One of my favorite scenes in Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining is a two or three second shock during which a series of terrifying events happen. At this point in the film, Danny has been replaced by Tony, who’s saying “Redrum” in a voice that’s robotic at first and amplifies in intensity and urgency as Jack’s presence gets closer. As Danny—or “Tony,” his psychic alter-ego—screams “Redrum,” Wendy reads the words backward in the mirror. The camera pans in on the word “murder” written in childish handwriting with blood-red lipstick. Almost as soon as we, the viewers, read “murder” in the mirror, we hear the unnerving sound of an ax chopping through wood and the camera moves to Jack, who wields the huge, sharp, silver device and uses it to slice through the wooden door of the caretaker’s quarters, where Danny and Wendy reside. As if this nexus of sensation weren’t enough to alarm us, the viewers, and pull as even a little more deeply into The Shining’s sinister, unpredictable world, Wendy’s voice intercepts this moment with a simultaneously frenetic and bone-chilling scream—a scream that we’ll hear different variations of for the rest of the movie. In turn, we, as the viewers—at least a little bit—start feeling Wendy’s maddening fear, and our cognition is ultimately forced to accept a mis-en-scene and narrative moment that’s eliminated anything reassuring or comforting for us to latch onto. We are, in a sense, in the void, and we are there with Wendy. Continue reading
with Kalie Zamierowski!
[Michael’s Note: Who’s ready for some…ORIGINAL FICTION?!? That’s right ladies and gentlemen, today marks an exciting new chapter in my little blog’s life. Kalie and I have co-authored a short story/piece of fan fiction/genre mashup…whatever you want to call it. It’s an idea we’ve been playing with for months and finally just wrote it! Playing to what we love, we’ve taken the Stephen King classic The Shining and dropped the Ghostbusters into the Overlook Hotel. We had A LOT of fun and can’t wait to do this again. While she’ll disagree, about 95% of the credit for pulling this off goes to Kalie. She’s the gifted writer, capturing everything so eloquently. I have no idea how she does it. I helped with the plot, dialogue, and characterization but she did all the heavy lifting :). We’re really proud of it and hope you enjoy it too!] Continue reading