Analysis of the Shining

Summary "The Shining" is a horror movie about Jack Torrance, who takes a job as the winter caretaker of the Overlook Hotel with his wife Wendy and son Danny. Danny possesses psychic abilities and has an imaginary friend Tony. The family learns of the hotel's dark past and strange occurrences begin to happen. Jack becomes possessed by the hotel's malevolent spirits and goes on a killing spree, targeting his family and a hotel employee. In the end, Danny survives and Jack dies frozen in the hedge maze. Wendy and Danny flee in Halloran's Snowcat, leaving Jack to perish in the cold maze.



Characters in the screenplay, and their arcs:

Character Arc Critique Suggestions
Danny Danny starts as a curious and sensitive child, fascinated with the world around him. As he discovers his psychic abilities and the traumatic events at the hotel unfold, he becomes more reserved and fearful. However, he ultimately finds the strength to survive and escape with his mother, embracing his supernatural connection to the hotel as a means of survival. The character arc could benefit from more development in the middle of the movie. After Danny discovers his powers and experiences the strange incident at the hotel, he becomes more reserved and fearful, but this transformation does not feel fully fleshed out.
Consider adding scenes that show Danny struggling to come to terms with his newfound powers and the traumatic events at the hotel. This could help to make his transformation more believable and poignant. Additionally, consider giving Danny more agency in the final act of the movie, particularly in his escape from the hotel with Wendy. This could further emphasize his growth as a character and his ability to survive in the face of danger.
Wendy Wendy starts as a caring and supportive mother and wife who is excited about their future. As the events at the hotel unfold, she becomes increasingly anxious and overwhelmed, trying to hold her family together despite growing tension. She eventually reaches a breaking point and becomes determined to protect herself and her son from Jack's dangerous behavior, showing immense courage in the face of danger and surviving the ordeal. The character arc for Wendy feels a bit predictable and linear. While we see her become gradually more anxious and concerned, her transformation into a determined survivor feels abrupt and not fully earned. Additionally, some of her actions, like interrupting Jack and causing tension in their relationship, feel unnecessary and detract from her character's agency.
To improve the character arc for Wendy, consider making her struggle more with the decision to stay at the hotel and how it affects her family. Show more moments of her being proactive and taking action to protect herself and her son, rather than relying on others to save her. Also, consider removing some of the unnecessary conflict between her and Jack to make her character more consistent and focused.
Jack Jack starts off as a troubled and frustrated man battling with his own demons while trying to be a good husband and father. As the film progresses, his mental state deteriorates, leading him to become more and more unhinged, ultimately turning into a sadistic killer who is possessed by the hotel's influence. The character arc for Jack is well-done, showcasing the gradual descent into madness and his eventual possession by the hotel. However, it could have benefited from more exploration of his relationship with his son and how that contributes to his guilt and inner demons.
One suggestion for improving the character arc would be to delve more into Jack's past and his relationship with his abusive father, as this could provide more context for his struggles with alcoholism and anger. Additionally, exploring his relationship with Danny and how that affects his mental state could provide more depth to his character.
Halloran Halloran starts out as a friendly and wise chef who seems to have a mysterious connection with Danny and understands the dark history of the hotel. He is genuinely kind and cares about the well-being of others. As the story unfolds, he becomes more confident and knowledgeable, with a mysterious air about him. He is always caring and concerned for others and remains cool under pressure, determined to get to the hotel. However, his arc takes a tragic turn as he meets a gruesome end, serving as a reminder of the danger everyone is in at the hotel. While Halloran is an interesting and likable character, his arc ultimately feels incomplete due to his sudden and tragic death. It would have been more satisfying to see him play a larger role in the story and have his arc reach a more meaningful conclusion.
One way to improve Halloran's character arc would be to give him a greater sense of agency and have him play a more active role in the story. Perhaps he could have discovered more about the history of the hotel and worked alongside Danny to uncover its secrets. Alternatively, his death could have been used to further develop the characters of Wendy and Danny, showing how they cope with the loss of someone who had become a trusted friend and ally.