A Hotel In Purgatory

As a Christian I believe in Heaven and Hell and God and the Devil. I believe they exist as explained in the Bible.

However, I suspect that there may be Purgatory too. Rather Catholic of me, perhaps… And while there are ghosts there are demons and angels as well.

And…I tend to think these places exist in a place we have yet to scientifically define, account for, or explain. Perhaps these places occasionally intermingle with our current spot.

“The Shining”, a work of Kubrick’s genius based on a King’s genius, is probably one of the most honest and terrifying films ever made about many things, including and foremost the supernatural realm. There’s something about it that’s…genuinely otherworldly. Whenever I watch it I can feel it. Something about every little detail and essence captures reality to an astounding degree. Better than any “ghost hunters” show ever did.

Kubrick’s version of the 1920’s has haunted me since I saw it for the first time years ago one dreary fall day. The scenes in the bar are…much more eerie and scary than any of the bloody that’s also everywhere. At least partly because they involve the actual unknown and I suspect real entities from that era somehow were involved in the filming. Is that possible?

And then there’s all the interpretations of the film. Personally I have two favorites, with one of them being that it’s an abstract representation of American History. American History up until 1980 and all the pieces of World History that we’re connected to (ie The Holocaust, The Cold War, the slaughter of the Native Americans, etc.). But…why the 1920’s was chosen especially fascinates me.

It’s almost like…it was when we stood on a precipice as a country, towering over our golden treasures below, drunk as a skunk, naïve about our own limitations but not innocent. Clever yet foolish. Filled with ennui but paradoxically charmed and brightened by old-fashioned optimism. Handsome. Risqué. Wild. Refined.

Jack…gave up his soul to the Devil for a drink and because he was a reincarnation of the old caretaker and he longed desperately to return “home” forever. That lady in the green bathroom was likely his ex wife one way or another.

He was still in love with that past life and the Hotel had a certain draw to him. It called him just as it called to Grady (there were two Gradys but I suspect they were the same person with the same last name just incarnated twice). …And both men went mad. Both men had existed there before. The Hotel maybe was like a sort of purgatorial soup…

Grady wanted Danny dead because he wanted someone to play with his daughters? Or was he a sacrifice? Maybe? And who knows…maybe it was only a test. Maybe the idea was to find a way to trap Jack. Because they really just wanted Jack to come to them to be tortured? Maybe they knew he’d always be the only one in his family to die and the death of the brave cook was only an accident. Poor planning on the part of the ghosts.

And all those sentences about Jack being a dull boy? I wonder. What did they say in Jack’s mind? Or were they written in the past?

Actually, I tend to think Jack actually ceases to exist in the natural world entirely before he dies. It’s why Wendy can defend herself so easily. He’s mostly just a ghost at that point. He’s being washed slowly back into the past. He’s more in the past than the present. Or more dead than alive. More in Purgatory or Hell than life. And perhaps his sanity is being tortured in the hereafter while his body is being used. The book sort of points to that a bit.

Anyway, those are my thoughts on it.

%d bloggers like this: