Anything we know about this special ability come from two sources, Dick Hallorann’s mouth or observations of the two characters in the story who we are 100% positive have this ability, Danny and Dick Hallorann. In Stephen King’s novel people who “Shine” have the supernatural ability to do 2 basic things 1) they can see into the past and the future and 2) they can speak to each other telepathically over any distance. To understand “Shining” in Stanley Kubrick’s movie it’s essential to look at how he altered Stephen King’s source novel. Anyone who attempts to explain this special power without mentioning these alterations is committing a grave error on the reader, and quite possibly doesn’t know anything about what they’re talking about. The changes he made are easily found by reading it and they’re not an object of speculation and conjecture. They are what they are and can’t be changed.
You can look at how he altered the source novel here and give special attention to what’s reversed and what’s doubled.
For me one of the best and creepiest parts of the novel was when The Overlook animates certain objects for its guests and special attention should be paid to the 3 items that move by supernatural means. It’s absurd to think that Stanley Kubrick would leave out such a great plot point from the novel, and if you look closely; he doesn’t, he just reverses it like so much else from Stephen King’s novel.
The three items that moved by themselves in the novel are the Hedge Animals, the fire hose, and the elevators. They all move because they’re possessed, but what Stanley Kubrick did to these three items in the movie cannot be ignored. There’s an obvious reversal and no one can dispute that these three items, glaringly if not hauntingly, remain motionless throughout the entire movie href="http://jonnys53.blogspot.com/2008/01/where-are-hedge-animals-from-novel.html">(The Hedge Animals are there if you know where to look).
In the novel all three were possessed by the hotel and it’s clear that what The Overlook moves in the novel doesn’t move in the movie. Not only has Stanley Kubrick reversed colors and plot points from the novel he has also change the location of every major scene. Except that they are in the same hotel (or are they?) not one major thing happens in the movie’s Overlook in the same place it did in the novel’s Overlook (room 237 and 217 are different in each, Jack works in the basement in the novel, there’s no Gold Room in the novel and Jack meets Grady and Lloyd in the Colorado Lounge, in the end of the novel Wendy and Jack fight in the hallway, the final chase takes place inside The Overlook in the novel, etc., etc., etc.). The reason I bring all this up is because after looking at all he altered from the novel it would be inane to think that he wouldn’t alter this very special power mentioned in the title of the story, “Shining”, in the same fashion.
Much from the novel has also mysteriously been doubled (2 women are in the bathroom of room 237 the novel has only one. 2 elevators, the novel has only one. 2 typewriters, the novel has only one). Stanley Kubrick also doubles the amount of this special power to “Shine” that cast members in the movie possess. In addition to 1) seeing into the past and the future and 2) speaking to each other telepathically over any distance, they also have the ability 3) to change the color of items and possessions, and 4) to supernaturally move objects, making them disappear than reappear between shots. They are the ones who have the power in the movie, not The Overlook and this is yet another reversal from the novel. How do I know this? The objects that move and change color not only happen inside The Overlook but also in Danny’s condo and Dick Hallorann’s apartment in Florida. These movements are obvious and I have extensively documented what moves supernaturally in “The Shining” in my blog. Click here and go back to look at almost 400 interesting pictures from the movie, and read more.