The Shining Movie Ending Explained (In Detail)

The Shining is one of Stanley Kubrick’s most interesting films. The picture caught on with contemporaries, despite the obvious dissatisfaction with Stephen King’s adaptation.

Plot Summary

The narrative begins with a writer named Jack Torrence finding a job for himself for 5 months away from civilization. It seems to him a great opportunity to earn money and privacy. The place of action is the Overlook Hotel, which needs a caretaker for the winter. Together with the head of the family there go wife Wendy and their child Danny. Despite the grumpiness of the father, in the beginning the whole family looks quite ordinary.

Already on the spot it begins to become clear what is wrong with this family. We are shown the rudeness of the father, which turns into violence, the son’s obvious mental health problems and the mother’s helplessness, who can do nothing to counteract her husband’s outbursts of aggression. We are introduced to the cook Dick Holloran, who unexpectedly for the audience finds a common language with the boy in a very incomprehensible way.

Over time, the situation in the hotel deteriorates. It becomes clear that “Overlook” is inhabited by incomprehensible entities that drive the residents crazy. After contact with one of these ghosts, the youngest of the actors has choking marks on his neck, but Wendy begins to accuse the boy’s father, who has already broken his arm, of manhandling him. The accused, on the other hand, has a dream about killing his entire family with an axe. This refers back to the story told by the employers back in the beginning.

Torrence looked nervous at the beginning of the story, but by the middle, his actions, facial expressions and words smelled like madness. Jack Nicholson is a great credit to him. The further the plot moved, the less realistic looked for the anti-hero ghosts. After accusations of wife abuse in the bar of a completely empty hotel, he finds a bartender who seemed to pour him free whiskey. The family man will come to this bar again, but then there will be a ball here.

At the ball he will meet the waiter, who will turn out to be a murderous overseer from the employers’ story. Grady will initiate the protagonist into the motives of his crime and our “family man” will even understand them. The fact is that by that time he has already blamed all his troubles on those around him and got drunk, although he promised his spouse to quit. At this point, it is finally clear to the viewer that Torrence is ready to repeat the crime of his predecessor. His madness was also magnificently shown by Nicholson.

Throughout the picture, the writer diligently worked on the novel. The first quarrel with his wife arose because she distracted him from writing. However, she had not been allowed to read a page before that. Why this was the case, we will understand when she accidentally sees what her husband had been typing all this time. Instead of a novel, exactly one phrase – a saying – will be written on the pages. For this interference in the writer’s life spouse catches Nicholson’s hero, who is already set up for murder.

Saves the poor only Holloran, who arrived on his snowmobile in the “Overlook”, as he somehow unfathomable way contacted his juvenile partner in telepathy Danny. Dick himself was killed, but on his car the unfortunate victims managed to escape. The perpetrator froze to death, but at the very end we are shown a photograph of him from 1923.

The meaning of the movie The Shining

It is important that the author presents Torrance as a tragic person. There is a lot of insanity and anger in him, but at the same time one can look at what is happening through the realization of his depression. He may have wanted to devote all of his time to creating, but the people around him were always distracting him. He loved his son but couldn’t deal with his alcoholism. However, instead of changing himself, starting a fight, he preferred to blame others for his troubles. Even to drink he gave up drinking solely for the sake of preserving the marriage, but at the first quarrel he began to beg to serve him a drink, which the hotel generously did. “Overlook” contributed to the tragedy, but it was not his visions that caused the murder. Jack only needed the impetus for the madness, which is what the local mysticism becomes. This story suggests that all problems should be sought in yourself and do not try to shift responsibility to others.

It is also necessary to note the secret meanings of the picture. Stanley Kubrick clearly draws attention to the problem of domestic violence and alcoholism. After all, it is the fact that his father broke Danny’s arm before the beginning of the events of the movie, turns out to be the reason for the boy’s mystical abilities. The irreversible process that will drive the main anti-hero of the plot to madness begins from the moment of hand-wringing. Not the least place in this context is occupied by the dependence of the head of the family on alcohol, because it is drinking that becomes the last step in the formation of a maniac.

Characterization of heroes

Jack is a writer and family man. He has an explosive temper and an alcohol addiction. He loves his wife, but can get angry if she distracts him from his work. When drunk, he is able to raise his hand on a child. To fight with the problems do not give him a weak will and simply lack of desire to fight. The final disaster was a product of the lifestyle that led the character.

Danny is a perfectly ordinary boy who suffered from domestic violence. After his arm was broken by his dad, the boy began talking to a fictional friend who predicted the future. Also among the boy’s abilities was telepathy, which saved him and his mother from his psychopathic father.

The most uninteresting of the characters was Wendy. She was shown very superficially and throughout the movie acted solely as a screaming victim. There was no mystery in her as in her son, there was no conflict in her as in the anti-hero himself. The director offered us the image of a mother who, for all her weakness, would go with a knife to defend her child against her axe-wielding husband. In this context, one might think that the author was trying to show the strength of the mother defending her child. In this case, the superficiality of the image serves to make any woman able to imagine herself in her shoes. She was played by Shelley Duvall.


Stanley Kubrick filmed a true masterpiece, the relevance of which has not been lost fifty years later. As in the case of any work of art, everyone can find something useful for themselves in “The Shining”. And despite some minor flaws, “The Shining” will forever remain in the golden fund of world cinema.

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