Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining is one of the most studied and debated horror movies in cinematic history. There’s no shortage of theories that speculate on Kubrick’s buried subtexts; fans and film scholars alike have scoured every frame of The Shining like a treasure hunters hoping to unearth hidden treasures. There are so many theories about The Shining, in fact, they even made a movie about it: Room 237, released in 2013.
Official Synopsis: Filmmaker Rodney Asch analyzes Stanley Kubrick’s film adaptation of Stephen King’s classic horror novel, “The Shining.”
Some of the wildest and most outlandish postulations examined in Room 237 include: The Shining is a metaphor for The Holocaust, The Shining is a protest against the treatment of Native Americans, and (my favorite) The Shining is Kubrick’s confession that he helped NASA fake the Moon landings. But YouTuber Marten GO has presented a theory that isn’t just unique—it’s surprisingly solid; a hypothesis that unifies almost everything in the film while explaining many perceived inconsistencies. Are you ready? Here it is:
Jack Torrance (played by Jack Nicholson) never killed his family. At some point in The Shining, the narrative shifts from the real world into the fantasy world of the novel Jack is writing. He combines aspects of his real life (the fact that he’s a winter caretaker at a hotel) with the macabre history of the Grady family to create a cathartic story of terror and madness.
Marten GO presents this theory through a series of well-researched video which you can see for yourself below.
The first clue: The burgundy jacket that Jack wears.
Next: Typewriters change color and a prominent sculpture disappears.
Finally: The true meaning of that picture with Jack Torrance from 1921.
So what do you think? Are the scariest, most fantastic elements of The Shining just the fictional novel Jack is writing? Are the Torrances alive and well, living the good life off of residuals from his novel? Let’s discuss in the Comments section!