Go Inside the First 30 Minutes of Kubrick’s The Shining with This 360º Virtual Reality Video

Apolo­gies to Stephen King, but when I think of The Shin­ing, I think of Stan­ley Kubrick’s 1980 film. While King has long and vig­or­ous­ly object­ed to Kubrick’s lib­er­ties in adapt­ing the sto­ry, I’d argue it’s one of those oft-lis­ti­cled cas­es where the film is bet­ter than the book. Grant­ed, the hor­ror writer has made sev­er­al jus­ti­fied crit­i­cisms of the film’s misog­y­nis­tic por­tray­al of Shelly Duvall’s char­ac­ter, but he has also con­fessed to a total indif­fer­ence to movies, telling Rolling Stone, “I see [film] as a less­er medi­um than fic­tion, than lit­er­a­ture, and a more ephemer­al medi­um.” In this instance, at least, he’s dead wrong. Movie lovers have been obsess­ing over every blessed detail of Kubrick’s The Shin­ing for 36 years and show no signs of stop­ping.

Part of the rea­son the sto­ry works bet­ter on film than on the page is that The Shin­ing is what one might call an archi­tec­tur­al horror—its mon­ster is a build­ing, the Over­look Hotel, and Kubrick wise­ly exploit­ed the idea to its max­i­mum poten­tial, adding an addi­tion­al struc­ture, the top­i­ary maze, as a fur­ther instan­ti­a­tion of the story’s themes of iso­la­tion, entrap­ment, and exis­ten­tial dead ends. Video game designers—many the same age as the film’s young pro­tag­o­nist Dan­ny when the movie came out—surely paid atten­tion. The long takes of Danny’s explo­ration of the omi­nous, emp­ty moun­tain lodge now, in hind­sight, resem­ble any num­ber of vir­tu­al con­sole and PC worlds in many a first-per­son game.

Now join­ing the archi­tec­tural­ly-obsessed reimag­in­ings of The Shin­ing is “Shin­ing 360,” a project by dig­i­tal artist Claire Hentschk­er. She describes it as:

a 30-minute audio-visu­al exper­i­ment for VR derived from the phys­i­cal space with­in Stan­ley Kubrick’s film ‘The Shin­ing.’ Using pho­togram­me­try, 3D ele­ments are extract­ed and extrud­ed from the orig­i­nal film stills, and the sub­se­quent frag­ments are stitched togeth­er and viewed along the orig­i­nal cam­era path.

In oth­er words, the project allows view­ers to move around, using 360-degree Youtube video, in a dig­i­tal­ly frag­ment­ed space built out of the first 30 min­utes of the film. Be aware that there are brows­er restric­tions, but if you open the video in Chrome, Fire­fox, Inter­net Explor­er, or Opera, you’ll be able to nav­i­gate through the space using your mouse or the WASD keys.

It’s a very weird expe­ri­ence. The Overlook’s inte­ri­or exists in con­tigu­ous 3D pho­to­graph­ic blobs sus­pend­ed in black nothingness—giving one the feel­ing of reach­ing the edge of some pre­vi­ous­ly-believ­able video game world and find­ing out there’s noth­ing beyond it. And it’s made all the creepi­er by the near-exclu­sion of the very few peo­ple the hotel does contain—with the excep­tion of a kind of residue of par­tial bodies—and by a dron­ing, one-note ambi­ent syn­the­siz­er score. This isn’t the first time Hentschk­er has used the film’s spa­tial unique­ness as com­put­er art. In the short stu­dent video above from 2015, she intro­duces a wonky tech­ni­cal pre­cur­sor to “Shin­ing 360” that also the­mat­i­cal­ly address­es the movie’s misog­y­ny: “Map­ping the Female Gaze in Hor­ror Movies.”

via Metafil­ter

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Down­load & Play The Shin­ing Board Game

Stan­ley Kubrick’s The Shin­ing Reimag­ined as Wes Ander­son and David Lynch Movies

Watch a Shot-by-Shot Remake of Kubrick’s The Shin­ing, a 48-Minute Music Video Accom­pa­ny­ing the New Album by Aesop Rock

Josh Jones is a writer and musi­cian based in Durham, NC. Fol­low him at @jdmagness

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