Formal Analysis of The ShiningIn his exemplary horror film, The Shining, Stanley Kubrick uses various components of editing and sound to create unique and terrifying scenes. Kubrick depends on editing and sound design to help the horrifying and unpleasant feel that was made in the in the film. All throughout the movie, the unique sound design and strong editing techniques create many diverse effects on the viewer, however the most evident effect created a sense of fear and suspense. One scene specifically emerges as a skillfully edited part in the movie. In this scene, Wendy and Danny both wander around inside the massive hedge maze. The scene then cuts to a shot of Jack walking up to a model of the maze that is in the lobby. The scene then cuts to a close-up of the model of the maze. Tiny versions of Wendy and Danny are shown walking through the maze. The Jack and the viewer can hear Wendy and Danny talking even though he is not with them. This helps the allusion that Jack is viewing them experience the maze. As the scene proceeds, it cuts to clips of Wendy and Danny walking in the actual maze. The maze scene is a case of parallel editing. Using parallel editing in the scene, the viewer accept that Wendy and Danny are experiencing the maze while Jack is watching the through the model of the maze. This leads the viewer to trust that Jack is viewing over the two experience the maze, alongside the sounds of the two laughing and talking. This technique of editing, connecting two scenes together, adds a suspense aspect showing the viewer that something strange is going on.The sound design in the maze scene is engaging. In the first shot, when Wendy and Danny are walking to the maze, you can hear them talking and running on the path very clearly. Once they reach the entrance, a slow piano and deep Shepard Tones start playing as it cuts to Jack walking over to the model of the maze. The piano starts getting faster and stays in a fast loop of notes. This loop and slow zoom in of the model maze provides a sort of psychedelic effect on the viewer. Another scene in which editing is utilized to conjure disturbing thoughts is the scene when Wendy finds Jack’s typewriter and the papers that he has been working on. Wendy discovers that Jack has been constantly typing “all work and no play make Jack a dull boy” on all of the sheets of paper. Jack unexpectedly wanders into the room and starts talking to Wendy. They both walk across the room yelling at each other. Wendy realizes that Jack is no longer himself. After he keeps walking after her, she hits Jack in the head with a baseball bat as he is walking towards her on the stairs.The medium shots and reverse shots used during this scene shows the seamless interaction of Jack and Wendy’s discussion. In spite of the fact that the scene is without a doubt made out of a range of different takes, the reverse shots help in building the continuity of the scene. By utilizing reverse shots again and again, the viewer can feel the tension and uneasiness of the interaction. The editing in this scene has a fast tempo in which the shots of Wendy are very quick before they cut back to Jack, which makes the viewer nervous and uneasy.In this typewriter scene, a vast amount of Shepard Tones are used to build the tension of the scene. It starts off when Wendy sees the first document, then another Shepard Tone layers on top of it. More and more Shepard Tones layer on top of each other as Wendy continues looking at all the different pages Jack’s been typing. All the Shepard Tones stop once Jack appears in the frame. After that, during the heated conversation between the two, there is only one underlying Shepard Tone that is heard on and off until the scene is over.One scene that the editing shows Jack’s insanity is the scene in which he goes into the Gold Room. The viewer can see that Jack is plainly alone in the room, and he takes a seat at the bar. It is apparent that the bar has no drinks in stock. There is a shot of Jack walking to the bar. Then, Jack sits down on a stool and begins to talk to someone, even though no one is in the room. It then cuts to a reverse shot of Lloyd, the bartender, in front of a fully stocked bar. The editing in this scene is interesting because it is known that the room and bar is empty, and yet shows Jack’s growing insanity when he envisions these two things. The fact that he has a full discussion with the bartender who isn’t really there is confirmation of his insanity. The shot/reverse shot editing additionally makes the continuity of the scene flow seamlessly. In one of the beginning scenes, Danny is brushing his teeth. Tony, his imaginary friend, warns Danny about the horrors of the hotel. The scene rapidly cuts from Danny in the mirror to a picture of blood flooding out of the elevators of the hotel. Editing adds to this scene by method for the a foreshadow. The foreshadow clip shows pools of blood flooding from the elevator. As the viewer sees the pools of blood flowing through the room, quick one second shots of twins and Danny screaming appear. The editing makes a significant horrifying impact on the viewer. In spite of the fact that it isn’t yet certain why there is blood in the elevators, the shot foreshadows the terrifying events that will later happen at the hotel. This foreshadowing scene gives the viewer a feeling of approaching fate, and makes the viewer uneasy about the family’s stay at the hotel.
There are many scenes in The Shining that greatly show different techniques of editing and sound design. Most of the editing methods and sound in the film is done in such a way that it makes the viewer experience a disturbing and uneasy feeling all throughout the movie. The two components in the movie both add to the continuity and suspense, making the scenes flow smoothly together. The Shining would not have been such an effective horror film if it wasn’t for the deliberate and masterful usage of editing and sound design.