Alternative ending to Kubrick’s “The Shining”

Legendary film director Stanley Kubrick is still considered one of the most mysterious people in the world of cinema. This completes the revelations that there was (maybe still is) an alternative ending to his hit movie “The Shining”.

Fear of the unknown is one of the best tools any horror filmmaker can use. Just look at how Steven Spielberg exploited this with a less spotted shark during his 1975 creation “Jaws” or how John Carpenter kept Michael Myers’ visual identity a secret in the pioneering 1978 slasher film, “Halloween.” Yet no film captures the chilling fear of the confusing unknown quite like Kubrick’s iconic 1980 horror film, The Shining.

Foto: Twitter / Printscreen

Adapting the story from Stephen King’s 1977 novel of the same name, The Shining takes place in the fictional Overlook Hotel in the Rocky Mountains, an impressive, abandoned building that Jack Torrance and his family have agreed to take care of over the winter. But as they spend more and more time in the hotel, Jack begins to lose his grip on reality, possessed by the many spirits that lurk within the ancient walls of the building.

Starring Jack Nicholson, Shelly Duvall and Danny Lloyd, the film is considered a classic of horror cinema, largely due to its inherent mystery, and 1980 horror fans are still trying to answer its intriguing questions to this day. One such question is what to do with the ending, in which we see Jack’s wife, Wendy, and his son, Danny, fleeing the hotel and Torrance’s crazed gaze, with the final shot showing the dead protagonist immortalized in an old hotel painting.

Foto: Twitter / Printscreen
Foto: Twitter / Printscreen

But this was not always the end of the film, Kubrik cut the entire scene from the finale.

Kubrick’s hastily cut moment takes place weeks after the final chase around the maze-like hedge of the Overlook Hotel, set in a hospital where Stuart Ullman, the hotel’s manager, visits Danny and Wendy as they recover from their injuries. Confirming that the two characters have managed to completely escape Jack through the thick snow, the scene continues as Ullman explains that no evidence of a supernatural phenomenon has been discovered in the hotel.

Shortly before the end of the scene, Ulman throws a yellow ball at Denia, alluding to the same colored ball that was rolled at him outside of Room 237 during the film.

Foto: Twitter / Printscreen
Foto: Twitter / Printscreen

As the film’s director and longtime fan of The Shining, Lee Unkrich, told The Overlook Hotel: “Kubrick decided to remove the scene very shortly after its U.S. premiere, sending assistants to extract the scene from the dozens of tapes shown in Los Angeles and New York. All known copies of the scene are said to have been destroyed, although it is rumored that one surviving copy may exist”.

Almost all copies of the final scene are believed to have been destroyed, with Unkrich adding: “Very little remains of the hospital epilogue other than continuity Polaroids, costumes and 35mm filmstrips stored in Stanley Kubrick’s archives”.

Foto: Twitter / Printscreen
Foto: Twitter / Printscreen

Still, Unkrich teases the audience by adding, “There are rumors that one surviving copy may exist.”

Watch the current ending of Kubrick’s film “The Shining” below.


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