner in The Colorado Lounge.

6. Danny watches “Road Runner” with Wendy and “beep-beep” is heard 21 times (earlier as he speaks with Wendy it can be heard 4 times).

7. Danny’s toy cars and trucks are in several scenes and a total of 21 are seen in The Overlook.

8. There are 21 full footprints in the snow as Danny fools Jack in the maze.

9. The date at the end of the movie is 1921.

 10. Even though we see more, we hear 21 footsteps before Danny climbs into the metal storage bin as he hides from Jack.

11. The bathroom climax resembles the 1921 silent classic film, Korkarlen (Notice the twins, abusive drunken father etc). See here:

12. Halloran takes 21 steps to the front door of the Overlook.

13. The Going To The Sun Road (begins the film) was constructed in 1921.

14. Danny moves "Tony" up an down 21 times in the corridor.

15. Exterior shot of the Overlook: 21 cars in the main car park.


The number 24:


1. When she first spots it, we hear Wendy thumb through 24 pages of Jack’s novel in the box.

2. There are 12 steps before the first level and a total of 24 to the top of the staircase where Wendy clobbers Jack.

3. Jack asks Wendy 24 questions before she clocks him with the bat.

4. The newscaster on the kitchen TV reports about a 24-year-old Aspen woman who has been missing 10 days.

5. The clip we see in the “Summer of 42” is : 024 minutes into that movie.

6. In the beginning Danny has 24 stickers on his bedroom door.

7. Wendy pulls on the storeroom door latch, 24 times (or 21?).

8. The numbers of the date 7/4/1921 from “Overlook Hotel July 4th Ball 1921” at the end of the movie added together equals 24.

9. Jack sees 24 balloons as he walks to the party.

10. Before Dick Hallorann yells, “Hello” the sound of Jack limping is over-dubbed 24 times.

11. There are 24 windowpanes on the door to The Gold Room and on Mr. Ullman’s office window.

12. There are 24 pictures on the wall behind Danny, and 2 darts in his hand when he spots the 2 girls as he plays.

13. Dick Hallorann taps out 2-4 with his fingers after he calls the forest rangers.

14. We hear Dick Hallorann’s 24 footsteps as he walks in from the Snow cat and 21 up to the door.

15. 24 extra minutes in the US cut of the film.

16. Jack takes 24 steps with his axe.


The number 42:


1. Danny wears the number 42 on his T-shirt in their bathroom.

2. There are 42 vehicles in the upper parking lot before Jack’s interview.

3. Wendy swings the bat 42 times. (once when she’s startled)

4. Tony says Redrum 42 times (the last 9 times Danny’s voice changes back).

5. 2 times 3 times 7 equals 42. (room 237)

6. Wendy and Danny watch the “Summer of 42.

7. As she walks threw The Colorado Lounge with the bat, Wendy steps on the wood floor 42 times and says Jack’s name 2 times.

8. During Mr. Ullman’s tour, 42 windows can be seen on The Overlook before he shows them the Snow cat.

9. The warnings lights on top of the snowcat flash 42 times before Kubrick fades to an interior shot of the vehicle.

10.  The Roadrunner character "beeps" 42 times whilst the word "beep" is said 21 times by the singers of the song.




1. 2 identical girls 2 years apart in age.

2. 2 identical elevators, 2 identical boilers, and 2 identical halves to the hedge maze in Jack’s vision of it.

3. There are 2 mazes in the movie. The hedge maze and the mathematical one created by Stanley Kubrick.

4. There are 2 hotels in the movie where the novel has only one.

5. Two women are in the bathroom of room 237 where the novel has only one.

6. Everything we actually see on a TV set is shown 2 times, 2 cartoons, 2 movies, and 2 news casts.

7. Jack has 2 bright yellow possessions and breaks down 2 yellow doors (1 panel on the first one and 2 panels on second).

8. The word “Shining” is mentioned 2 times throughout the movie.

9. Danny has 2 visions of the Redrum door.

10. From the number of room 237, 7 minus 3 minus 2 equals 2.

11. Wendy tries to reach the rangers on the radio, “KDK12 calling KDK1” is repeated 2 times and said 2 times.

12. Jack says, “How do you like it?” 2 times and the line “For ever and ever” is repeated 2 times.

13. Wendy hits Jack with the bat 2 times.

14. There are 2 doors in the entrance of room 237, the other rooms have 1.

15. Danny goes up to room 237 2 times and we see him drive his trike 2 times, and we see him playing with his toys 2 times.

16. Indians are mentioned 2 times, 2 tribes are noted, and the same Indian is seen 2 times moved to 2 different places.

17. Grady “put both barrels of a shotgun in his mouth”.

18. There are two black men in the film.

19. 2 scenes are filmed in the maze and 2 in the storeroom, and Jack’s interview is split into 2 separate scenes.

20. It took 2 years to build the hotel.

21. Throughout the movie, the paper Jack’s novel is typed on is 2 different colors, and seen in 2 different boxes on his desk with 2 different colored typewriters sitting next to it.

22. In their apartment, we see Danny’s bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and living room 2 times each.

23. Jack thinks he has two $20 bills and two $10 bills in his pocket.

24. Jack sabotages 2 items.

25. 2 fictitious towns are mentioned - Sidewinder Colorado and Stovington Vermont.

26. Dick Hallorann calls the forest rangers 2 times and makes a total of 4 phone calls.

28. There are 2 Gold Room signs, the 2 different stands they’re on switch places throughout the movie, and 2 artists appear on it.

29. We see Wendy reading 2 novels – “The Catcher in the Rye” and “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”.

30. Dick Hallorann “shines “ 2 times.

31. Dick Hallorann shows Danny and Wendy 2 storerooms.

32. There are 2 snow-cats used in the movie and only 2 people leave The Overlook at the end.

33. Dick Hallorann has two pictures of black women in his room.

34. Jack is frozen 2 times in the movie, once in The Hedge Maze while chasing Danny and secondly in the picture on the wall in the last shot.

35. Jack passes two broken cars in the first shot.

36. Jack passes two working cars in the first shot.

37. Ullman says "hello girls" to two pairs of twins.

38. Danny moves "Tony" up and  down 11 times.


Time Codes (applies only to US cut?):


0:12 Danny faints and wakes up with his pants missing

0:21 Danny sees the twins

0:24 Hallaron is introduced. (How is this significant?)

0:42 Danny tries the door knob to room 237

1:12 Jack meets the bathroom women

1:21 Jack sees the party ballons

1:24 Jack meets Grady

1:42 Wendy discovers the truth about Jack's "novel."

2:12 Wendy is spoken to by a ghost for the first time

2:21 Movie ends




Consider too how Kubrick's film-- a film which is awash with mirrors and reflections-- itself reflects the details of King's book...


In the novel the Torrances are brought to The Overlook in a red Volkswagen and saved on a yellow SnowCat.

In the movie the Torrances are brought to The Overlook in a yellow Volkswagen and saved in a red SnowCat.


In the novel, Danny plays with a red rubber ball.

In the movie, Danny plays with a yellow rubber ball.


In the novel, the bathroom is located in room 217

In the movie, the bathroom is located in room 237 (2+3+7=12)


In the novel, Danny sees the dead woman and Jack doesn’t.

In the movie, Jack sees the dead woman, and Danny doesn't.


In the novel, there is one elevator.

In the movie, there are 2 elevators. One set stuck on floor 1 and the other stuck on floor 2.


In the novel, Wendy is a beautiful blonde.

In the movie, she’s an unpolished brunette.


Danny’s doctor is a male in the novel.

Danny’s doctor is a female in the movie.


Hallorann saves Danny and Wendy and survives in the novel.

Hallorann is useless and dies in the movie.


Ullman is a total jerk in the novel.

Ullman is a nice guy in the movie.


In the novel, Charles chops his twin daughters.

In the movie, Jack says to Delbert “You chopped your wife and daughter (singular) up into little bits”.


The Overlook closes in the novel on 9/30/

In the movie it’s 10/30, making the Torrance’s 1st full day living there Halloween.


In the novel Mr. Ullman hires Grady.

In the movie, Ullman’s "predecessor" hires Grady.


Jack takes care of 1 furnace in the novel.

Wendy takes care of 2 furnaces in the movie.


In the novel Wendy reads a Victoria Holt Paperback.

In the movie Wendy reads The Catcher in the Rye.


Jack uses 1 typewriter in the novel.

Jack uses 2 typewriters in the film.


Danny sees REDRUM written in green in the book.

Danny sees REDRUM written in red in the film.


Reincarnation is not a part of the novel.

Reincarnation is a large part of the film.


Danny is 5 years old in the novel, 7 years old in the movie, a difference of 2 years.

The Grady girls are 6 and 8 in the novel, 8 and 10 in the film, a difference of 2 years.


In the novel, Danny has a closer relationship with Jack.

In the movie, Danny has a closer relationship with Wendy.


There’s no Gold Room in the novel.

There's a Gold Room in the film.


Jack meets Lloyd in the Colorado lounge.

Jack meets Lloyd in the Gold room.


In the novel, “not by the hair of my chiny chin chin” and “I’ll huff and I’ll puff” is said by the man in the dog costume. In the movie the man in the dog costume is only in one very mysterious shot and says absolutely nothing. His lines, however, have been given to Jack. See “Animal Friends” essay.


In the novel, Grady has only one name.

In the movie, Grady has two names.


In the novel, Larry Durkin knows Jack and Danny and doesn’t know Dick Hallorann.
In the movie it's the opposite. Durkin knows Dick Hallorann and doesn't know Jack or Danny.


In the novel, Wendy clobbers Jack with a wine bottle.

In the movie, Wendy clobbers Jack with a baseball bat.


Jack wields a mallet in the novel.

Jack wields an axe in the movie.


There are no twins in the novel.

In the movie there are multiple twins and pairs.


In the novel, Danny bolts the storeroom door with Jack inside.

In the movie Wendy bolts the storeroom door with Jack inside.


The Overlook has 4 floors in the novel.

The Overlook has 2 floors in the movie.


In the novel, the Overlook wants Danny because of his power.

In the movie, the Overlook wants Jack.


In the novel Jack was never previously at The Hotel.

In the film, it is suggested that Jack was “always the caretaker”


There is one version of the novel.

There are two versions of the film.


The novel was written by King in the Stanley Hotel.

The movie was written by Stanley Kubrick and Diane Johnson at Stanley Kubrick's estate.


In the novel Jack is burned to death in fire.

In the movie Jack is frozen to death in snow .


In King’s book, the family arrive in a red Volkswagon.

The only time a red Volkswagon shows up in Kubrick’s film, it’s on it’s head, upside down. Kubrick slyly acknowledging that he’s tipped King’s book upside down?