The Shining | Crooked Media
February 27, 2024
Ruined with Alison Leiby and Halle Kiefer
The Shining

In This Episode

Halle and Alison tackle a movie they have BOTH seen and, well, it’s basically like any other episode. Enjoy as they ruin The Shining.

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[theme music]: If scary movies give you dread. Keep you up late night in bed, here’s a podcast that will help you ease your mind. We’ll explain the plot real nicely then we’ll talk about what’s frightening, so you never have to have a spooky time. It’s Ruined.


Halle Kiefer: Hello. Welcome to Ruined! I’m Halle. 


Alison Leiby: And I’m Alison. 


Halle Kiefer: And this is a podcast where we ruin a horror movie just for you. 


Alison Leiby: Just for all of you. Halle, how are you doing? 


Halle Kiefer: I’m good. I’m sorry. As soon as the camera turned on, I. A bunch of phlegm came up out of my throat and [laughter] wanted to be on the podcast. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, it’s like our bodies know when we’re on mic, and they’re just like, I’m gonna spew some shit. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. I’m good. Let’s see. I’m trying to think, just just working. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Just, you know, reading the news, seeing what’s what’s going on in the world does seem like not to the media industry does seem to be collapsing right now—


Alison Leiby: In free fall. Like in true free fall.


Halle Kiefer: Oh brother. Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: Hey. Yikes. Yikes.


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. I feel fortunate to I, I just think like the podcast industry, it’s like, well, we’ll see what happens here. As you know, like every other media company is being affected. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: So our hearts and minds go out to you if you’re affected by that. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Just, you know, much like everything, it’s like, well, did we really have to do all why do we why do we set it up like this? Why are we. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: So committed to failure? Why are we constantly, what? I hope the the millionaires who, profited off of this. I want to see, Peter Thiel, who is famously a. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: A gay, rich maniac [laughter] I suppose, a venture capitalist, which means. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: A vampire. 


Alison Leiby: Maniac. 


Halle Kiefer: Destroys, you know, the American economy. He’s now. Oh, here we go. So, Peter Thiel read up on him. I mean, he’s one of these. He’s like a co-founder of PayPal. He’s just someone who has, like, his fingers in a lot of stuff. Obviously as a queer person, to see a gay, evil, gay billionaire, it’s like, well, that’s a little on the nose. [laughter] Here’s what he’s doing today. He’s to this week. Okay. This is from the New York Post. Not a reputable business, but I, you know, hey, here’s the headline, Billionaire Peter Thiel bankrolling Olympics on steroids event that allows athletes to dope. So the—


Alison Leiby: Oh my God. 


Halle Kiefer: Economy is collapsing the environment the the our planet is dying. And this absolute—


Alison Leiby: Dumb ass.


Halle Kiefer: —sack of shit, it’s like, I’m going to get all my rich maniac friends together, which absolutely. This is like Running Man. Like this is absolutely. 


Alison Leiby: Oh my god. 


Halle Kiefer: A dystopian sci fi movie. And they’re going to encourage athletes to take, performance enhancing drugs and then they’ll compete. So if that’s what you hoped that rich people would do with, with your money that you’ve worked for, that has cycled up to them. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: That’s what they’re doing with it. And that being said, would I go if I had a ticket? No, but I would watch it if it was online. And that’s the truth about me, is that I’m not a good person. I would watch this, but. 


Alison Leiby: No, of course. 


Halle Kiefer: It’s not good. It’s like, oh, what’s going on? Oh, sure. I don’t want to use your money for anything good.


Alison Leiby: Just for that. 


Halle Kiefer: We’re going to do some sort of insane LSD Olympics. All right, while, the world burns anyways. Alison, how are you doing? 


Alison Leiby: I’m fine. I, I did a couple nights of my solo show about abortion at Union Hall here in Brooklyn, and—


Halle Kiefer: Heard of it. 


Alison Leiby: Some very lovely Ruined fans came out last night and I got to chat with them and we, like, took 9 billion photos and we were just like, we need to get a good one. And they were so sweet. I, I have already forgotten their names. I’m so sorry. But thank you guys for coming and, being so fun and cute so that I keep having, an issue. So my building, which I’m very proud of, the building I live in, it has like a really it has an A, for, energy efficiency. 


Halle Kiefer: Oh, great. Okay. I was like, what interesting way to feel about a building—


Alison Leiby: Yeah but I’m, like, very proud that our building, like, it is not like. And part of that energy efficiency, I believe, is the fact that our hallway lights are on timer like movement sensors. So it’s like. 


Halle Kiefer: Oh, yes, yes. 


Alison Leiby: In the hallway, they’re not going to light the hallway. What a waste of energy, which I’m so on board with. I love it, however, but it doesn’t like come on immediately. Like you really do have to be moving. 


Halle Kiefer: Oh. 


Alison Leiby: So when I get off the elevator in my apartment, it’s like, kind of like the next, like, right next, I don’t have it’s not a lot of if I live further down the hall, it would like be fine. But it’s like sometimes I get to my door and I’m like, the light still hasn’t come on in the hallway. There’s not like windows. It’s a hallway. So it’s like very dark. And I was—


Halle Kiefer: This is stressing me out. This is stressing me out, girl. 


Alison Leiby: And it’s like, you know, it’s not like I’m not scared. I’m just annoyed. Like, it’s not like I’m like, I know there’s no one behind me. Like trying, you know, sneaking in or something like that. But it is like this thing where I’m just like, can these be if they’re going to be motion sensors, can they be like just a little more sensitive because, like, I’m a human being walking off an elevator? Why do I have to wave my arms around when I’m carrying groceries, which I just got back from grocery shopping before we did the podcast? And, it was. 


Halle Kiefer: Pitch dark. 


Alison Leiby: I had to kind of like, like. 


Halle Kiefer: I guess what I like about it is that it’s scary. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, well, it feels very up your alley to get off an elevator onto a dark hallway. 


Halle Kiefer: Mm. Okay. 


Alison Leiby: That’s very you. 


Halle Kiefer: Well I’m sorry that happened to you, but also happy for me that I get to think about that scary thing. 


Alison Leiby: Sure and like again like way to go building. Not just like burning energy. It doesn’t need to like burn. I mean, now that I come in here and turn on every light and run all my appliances. So it’s like, what’s the difference? [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: I know I definitely have my parents. Like, I unplug everything because I don’t know whether it’s even true or not. But there’s sort of the concept of like an energy, a vampiric energy where they’re drawing energy in the wall.


Alison Leiby: If its plugged in it’s still drawing, and it could also like lead to some kind of like electrical fire explosion, even if it’s not on. 


Halle Kiefer: And I will say, yeah, I’m someone who constantly assumes I have just caused an electrical explosion. 


Alison Leiby: Yes me too. 


Halle Kiefer: So I’m unplugging everything. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Boy, I’m really sorry, but thank you for your service in living in this energy efficient. And I guess that’s that’s is what it is. You know, the trade off. 


Alison Leiby: It’s just what it is. I just wish I just I just want the light to come on when I a human being. And—


Halle Kiefer: As far as we know. Yes absolutely makes sense.


Alison Leiby: Well. Maybe I’m maybe this is the sign that I’m living on a different plane. 


Halle Kiefer: Well, speaking of a different plane, we’re doing Snakes on a Plane. No, we are doing—


Alison Leiby: We should do Snakes on a Plane.


Halle Kiefer: Is it. I guess it’s like, is it a horror movie? Well, for some, I imagine if you’re afraid of snakes, that would—


Alison Leiby: We could reverse. It could be a reverse. 


Halle Kiefer: Okay, I like that. We also have talked about recently. What was the one we talked about? Reverse ruining. There’s a movie coming out—


Alison Leiby: Oh, I was gonna say the bumblebee—


Halle Kiefer: Jason Statham’s The Beekeeper like this seems like a perfect reverse ruined. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, super zany and weird. 


Halle Kiefer: Where he’s like a hit man, but also a beekeeper. Great. Sign me up. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: But yes, we are doing a movie that Alison has seen. And we believe she’s actually seen it twice. 


Alison Leiby: Twice? Yes. But once. Well, okay, we’ll talk about it then. I’ll tell you that the context in which I saw this movie. 


Halle Kiefer: Okay. Because I was also saying, I think I’ve really only seen this movie one time, and it was when I was in my teen years. So it was like seeing it again. I remembered it, but it was sort of seeing with fresh eyes. And, the movie, of course, is The Shining and the reason we wanted to do it. There’s twofold. One, Alison doesn’t retain anything. So we thought, what’s the likelihood? And then two. 


Alison Leiby: Like an Etch A Sketch.


Halle Kiefer: And more importantly, I don’t care. Like, I—


Alison Leiby: No. 


Halle Kiefer: This is just a conceit we all agreed to there’s no law saying that—


Alison Leiby: I still want to hear you tell me about this movie. Whether I remember every detail or not. 


Halle Kiefer: And speaking out every detail. Would you then please tell us in what scenario did you see this? 


Alison Leiby: I think I’ve actually seen parts of this movie three times now that I’m thinking about it.


Halle Kiefer: And it is a movie that was so like, I feel like every joke was about this movie in the 90s. 


Alison Leiby: Yes, yes. 


Halle Kiefer: So I feel like, yeah, parts of it trickles through. So it’s, like, even without seeing it, surely you’ve seen parts of it.


Alison Leiby: Yes, of course, like there’s a Treehouse of Horror The Simpsons where The Shinning. 


Halle Kiefer: The Shinning. 


Alison Leiby: But so do you remember in the 90s, they aired this on network TV with no commercials? There was like a it was a special, like it was like a Sunday. Do you. I just remember—


Halle Kiefer: It does sounds familiar. I don’t think I saw it, but—


Alison Leiby: We were really we were young, I remember, and I remember my mom being like, psyched. She’s a huge Stephen King fan. And so. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, my mom too. 


Alison Leiby: I saw like the opening sequence and I was like, gotta go to bed. I didn’t like that at all. So scary. The music. And then when I had my first back surgery, when I was 19, I was just like, I was at my parents house recovering, and we were just my mom and I were just looking for anything to watch. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: And I remember we watched The Shining together. And but I was on, like, drugs, so I’m like, I know that didn’t stick. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: And then like, 6 or 7 years ago, my friend Divya and I were at a party of one of her friends, and we got talking about Slenderman, of, as you do. 


Halle Kiefer: Of course. 


Alison Leiby: And we got really upset because, like, we were both like, I don’t want to know him. And, like, our friend was talking about this, and then we were talking about horror in general and The Shining, and and I think he had just watched the, documentary of all the, the theories about what the movie about–. 


Halle Kiefer: Room 237 which we will talk about, after the, after we— 


Alison Leiby: So the next morning I slept at Divya’s apartment, and we woke up at 10 a.m. and back to back double feature The Shining. 


Halle Kiefer: Oh shit. 


Alison Leiby: And then the documentary about it. 


Halle Kiefer: Okay that’s fun. 


Alison Leiby: But again, that was like, I mean, many years ago at this point and it just didn’t stick. 


Halle Kiefer: Alison it could have been yesterday. I have total faith in you in your lack of of memory. I feel great about this. 


Alison Leiby: I don’t have to prove to you that I don’t remember it. You know, I don’t. [laughs] 


Halle Kiefer: But we do want to make it fun and sort of incorporate her knowledge. So we I will be asking you a couple times throughout what happens next and see if you remember. And at the end we’ll be doing a quiz and the quiz is both. Now you will have seen it ostensibly four times, do you remember what I just told you happened 15 minutes earlier and I’m excited to find out—


Alison Leiby: Well I definitely won’t, but we’ll see. 


Halle Kiefer: We’ll also talk about the room. Room 237. We’re also going to talk about, basically, Stanley Kubrick’s treatment of Shelley Duvall. During filming we talked about I remember during The Birds. We talked about, Tippi Hedren and, Alfred Hitchcock. And as people work in the entertainment industry, you know, you just sort of see things where it’s like, people might be like, that’s shocking. That kind of thing happens. It’s like, I think it was pretty much standard issue. 


Alison Leiby: I don’t think it’s shocking. Yeah, I think it’s it’s way more common than I think most people will ever know. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. But I will say, you know, we’ll we’ll talk about it, that I think Shelley Duvall also herself has a very has mixed feelings about it and sort of a complicated relationship. So we wanted to acknowledge that and talk about that, which we’ll do after, the program. We always like to have Alison watch the trailer, and I don’t know if you even really needed to see the trailer. 


Alison Leiby: I didn’t, but all the same. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: There was a trailer I do want to talk about because, like, it’s like, look, I’ve seen this movie multiple times at this point, and I was like, I don’t need to, like, familiarize myself with the vibe. I know the vibe. You know, there is a trailer, and maybe we can, like, share it on social when this comes out, but, like, I don’t know if you ever saw there’s a trailer, a recut trailer of The Shining as a rom com. 


Halle Kiefer: Yes, I remember this. 


Alison Leiby: And it’s set to like, Solsbury Hill. Like, it’s like. 


Halle Kiefer: Oh my God, yeah. 


Alison Leiby: I’m like. It’s like. And it’s just like doo doo doo. And it’s like, you know, the cute kid whose name I already forget. Bobby?


Halle Kiefer: Danny. 


Alison Leiby: Danny. That’s the same name. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: You know, riding the bike around and it’s like, you know, jaunty, cute, like, rom com music. And it’s just a very. It’s like, so funny how much it shows just how much of that movie in particular, like, yes, there’s, like scary stuff happening, but like, how much of it is actually just like the vibes. 


Halle Kiefer: Yes. Yeah, very much so. And I think that is what it is most known for, I think I, you know, I’m gonna say this right out top. The movie itself is not frequently scary, but what what what do you take it in total it is. What an incredible film. 


Alison Leiby: So unsettling. 


Halle Kiefer: Yes. Deeply unsettling. And we also take take a baseline scary for Alison. How scary do you find the concept of being a writer? 


Alison Leiby: Oh, it’s horrifying.


Halle Kiefer: Isn’t it? 


Alison Leiby: I live it every day. It’s so bad, I hate it. I love what I do, but I also hate what I do. 


Halle Kiefer: And I think I, you know, like, like so many, you know, we did Misery, so many Stephen King movies. It is about his relationship to himself as a writer. And this movie is very much, you know, critiquing I, you know, the more selfish, parts of himself as a writer, which I think is also like why people like Stephen King is like it’s clearly about him as a writer in a way that is. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: It makes sense. But yeah, it’s I’m entering a new writing phase now that I’m medicated for ADHD. And it’s really interesting trying to, like, approach it not driven entirely by like spiking adrenaline basically. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: And so for me at least, like I kind of have to, like, creep onto myself, like I have to like approach writing from the side so it becomes this, like, weird, like game. I have to play with myself. But it but I am learning the rules and it is working. But it’s just you can see how like it’s a process in a relationship with yourself into writing that is itself very odd or I find it very like it is something outside of yourself that you have to approach in a different way. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, it I it and like it’s a relationship that like evolves and changes as you do. Like it’s not just it’s not as linear as like maybe a physical thing in the way that like, you know, sports, it’s like you work hard and it’s good and then like you get older and maybe it’s less good, like it’s like there’s just like just constant. Sometimes I’m in phases where I’m like, I am a capital W writer and I’m good at it and I understand how to do it. And then there’s phases where I’m like, still writing, still a writer, and I’m like, what is happening. 


Halle Kiefer: Where it’s like—


Alison Leiby: I don’t know what I’m doing. And like, is this like, I’m like, I’m like, like I’m like hallucinating, like reality because I’m just like, when I write something, I’m like, is this? 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: Do people want this? 


Halle Kiefer: And and I think that also speaks to neither of us having, self-confidence about our writing. But I think it’s like, yeah, it’s you have these moments. 


Alison Leiby: We’re professional writers. We’re professional writers. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: And still—


Halle Kiefer: Still have moments all the time. Where it’s like, am I going to ever write again? I still have those thoughts. And it’s like, well, probably, but it feels like that. So I really enjoyed, you know, that part of this film. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And then finally, before we get started, well, I guess it’s hard to guess the twist. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: Would you like to guess a twist that, you know, is not the right one, but you also could have imagined happening in this movie. Can you fantasize a twist? 


Alison Leiby: Okay. Okay. Great. 


[voice over]: Guess the twist. 


Alison Leiby: I’m going to guess that the, the owner of the the building. 


Halle Kiefer: The Overlook. 


Alison Leiby: The Overlook, that the owner who he meets with in the beginning and takes the job from is actually like. A serial killer or murderer, and he’s kind of orchestrating Jack’s madness, so that he would kill, kill his whole family. 


Halle Kiefer: I love this, that’s a great one. That’s a great. I could see that being—


Alison Leiby: Yeah, yeah. Like that’s it’s like. It’s like actually never a hotel. It’s always just tricking a solitary, you know, person and their family into coming so that they’ll get murdered. 


Halle Kiefer: I love it. Okay, great. Perfect. 


Alison Leiby: Where’s that movie? [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: Copyright. Copyright us. 


Alison Leiby: Copyright us. 


Halle Kiefer: All right. Join us as we ruin The Shining. And it will always be The Shinning in my mind. 


Alison Leiby: To me, it’s always going to be The Shinning. 


Halle Kiefer: Because from—


Alison Leiby: If you haven’t seen The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror Halloween episode where they do, a parody of The Shining called The Shinning. You should go find it and look it up now, because it’s truly the best. 


Halle Kiefer: Alrighty. So we begin with an incredible pan over the water of the Colorado River, and I immediately, again, I’ll be absolutely honest. Like I’m not the biggest Kubrick fan. Like I appreciate it, but it just kind of never it never like gets grabs me. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: But from the beginning you just didn’t you appreciate the scenic settings. So you’re hitting these these gorgeous mountaintops and these trees and we’re following a little Volkswagen Beetle yellow Volkswagen Beetle as it trundles up these beautiful autumnal mountains. It is terrifying. Synth music. The music is by, Rachel Elkind and then also Wendy Carlos and Wendy Carlos—


Alison Leiby: I love that it’s women. 


Halle Kiefer: Absolutely. Two women. 


Alison Leiby: Very cool. 


Halle Kiefer: Wendy Carlos is, at least when I became queer and began reading about my own history, a name that kept coming up is Wendy Carlos because she’s a trans woman who is like this seminal figure in electronic music. 


Alison Leiby: Cool. 


Halle Kiefer: And my parents had her first album she did was Switched-On Bach. So it’s like Bach music on a synthesizer and sort of like, helped synth music become really big in the 70s. And I just wanted to shout about because it is the music like it has the vibe. It is as much the music I would say as any of the performances. The music is incredible, makes the film and then also it makes you notice in other movies where they don’t have that kind of attention paid. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: I also love that we see the credits rolling over these, like incredible views of the Rocky Mountains. The credits are light blue, and when you see the title goes by, it’s the exact same font and size as it all. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: The all the author. Oh, the actors names. And I was like, what an interesting choice. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: To do that. And shout out, to Stanley Kubrick for that. So we arrived finally at the stately Overlook Hotel, snuggled in the lap of the Rocky Mountains, and we we get certain, segment titles. We’re entering a new section of the film, and on the screen we see the words the interview, and we see Jack Torrance, played by Jack Nicholson. He’s writing to interview to be the winter caretaker, for The Overlook Hotel. He’s meeting with Mr. Ullman, who is the hotel’s general manager, and we meet his secretary, Susie, and they call in Bill Watson, one of the other managers of the hotel. Also, all the colors in this movie are so incredibly vivid and vibrant. 


Alison Leiby: So good. 


Halle Kiefer: And again, if it was just a fucking Holiday Inn, if it was like, what a Wynn, you know, be in 1980, what would it look like? A totally different film. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: But everything is beautifully done. And this came out in 1980. So it’s all like late 70s, like saturated colors. Mr. Ullman’s, office is a bright coral color. It’s like, ooh, coral for an office. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. It’s so good. It’s so visually good. And, like, I remember there’s even, like, a there’s inconsistencies in this scene with, like, you like cut. And it’s like the window, like, allegedly like somebody’s like, looked at like where the window would be. And the floor plan of the hotel and like, sunlight technically couldn’t even come in that way. And it’s like, is this even real? And it’s like, I don’t know, that’s like a stretch. 


Halle Kiefer: Yes. 


Alison Leiby: And maybe not. 


Halle Kiefer: Well, and we’ll talk about those theories. Absolutely. Because I think I have a very strong feeling about all of those theories, having seen this movie again. So while, Jack is meeting with, the managers of The Overlook. We see his family back home in Boulder, which we find out is about 3.5 hour drive from The Overlook. And we meet his little son, Danny. I’m going to say, Danny—


Alison Leiby: Cutest kid in a movie ever. 


Halle Kiefer: —is seven, because I don’t I’m getting really bad with kids ages. And we also meet his mother, Wendy, who’s played by the incredible Shelley Duvall. 


Alison Leiby: Icon. 


Halle Kiefer: And they’re just chilling. She’s constantly smoking inside around her child again, very late 70s, early 80s. And they’re hanging out. And Danny says to his mother, do you really want to go live in that hotel for the winter? And, you know, it’s sort of like if he was a little bit younger. I think he was just saying, this is like a fun adventure. And now he’s old enough. He’s like, we gotta go somewhere else now. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And we find out that they had just recently moved to the area three months ago from Vermont. So they’re also new to this house. So I understand not wanting to be destabilized. We also find out that Danny doesn’t have friends yet because there aren’t really a lot of friends in his area. And obviously they’re about to go away for the winter, which I did wonder, like, is he he seems old enough to be in school. He’s certainly old enough. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: To be in kindergarten or first grade. It’s never addressed. No one ever brings it up, I guess, though. Hey, it was a it was the 70/80s, you know? And he’s saying, like, now there’s not a lot of kids around here anyways, I guess it’s okay, but Wendy’s really hyped. She’s trying to sell him on The Overlook. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And he said she says, you know, I bet Tony’s looking forward to the hotel. And Danny holds up his finger and we meet his imaginary friend Tony. And so he says in Tony’s voice, Oh I hate Mrs. Torrance. And so whenever you hear that voice, you know that it’s Tony. And Tony is represented manifest on screen by Danny wiggling his finger. And we’re also going to find out more about Tony as the movie goes on. But when. 


Alison Leiby: We do? Yeah, of course. 


Halle Kiefer: Well, just like what he is or how he conceives of him and perhaps the information Tony provides him does that not like what Tony is or why his name is Tony? We don’t know that. But it’s something a child would name a a a conversation that Danny is having with himself. And Tony is now speaking to his mother and being honest about, like, I don’t want to go. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And I was like that. Wendy talks to Tony like a person, like, listen, Tony. 


Alison Leiby: It’s sweet. 


Halle Kiefer: I’m telling you, we’re gonna have a great time. Tony you have nothing to worry about. And Tony calls her Mrs. Torrance which I think it’s very sweet. 


Alison Leiby: It’s so funny. 


Halle Kiefer: Like he’s Danny’s friend from school. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: So back at The Overlook. Bill Watson joins them and they give Jack the rundown. So season ends October 30th. They reopen May 15th. He would be obligated to start May 30th. Like they would have to arrive. And then they’re there to until May 1st. Like May 1st, the crew will arrive. They have two weeks to sort of get things back up for the summer season. And Jack asks, which I also immediately thought was so can I ask why you closed? Because the skiing up here must be insane. Like, I just mentioned that you would make a lot of money. 


Alison Leiby: Right? 


Halle Kiefer: And Ullman says, Ullman says yes, that’s obviously a question we’re constantly asked, but we are so remote. There’s a 25 mile stretch of road between us and the next town, which is Sidewinder, and there you get an average of 20ft of snow in the winter. It’s just so prohibitively expensive to keep the road maintained. And he’s like, you know, it was open before, it was built, started being built in, 1907. It was completed in 1909. And winter sports were not popular yet. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: So it really was designed to be like it’s secluded. It’s the views are incredible, but it’s not about skiing because it sort of predates skiing as a rich person. Sport. We also find out that Jack used to be a school teacher and has left to work on his writing. So you could imagine he’s thrilled at all. The writing is going to get done with five months, because that’s a—


Alison Leiby: Five months being totally alone. And also, you know, your wife and kid and like, otherwise. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: More or less alone. 


Halle Kiefer: And I would say it, it could just be great what I could do with my ADHD. But like the idea of five months was nothing. And it would actually be like hell to me. I need a lot of structure to get writing done. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: I need like a bunch of things set up. You know. 


Alison Leiby: I need to have like other stuff going on. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: So that there are only kind of carved out like times for writing. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. You create deadlines. Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: When I like, I like if I have a bunch of things to do, I’ll do all of them. If I have one thing to do, I’ll never do it because there’s too much unstructured time. 


Halle Kiefer: 100%. So but Jack has convinced himself, no, I’m going to be working on my novel. I’m getting a lot of writing done. And Ullman basically says, okay, great. So you’ll have to basically do a cycle of maintenance in the hotel to prevent the elements. So you say the the winters are brutal up here. And if we don’t monitor the hotel, it starts to get damaged over time. So like if there’s an avalanche, there’s nothing you can do about it. If like part of, you know, the roof comes off that we’d have to address immediately. So you’ll just have to check everything, run the boiler, run the water through the pipes, make sure nothing freezes. But it’s not a hard job. It’s just like you just have to do it consistently. And, Ullman tells him honestly, the the hardest part about this for a lot of people that we’ve had in the past is the solitude and isolation, because for most people, they think, oh, it’s going to be great. It’s actually really hard to be stranded up here, even if you think, well, we have everything we need. But Jack, of course, you know, says, no, no, this is perfect. I’m outlining a new writing project, five months of isolation. This is going to be incredible. 


Alison Leiby: No. 


Halle Kiefer: And Ullman says before, I let Watson here give you a sort of a rundown of the hotel. I want to be candid with you about something. Did they mention when you were talking to our people in Boulder who referred you? Did they mention the tragedy that happened in the winter of 1970? Alison, do you remember what that tragedy was? 


Alison Leiby: No. [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: I didn’t think you would. 


Alison Leiby: I like. I’m like rapt with attention. I’m like, what’s the tragedy? 


Halle Kiefer: This is why—


Alison Leiby: I’ve seen this movie at least twice. 


Halle Kiefer: This is the genius of this podcast. Well, Alison, Jack, of course is like no. No, I don’t think anyone mentioned the tragedy. I think I’d remember the tragedy. And Ullman2 says, well, you see, unfortunately, your predecessor, Charles Grady, came up to The Overlook to be the caretaker with his wife and two daughters, for the winter. We don’t even know exactly what happened. We we suspect he got cabin fever. Which in the movie is talked about like it’s a diagnosable illness. And, unfortunately, he did kill his family with an ax, stacked their bodies in a room in the West Wing and put both barrels of a shotgun in his mouth. And I heard that. I said it would be hard to put one barrel just to have just the why do you put one barrel outside? That seems like very complicated. Jack says, well, it’s quite a story. My wife will be fascinated. She’s a confirmed ghost story and horror movie addict, which I think is really interesting to have her be the ghost person. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: But perhaps, perhaps she is a little more suspicious of the hotel. Early enough, you know, back at home, we see Danny brushing his teeth and arguing with Tony in the bathroom mirror. And, what are they arguing about? You know, we’ll get into Jack calls to confirm with Wendy. He got the gig. He’s gonna be back late, and, Danny asks Tony in the mirror. Why do you want to go to the hotel, Tony? And Tony says, I don’t know, Danny. And Danny says, I bet you do know, so just tell me. So then we get our first glimpse of Danny’s, what it will be, we’ll find out is called The Shining. So sort of his classic Stephen King psychic ability. Something that he’s little. So it’s like, how would you even know what to call that or what it is. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: And he also gets, he’s getting information that is not literal. So we see when he asks, Tony, tell me what you’re worried about. We see a vision. The classic image from this movie of red elevator doors opening and a tidal wave of blood pouring out in slow motion. 


Alison Leiby: Yes, and I love when people use that photo in a meme about periods. 


Halle Kiefer: Absolutely. And we’ve all—


Alison Leiby: It’s my favorite thing. [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: I’m, I’m, I feel like that’s my weekend basically is, the elevator doors are gonna open, and we then see a flash of two little girls in blue dresses holding hands, and we see Danny’s silent, screaming face. In reality, Danny has collapsed and his mother panic calls a doctor come visit, and the doctor then talks to Danny about what was happening right before the incident. You know, right before he collapsed. And they never use word seizure, but it’s sort of like something happened that seems to be medical enough to call a doctor. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: He tells her I was talking to Tony. He’s the little boy that lives in my mouth. And the doctor says, well, can I see Tony? And he is. No, no, I’m sorry Tony. He goes and hides in my stomach so you won’t be able to see it would just eat like it’s like a kid would say. It’s like, sure. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: That makes sense. And the doctor says, Does Tony ever tell you to do things? And Danny? Danny blanches and says, I don’t want to. I don’t want to talk about Tony anymore. So they leave Danny to go sleep. And, Wendy and the doctor go talk in the living room? And the doctor but the doctors, basically like he seems fine. These children have these episodes all the time. And then she says, it’s kind of like auto hypnosis. You know, they sort of convince themselves and they go into this. I’m like, what are we talking about? 


Alison Leiby: Also like. I’d be like, now we’re going to go somewhere where, like. 


Halle Kiefer: Exactly. 


Alison Leiby: There’s a 25 mile road that’s inaccessible if there’s like another episode of this. 


Halle Kiefer: Exactly. And I do think this is when we first get, like, Wendy is in real denial. And if you’re not clear what level of denial about everything in her life, she’s about to tell the doctor, sort of a incident that will inform the rest of the movie. And the doctors are, like, so mention about Tony. You know, his imaginary friend. Did that happen when he moved here thinking, you know, okay, maybe he doesn’t have friends yet. So Tony is, you know, his friend. He says no, Tony’s been around since he was in nursery school, like, probably three years ago. You know, he really struggled with the adjustment to going into nursery school. And then he had an his injury, he got dislocated shoulder. The doctor was like, well, because he would have been like a baby, you know, or not baby. But he would have been really—


Alison Leiby: Like a toddler. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. Like how do you manage to do that? And Wendy tells the doctor, it was totally an accident. My husband came home drunk and he was three hours late, so you could, you know, he’s really upset and he has a bunch of papers all over the place. And Danny was playing with them, and so he grabs Danny’s arm and he just. It could have happened. It was just one of those things. He used too much strength. And he pulled Danny’s arm out of the socket, and we go to the doctor, who says nothing but is clearly horrified, and Wendy says, don’t worry. You know, Jack told me, Wendy, I’m not gonna drink anymore. And, you know, if I do, you could leave me. And he hasn’t had a drop of alcohol in five months. So just hearing that, it’s like the incident actually happened years ago. 


Alison Leiby: Right? 


Halle Kiefer: So the idea is he hasn’t had a drink in five months. It’s like, okay, so we’re leaving a gap of that. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: And then also I think like the doctor isn’t saying anything where it’s like I imagine a doctor now would at least open the door to saying to the parent, that’s not good. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: But because it’s the late 70s, it’s like, oh, it’s like, I guess. And it’s like, okay, great. So that was a time where the doctor could have said something, everyone is in denial about and as a result is sort of, you see how we’re hurdling into this situation, somebody who has this, an abusive, I don’t know what you call it, but an abusive tendency, the capability of abuse while drunk. And now we’re going to isolate that person with his family for five months. Right. So, text on the screen, closing day, and again, we see the yellow beetle traveling throughout the Rockies, this time with the whole family. And, we see every interaction Danny has with Jack is awkward and uncomfortable. And so Danny says, dad, I’m hungry. And Jack’s like, well, you should have eaten your breakfast. And that’s pretty much the warmest interaction they have, or the most human interaction they have throughout the film. And Wendy says, wait, didn’t the Donner Party happen out here. And Jack says, oh, you know, it’s actually a further west in the Sierra. Madre Sierra Nevada’s. I, you know, I don’t know my—


Alison Leiby: I don’t know, mountains. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. Sierra Madres. And so, of course, daddy says, as any child would, what’s the Donner Party? And Jack explains, they were a group of, settlers that got trapped for the winter, and they had to eat each other to survive. And Wendy started chiding him like, don’t tell him about that. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, well, he doesn’t need to know about that. 


Halle Kiefer: But he says, don’t worry, mom, I know about cannibalism from TV, which I’m sure is where I heard about it for the first time. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Like some cartoon or whatever. Arriving at the hotel, Ullman and Watson take Wendy and Jack throughout the hotel to get them set up, and it’s also like most of the guests have left, but there are some stragglers and then the crew and the staff, you know, the waitstaff are all the bellhops. They’re all leaving that day as well. So everyone is headed out, which does sound like a cool life. If you had a second place to go, I’m like, oh, to be there for all summer. Then you get to go somewhere warm for winter. 


Alison Leiby: For the winter. 


Halle Kiefer: And Danny goes to the games room where he’s playing darts. So Wendy and Jack walk through the Colorado room, this gigantic, beautiful room with a stained glass, they tell her, oh, it’s based on Navajo and Apache motifs. Stunning. And of course, Wendy is in love. She’s like, oh, because it’s like, romantic and beautiful, I mean, and yeah.


Alison Leiby: In theory, to be living somewhere like that for months and not have like, other responsibilities and that like it. 


Halle Kiefer: Heavenly. 


Alison Leiby: Is appealing. 


Yes absolutely. And you know, in practice it’s a nightmare, even if it’s not this. You know what I mean? Like even just like the boredom does. 


Halle Kiefer: Oh, yes. Exactly. Oh yeah—


Alison Leiby: I just kind of like at first very, very kind of like—


Halle Kiefer: Yeah really it’s like a fun adventure we’re going on. And Ullman says, yeah. You know, after it was built in the 20s, it sort of became a destination for the jet set. You know, celebrities, we’re talking royalty. They all came up here as this, like, oh, now to go to these kinds of things in the Rockies is sort of, in fashion. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: In the games room, Danny, as he’s playing darts, turns around to see the two girls in blue from his vision, and they turn around hand in hand, and they walk out the door. Danny. He is a little too young. He’s like the age of being like. If he was a little bit younger, he would tell his parents. If he was a little bit older, he might be able to know, like, this is not real. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah yeah right. 


Halle Kiefer: He’s right at this age where he’s like, huh. I don’t know what to do about that. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, yeah. Right. Just kind of move on, I guess. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. Like I just accept that these gals are here that. I saw in my dream. Outside. Ullman shows them the famous hedge maze, hedge maze, sort of the other set piece on the film side. It’s one of the main draws of The Overlook. It’s got 13 foot high, shrubbery. That’s original. 


Alison Leiby: Have you ever done one? 


Halle Kiefer: I’ve done a bunch of corn mazes that are awesome. 


Alison Leiby: Yes, yes. 


Halle Kiefer: But I’ve never done a hedge maze, what about you? 


Alison Leiby: Yes, same. I think I have been around one hedge maze that was just very small, but yeah, I haven’t really. Corn mazes. Yeah, I know, I would really like to just wander around in walls of green. 


Halle Kiefer: I want to be. Yeah, I would, I want to be in a maze. That sounds fun. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. I don’t think that I would get as stressed out as as I think I, I think I’d be cool with it. 


Halle Kiefer: You know, I, I’m sure I would panic, but. 


Alison Leiby: Unless there was like a time I think here’s when it would get, tricky when I realized I have to go to the bathroom. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, that’s a really good point. 


Alison Leiby: That’s when there’s a stopwatch on it and then it becomes a stressful situation. 


Halle Kiefer: This is just a sense memory that’s coming to me. But one time, my family and I, we went to a, a pirate themed corn maze that was, like, shaped like a pirate ship. And for the first time, I had, there’s a kind of ice cream that was, like, local at the time called Black Maria. And I’m trying to remember what flavor was. It’s just like black cherry or something. I remember being like, that’s cool as hell. All right, well, I can’t find it right now, but it probably is just some local thing. And I was like, yeah, what a day, what a day I’ve had as a child. [laughs] To be in a maze and have ice cream. And there’s actually ice cream in this film as well. Ullman tells them, you know, sort of. Oh, here’s where you get it. Okay. So Ullman’s again, giving them run down. They’re walking around outside. We’re seeing everyone pack up and leave. And he says, you know, actually during the building, which again was from 1907 to 1909, this was actually built on an ancient Indian burial ground, and they actually had to fend off several Indian attacks to build it. Well, there you have it, folks. 


Alison Leiby: Not great. 


Halle Kiefer: Not great. 


Alison Leiby: Not not great. 


Halle Kiefer: And, he also shows them the snowcat, which is sort of a snow machine on caterpillar treads. So the idea is like it’s actually really easy to use. It’s like you drive it like a car, be it say you’re snowed in, you can drive on top of snow and you could get out of here. He takes them inside. He shows them a recently redone wing. So all of these, the stuff we’re seeing is like their recently redone wing, which is why it looks so acutely 70s, which I like, too, because, like, yeah, why would this ancient hotel look so—


Have a 70s vibe? Yeah.


Halle Kiefer: It’s so good. 


Alison Leiby: It’s so good. 


Halle Kiefer: The new wing, it’s got pink and gold with a gold ballroom, so it’s incredible pink and gold pattern, everything gorgeous 70s. And Ullman says, you know, you’re obviously welcome to come to any of these rooms, but there actually is no booze on the premises. We take it off because it it lowers our insurance during the winter months. And Jack says, don’t worry, we don’t drink. That won’t be a problem for us. And they head to the kitchen where they meet Dick Hallorann, the head chef of The Overlook played by the Illimitable Scatman Crothers, who immediately takes a shine to Danny when we see he, as soon as the secretary brings Danny and he was kind of wandering around looking for his parents. Ullman and Watson take Jack, and, to see the rest of hotel, and Dick takes Wendy and Danny to the kitchen to sort of walk Wendy through, like, because everything is industrial. It’s like gigantic cans, gigantic machinery. And he’s like, don’t worry, you don’t have to actually use that part here. You’ll just use this part like use the food supplies we have already. He takes them to the walk in freezer, which is full of meat, and he starts talking to Danny like, what’s your favorite food? Do you, you know, do you like lamb? And he says, I like French fries and ketchup. And Dick says— 


Alison Leiby: So cute. 


Halle Kiefer: He’s so cute. 


Alison Leiby: He’s he’s like the cutest kid. I’ve seen in a movie. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, he’s adorable. And he does great this. I think he really does a great job. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah also the way they dress him, like his little overalls and his little sweaters. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. And Dick says, why don’t we come up with some of that doc? And when they leave the freezer, Wendy says, oh, that’s funny. How do you know that we called him doc. Like, from Bugs Bunny. We. That’s like our nickname for him. And Dick’s like, Huh, well, I probably heard you say it when we met or something, and she’s like, I don’t think I, I said it, I think I said I was like, you know, what does he look like a doc? He goes, what’s up, doc? And, you know, Danny’s not a particularly playful boy, but you know, you know. 


Alison Leiby: No. 


Halle Kiefer: They walk together, Dick takes him to the next room, which is like this, locked room. It’s like dried, canned, packaged food. So it’s like dried fruit. Again. Everything they’ll need for the months is, is there their. It looks like they’re not—


Alison Leiby: I’d get so sick of I mean like I, it makes me think of like early lockdown days when like there wasn’t even, like restaurant delivery in any way. And it was just like make every meal. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, I was I really do became a bit of a bean expert that we all had a bean moment. 


Alison Leiby: Oh, learned a lot about beans. 


Halle Kiefer: And. Also as he’s going, he’s walking through. We get this incredible, sort of atonal whine starts. So it’s like he’s just walking them through the pantry and listing cereals and stuff, and it’s like this intense, dread that fills you as you hear the music. It’s perfect. And we see Danny staring at Dick, and then Dick turns to him, and in his mind, Danny could hear Dick say, how do you like some ice cream, doc? Again? Danny a child, he doesn’t know how to what? What to do or how to react to this. And we Dick ends their tour with all the dried fruits, and he’s like, I’m telling you, Wendy, you’re up here for five months, you’re gonna want to eat some prunes if you want to stay happy. And I’m like, what happens if you get sick? I don’t know, I’m already like—


Alison Leiby: Like there’s just so many variables to being like [both speaking] that remote for that long. 


Halle Kiefer: Ullman and Watson comes back to come back to collect Wendy, and Dick stays with Danny as they go off to check something out. And Dick, offers Danny, would you like to get some ice cream? And Danny said, I like chocolate. And while they’re talking, Dick says, you know, when my grandma, when I was a boy, my grandma and I actually could have whole conversations without talking. And she called what we have shining. And for a long time I thought it was just me and her who had it. Just like you might think you’re the only one who has it, but there actually are other people and you’ll meet them in your life. So how long have you had this? And Danny says, I’m not supposed to talk about it. And Dick says, well, who told you that? Who said, you can’t talk? And Danny says, Tony, of course go, oh, who’s Danny? Danny replies, Tony is a little boy. That lives in my mouth. He shows me things. It’s like when I go to sleep, but then when I wake up, I don’t remember. And so Dick sort of sees was going and it goes, so did I. Did Tony tell you anything about this place? Danny tries to dodge the question because obviously, yes, we saw the blood elevators. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. Yes.


Halle Kiefer: And he says what? I also think this is the more important question. It’s like he says, are you scared of the hotel? As like an old man with the shining. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And Dick says, no, I’m not. But places are like people. Some shine and some some don’t. And The Overlook has something like shining. Basically like something is going on here. If you don’t have to be afraid of it. It is there. And then Danny is like, you cut the shit. Is there something bad here? 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And he’s like. 


[clip of Scatman Crothers]: You know doc when something happens it can leave a trace of itself behind, say like if someone burns toast. 


Halle Kiefer: You know, sometimes your shine lets you see things that haven’t happened yet. But then it could also show you things that have happened in the past. And Danny asks so well. So what about Room 237? You’re scared of it? Ain’t ya? And of course, Dick is like, no, I don’t. Oh, you’re talking about. 


Alison Leiby: Scared of. I don’t know. 


Halle Kiefer: But Danny says, what’s in the Room 237 and Dick tells him there’s nothing there and there’s no reason to go there, and there’s nothing in there for you. Alison. 


Alison Leiby: Not the right answer. Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: At this point, Alison, what would you do? 


[voice over]: What would you do? 


Alison Leiby: I mean, we’re not staying there. Like I’m not staying. I’m going back—


Halle Kiefer: The whole thing from jump is bad. I think what’s hard about this conversation is because Dick isn’t specific. If I’m Danny, I am going to go in the room. You have to tell a child. 


Alison Leiby: 100%. 


Halle Kiefer: You got to be really specific. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, I would go in the room if I were him. Like I like. There. There is like Danny knows. Like there’s plenty to be afraid of in this place. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. And like, I he should be, like, telling his mom there’s some stuff going on because, like, even then, like, if she’s like, okay, something medical is going on with you. Like, we can’t stay here for five months away from doctors. 


Halle Kiefer: Well and that’s the other thing, like, okay, he just had this medical situation. Yeah. Like whatever. You know, the time period was like, he just had this and you’re taking him up here. If you were to say something about it, I would hope perhaps that she would listen to him. But again, Wendy is so committed to the idea of her family, right? Like she has convinced herself again, constantly chasing the approval and happiness of her abusive partner like that. We’ll go up here and everything will be fine. It’s like, well, it wasn’t fine anywhere else. I don’t know why this extremely weird and difficult emotional situation would bring out the best in him, right? 


Alison Leiby: Yes, right. This isn’t where like, the change happens, where it’s like, this is the partner I’ve been waiting for our whole relationship. It’s like, no, it’s only going to get worse. 


Halle Kiefer: Yes. And unfortunately, similarly, you know, Jack is sort of committed to this idea of himself as a writer. You know, we’ll see where that takes him, obviously. 


Speaker 4 [AD BREAK]


Halle Kiefer: The next morning, the Torrance’s wake up and they are the only people left in the hotel and this day would be fun the first day where you realize it’s just us. 


Alison Leiby: The first day would be great. 


Halle Kiefer: We see Wendy wheel in a breakfast cart and like, she made, like, a fabulous, elaborate breakfast and, like, wheel it up to their. They have a full suite. So sort of like we see the parents bedroom a little, like living room area. And then the other side of the living room is Danny’s room. So a full suite. And that’s the only thing that’s heated, but they can go anywhere. It’s just like the—


Alison Leiby: It won’t all be warm.


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. And, so we see her preparing and then taking breakfast off, and we see Danny is furiously pedaling his tricycle through the first floor. 


Alison Leiby: It would be so fun to be a kid and be able to ride your bike around inside. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: It would be like I was just I remember I was like thinking that I was like, oh, I would have loved that as a child. 


Halle Kiefer: Yes. Absolutely thrilling. Something you could never do anywhere else. And he’s just whipping through the Colorado room, whipping through the kitchen. And Wendy and Jack sit down and eat. And this is like, again, every interaction we have see Jack have with his family. His back is up. He’s so on edge. He’s so he’s already nasty in this interaction. Like he’s just like rolling his eyes and sighing. It’s like, oh, I’m sorry your wife made you breakfast like and then asked you to go for a walk outside of this beautiful environment that you’re in. And his thing is like, no, I’m really got to get started on my writing. You know, this is all about my writing. 


Alison Leiby: Ease in.


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. You’re going to be here for five months—


Alison Leiby: Day one, you have five months. 


Halle Kiefer: Right. Take a whole week and really enjoy yourself. And but—


Alison Leiby: Spend time with your family. 


Halle Kiefer: He’s got to get in into the into the habit. And Wendy admits to him, honestly, when we showed up, I was kind of scared. Like this is like a very there’s something about this place. And did you feel that? And Jack says, you know, I didn’t. I had this intense Deja vu. I felt like I had been here before and feel like I had been. I knew what was around every corner. I love this place. It’s like, oh, okay. All right. 


Alison Leiby: That’s strange. 


Halle Kiefer: Cut to, of course, Jack in the Colorado room and we see his paper strewn around. He’s not writing at all, and he’s just furiously bouncing a rubber ball hard against the wall. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. Ugh. 


Halle Kiefer: But Wendy and Danny at least go have fun. So they go out to the hedge maze and we see them, you know, see these like they’re having fun, and then these, like, amazing, high anxiety synths come in since, like, they’re playing and having fun, and then it’s like, as we’re watching it, like we’re panicking for them. Excellent. Excellent work. 


Alison Leiby: Right. Like they don’t know they should be nervous, but we know they should be nervous. 


Halle Kiefer: And we get. 


Alison Leiby: It’s always a very unsettling vibe. 


Halle Kiefer: We get this incredible, shot of Jack finding a scale model of the hedge maze and him looking down into it. And then from, you know, we see a a overhead shot of the actual has his hedge maze where we see Wendy and Danny arrive in the center of the maze, a sort of they they won and now they have to get back out. He’s analyzing them within the maze text on the screen. Now it’s Tuesday and I love how it that doesn’t matter. Like the the days have have no meaning. There’s no we’re not racing towards anything until the very end. Like things sort of pick up. But it’s like it does it. The Tuesday is for us. The Tuesday to them has is meaningless, I mean everything in the kitchen we see that Wendy is, putting lunch together. She’s opening a gigantic can of fruit cocktail and pouring into a gigantic bowl. I was like, is that all the lunch? Like, that’s so much for cocktail to put in a bowl. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And she has the TV on. There’s, like, a little. There’s a lot of TVs. This one’s on a wheelie cart, presumably for the staff. And, we find out that there’s, there’s a Aspen woman that’s been missing for ten days, and they’re concerned because there’s a huge storm rolling across Colorado. So a huge blizzard is about to slam into their area. Right. Meanwhile, we see again Danny is riding his tricycle around and stops. And when he does, he looks up and realizes that he has just passed Room 237. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Danny tentatively gets off his trike and he approaches the door. Alison, do you remember what’s inside the door? 


Alison Leiby: No.


Halle Kiefer: Well it’s locked so he doesn’t get it open. So that was actually a trick question. That’s. So you were fine. 


Alison Leiby: Okay thank you. [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: He does, however, get another flash of the two little girls in blue standing in the hallway, smiling at him. And again he’s like, well, let’s I guess they live here. That’s fine. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. Got some roommates. 


Halle Kiefer: In the evening, we’re back in the Colorado room, and Jack is furiously typing away on his typewriter in the beautiful nighttime lamplight, like, oh, what a great. I would love to write in that space, in that light. And when he comes in and she is unflaggingly cheerful in a way that, like, immediately grates on him. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Now it might be grating, but also you are forcing her to do this by being. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: An asshole all the time, right? 


Alison Leiby: Also, you’ve you forced her to come here. She has nothing else to do. 


Halle Kiefer: He treats everything his wife does like. It is a huge imposition, when in fact, she’s the one who ends up doing all the work like she’s the one who’s like, checking the boiler, checking the fuse box. 


Alison Leiby: Like parenting their child parenting. 


Halle Kiefer: She’s doing cooking the meals. She’s doing all the work. And you are so mad that she dares come in to come talk—


Alison Leiby: When you are writing. 


Halle Kiefer: And she says, you know, the weather report says it’s going to snow. And Jack goes, oh, what do you want me to do about it? It’s like, oh my God. 


Alison Leiby: Nothing, just saying. 


Halle Kiefer: And I brought this up on the podcast before, but, I always think of the thing, this I think it’s called a Gottman Institute. And it’s like, how do you know this thing is, is your marriage? Is your relation going to last? I actually think that’s the wrong question. You know, having had the relationships I’ve had, the question is, is your relationship good? It doesn’t matter if it’s going to last. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: People can have horrible marriages and die in them. Is a relationship good. And the test there is when somebody gives in treats you like, invites you to like look at something or talk about something, do you say, oh okay. Well that’s thank you for telling me. Or you go, oh my God, you come in here and you interrupt my writing and it’s like she’s actually tell you useful information that a blizzard is hitting you and you’re taking it like such an offense. But again, when you’re trying to keep it light, she’s obviously been keeping it light with this man for years. 


Alison Leiby: Keep it light, keep it fun. 


Halle Kiefer: She’s like, well, don’t be so grouchy. And again, she has a level of delusion and cheerfulness. She’s trying to will this to be something good when we all know watching this, that we’re hurtling towards something bad. He says, I’m not being grouchy. I want to finish my work. And she’s like, well, you know, maybe later I could bring by some sandwiches and maybe I could read something. Again. Doing her best to be a supportive spouse. And he goes, every time you come in here, you break my concentration. And then he rips up the paper he was writing on. It’s like, have you hear me out here writing? No. If you hear me in here doing anything, do not interrupt me. And she’s kind of shocked, but she’s like, okay—


Alison Leiby: Honestly. I’d grab the kid, I’m getting the car. 


Halle Kiefer: Fuck you bitch. 


Alison Leiby: And be like, we’re heading to society. Like. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: Come find us when you’re done. 


Halle Kiefer: It’s too early in the game. It’s not the last week we’re screaming. 


Alison Leiby: If you were four months into a five month stay. And everybody was kind of like on edge in that way. I’d be like, I get it. We’ve been here for a minute, but like the we’re like a week or two. I mean—


Halle Kiefer: It’s Tuesday, bitch. We just got here. Yeah. And so she leaves and she’s here and she’s like, well, sorry going forward I’ll do that. He goes, how about we start right now? And you get the fuck out of here. And Wendy leaves again, kind of shocked. But again, that does seem the kind of person he was. And this is why also I’ve noted like, this is how obviously it’s Stephen King critiquing that in himself, which is like, I’m sure there’s a million interactions where he is. 


Alison Leiby: Of course. 


Halle Kiefer: And I appreciate as a writer that, oh, self-awareness of like. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: It is selfish to make like you, what you’re doing should not dominate your family’s life. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: And you should be taking it out on them. But I do think it’s a right. It’s like I have a selfishness to me that I have to be aware of. And let’s just say, if I were to take it out, my wife, I do hope what would happen to this would happen to me, because I would deserve it. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Text on the screen. It’s Thursday now. It’s two days later and the blizzard has hit. We see Wendy and Danny running around. It looks super fun. Huge snow drifts, more snow coming down and we see the first shot of like, okay, so things are taking a perhaps even worse turn with Jack. We see him steering in that classic Jack Nicholson like head down, eyes up mouth— 


Alison Leiby: Brilliant casting. Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Mouth agape, so I will. I have critiques of his actual acting in this. We’ll get into. 


Alison Leiby: But his look if he’s terrifying. 


Halle Kiefer: Yes. 


Alison Leiby: This is a scary man. 


Halle Kiefer: Yes. 


Alison Leiby: Who is not. 


Halle Kiefer: Because he feels so volatile. Right. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: And that part I think is, is he’s playing that really well. Then we cut to Saturday. It’s a full blizzard. You can barely see the hotel, you know, from the road. Jack’s typing away and Wendy goes over the switchboard for the hotel and realizes the phone lines are down. Also, all of her looks are so cute. They’re so 70s. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: She’s like a bright jacket on with a scarf and clogs and jeans. I would just wear sweatpants for five months, but I support her looking chic. So she goes over and they have a, radio in, Mr. Ullman’s office that she can phone the Forest Service. So she phones the Forest Service. They answer and say, yes, the phone lines are down. And she says, well, how long does it usually take to repair something like that? And they’re like, honestly, it’s sometimes, you know, stays down until spring, because if we repair them, they get knocked down again.


Alison Leiby: It’s just going to snow again, right? 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. And but we’re saying, honestly, this is the first, the worst snow we’ve had in ages. So it’s going to be a long time. But they said now that the phones are down, just leave your radio on so we can always reach you. You could always reach us. So this going forward, this will be our contact to the outside world. She can call the Forest Service at least. We catch up with Danny, who again is riding his trike around another wing of the hotel, and he comes to a dead end. And in that dead end are the two girls in blue who say, hello, Danny, come and play with us. 


Alison Leiby: Us. 


Halle Kiefer: Forever and ever and ever. Danny screams. And then, of course, his shining gives him a glimpse of the past. And we see the girls butchered bodies on the floor, blood everywhere, and an ax lying next to them. Presumably they were the daughters of the. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Previous caregiver, Charles Grady. Danny covers his eyes in a panic and when he looks up they’re of course. Gone. Danny then relies on Tony. It’s like Tony makes sense. It’s like you need someone to talk about this. Even as a child, it’s like, I got to talk to Tony about this. I can’t be—


Alison Leiby: At least get Tony in here and be like, what are we talking about here? 


Halle Kiefer: Let’s get Tony on the horn. And he tells Tony, I’m really scared. And Tony says, remember what Mr. Hallorann said. They’re just like pictures in a book. They’re not real. That’s actually the opposite of what, doctor? 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Mr. Hallorann said. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, that wasn’t the message, Tony. 


Halle Kiefer: Mr.  Hallorann said, actually, you can see the past, the future and sense things that other people can not all of which add up to is that probably those ghosts are real, but he’s little, so we don’t know, right? 


Alison Leiby: Right. I know little Danny. 


Halle Kiefer: Text on the screen. Alison, it is Monday. 


Alison Leiby: One week in. 


Halle Kiefer: We’re a week in. Exactly. So things, you know, let’s just say we’re not making it to five months, right? 


Alison Leiby: No. 


Halle Kiefer: Danny and Wendy, they watch TV while the snow comes down, and Danny says, can I go to my room and get my fire engine? And because they’re kind of, in a separate area, I couldn’t tell if they were in the living room of the suite or if they were in a different room entirely. But either way, clearly Wendy is trying to keep Danny away from Jack when he’s like this. And unfortunately, he is always like this. Wendy says, don’t get it. Your dad’s asleep. He just went to bed a few hours ago. He was up all night writing and Danny begs her like, please let me get my fire truck and she says okay, but you have to be quiet and really don’t make a sound. I don’t want you to wake him up. When he gets back to the suite. He looks at his dad, just sitting silently at the end of the bed at the edge of the bed, and he calls Danny over and Danny is like, oh God. Clearly—


Alison Leiby: Not this guys.


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. And here’s the thing is, like Danny’s perhaps his first memory is of his drunken father dislocating his shoulder. Now I think we have some idea of, like, that would be very traumatic. So then his interactions with his father are very stilted, and he’s clearly scared of his father, who, understandably, who he’s presumably seen fly into a drunken rage at his mother a lot, and he sort of, like, takes Danny and sets him on his knee. And it’s so awkward. He, like, hugs him in a way that’s like, you know, you can see Danny, tense up and he says, how’s it going, doc? And Danny’s like, it’s really it’s like the shock of suddenly his father seems affectionate, right? Like, oh, what is that—


Alison Leiby: Which would be jarring. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. And Danny says, dad, do you feel bad? Jack’s like, no, I’m just a little tired. And Danny says, well, why don’t you go to sleep? Jack says, I can’t, I have too much to do. Alison. He’s got so much writing. And Danny says, dad, do you like this hotel? And Jack says, I do, I love it. I wish we could stay here forever and ever and ever. Which, of course, Danny had just talked to the ghost. He’s like, oh yeah—


Alison Leiby: And they’re like, hang out with us forever. It’s like, that’s like a. 


Halle Kiefer: And Danny says, you would never hurt mom and me, would you? Jack’s like, what do you mean? Did your mother say that to you? Dude, he lives with you. Like. 


Alison Leiby: The answer is no. 


Halle Kiefer: What do you mean? Like, he sees how you are in the world? His mother didn’t have to tell him that you’re. There’s something going on. 


Alison Leiby: Also, just saying no. I would never hurt like. Like this. 


Halle Kiefer: Just say no. Exactly. What do you mean, no? 


Alison Leiby: I mean, you know what? I would never hurt you. It’s like that’s the answer. Anything besides that is an admission of I’m going to hurt you. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. What do you mean? I don’t know, dad. I guess that or, like. Well, that’s the answer, I suppose. 


Alison Leiby: Well, I guess now you’re going to hurt me. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. And he’s like, I would never hurt you. It’s also reminds me of hereditary, because I also think there’s a through line of, like, parents, not really not willing or nor being able to take ownership of anything and needing to sort of project it on their family. Alison. It is now Wednesday. More blizzard, more blizzard. Blizzard, Blizzard, Blizzard. I say blizzard continues and it is beautiful and I do miss snow. But.


Alison Leiby: I love snow. 


Halle Kiefer: They are obviously getting more and more cut off from the world. We see Danny playing trucks on the iconic red, brown and orange carpet, from the film, which I feel like is on. Is on everything. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: If you’re a horror fan and a ball rolls over to him, he looks up. There’s no one there, but he sees the. Door of Room 237 is open with the hotel key in the door. Meanwhile, we see Wendy in the control room. She’s like checking the fuse, like she’s doing the actual fucking maintenance work. 


Alison Leiby: [laughs] For the job that he’s signed up to do. 


Halle Kiefer: And I do think they should be doing, like, at least reading books with her, so I’d, I’d be like, there should be some sort of educational element. But, you know, again, I’m—


Alison Leiby: Something but it’s like, go ride a bike. 


Halle Kiefer: Meanwhile, so she’s there and she starts to hear Jack screaming from the Colorado room. She runs up there, presuming the worst, of course, and finds him asleep, his head on the table, shrieking and asleep. She wakes him up and he is panicking and sort of slobbering and crying. He said, oh, I had the most awful dream. Alison, do you remember what Jack’s dream was? 


Alison Leiby: Was it about snow? 


Halle Kiefer: No. That’s my. That’s my gal. 


Alison Leiby: [laughs] No clue. 


Halle Kiefer: He tells her I dream that I killed you and Danny, but I didn’t. 


Alison Leiby: Oh, yeah, that sounds familiar.


Halle Kiefer: I didn’t just kill you. I chopped them up. I chopped you up into little pieces, and he sobs. I must be losing my mind. And this again, is sort of like Wendy. This is not on you, girl. We’re not victim blaming. At this point, it’s pretty clear he is. But again, they are in this abusive relationship where she’s in total denial and it’s like it’s going to be fine. There’s no evidence or reason to suggest that. And he is losing his mind and is telling her. And it doesn’t matter because it’s like no one in this situation could acknowledge reality. Which is why it’s like, oh, right. Hereditary is in the proud tradition of, how human denial is the biggest horror of all. Danny walks in the room and we’re sort of following him from behind as he walks into the Colorado room and Wendy calls him and says, go to your room, please go play. Your dad’s fine. But he sort of just walks robotically towards her, and when she gets to him to go grab him, she see’s that his sweater is torn, his neck is bruised, and he’s sort of silent and scared. So, of course, she presumes, understandably, that Jack is the one who did this. Cause who else would have? Right. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: And she starts screaming at Jack like you did this to him, didn’t you? How could you? And Jack looks are confused, and she grabs Danny up and runs up to the suite. I’m going to say give. This is my mother’s problem with this movie that she always says, and I do feel like this scene coming up is also my problem with this movie is that—


Alison Leiby: I think. Okay. What were you gonna say? 


Halle Kiefer: What do you think I was gonna say? 


Alison Leiby: Is it the scene with, like, the guy in the mask in the room? 


Halle Kiefer: Oh, no. No. That’s later. This is the scene with the bartender. 


Alison Leiby: Oh, okay. Yeah, yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: The problem I have with this is it’s Jack Nicholson. Is it at 11 already? And we’re not even halfway done. And I think I’m like, I would really we would really slow building and then we see. And the whole time just like is Jack Nicholson, this is Jack Nicholson. It just takes you out of the movie. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, yeah, yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: This is just my critique of this particular moment. But we see him walk into this newly refurbished ballroom, the Gold Ballroom, and he sits at this beautiful illuminated bar and he puts his face, his hands, and he goes, oh, I’d give my goddamn soul for just a glass of beer. And he lowers his hands and he breaks this beautiful smile. He says, hi, Lloyd. It’s a little slow here tonight, isn’t it? And we turn to see Lloyd, the bartender, a perfectly manicured bartender, say from the 1920s, in a Burgundy tuxedo jacket. He says to him, what would you like, Mr. Torrance? And Jack orders up a bottle of Jack, of course, a glass and ice, which Jack calls the white man’s burden. And he looks at his wallet he’s like, I’m sorry, I don’t have cash. How’s my credit here? Lloyd pours a drink and says, your credit’s just fine. And Jack says, I’m going to toast to five miserable months on the wagon and all the irreparable harm it’s caused me. And he takes a drink and his eyes literally roll back in his head. And I do miss drinking, so I sympathize with this. [laughter] And Lloyd said, I hope it’s not anything serious you’ve been you’ve been going through. And Jack says, no, it’s just a little problem with a sperm bank upstairs. Yeah. Wouldn’t he be the sperm bank? She only had a she has much less sperm in her at any given point. Then you.


Alison Leiby: Then he does.


Halle Kiefer: The sperm bank Alison.


Alison Leiby: Unless it’s like where he— deposits? Ugh.  


Halle Kiefer: Well, he’ll get his at the end. 


Alison Leiby: Yep. 


Halle Kiefer: Lloyd says women, you can’t live with them, and you can’t live without them. Jack’s nodding, of course. He starts to drink. And he said, you know, I never laid a hand on him. I wouldn’t, I love that little son of a bitch. But that bitch, as long as I live, she’ll never let me forget what happened. Okay, look, I did hurt him once, okay? But it was an accident. It was three years ago. And I think that it’s like this to me is such a pivotal role. And Jack Nicholson is giving the Joker like, to me, it’s so big. It’s so—


Alison Leiby: It’s really. Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Like I because again we it’s a, it’s a, it’s over. It’s almost 2.5 hours long right. We got gotta get crazier a little bit later. But again. Hey, that’s. It was a choice. He’s also. It’s him trying to do give a couple of, like, the folksy Stephen King lines, which. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, yeah, yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Are a little clunky on the page. Even so, it’s sort of like his big performance with maybe lines that are more writerly than a person would say. In a very specific Stephen King way. But he’s like, no, I didn’t hurt him. He was just a temporary loss of muscular coordination. Okay, a few extra foot pounds. Suddenly Wendy comes in screaming, carrying a baseball bat, calling for Jack, and said, there’s someone else in the hotel with us. There’s a crazy lady in one of the rooms, and Danny said she tried to strangle him. And Jack says, are you out of your fucking mind? 


Alison Leiby: Like, can you just at least be like, all right, let’s see. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: Before you become a total asshole. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. She says no. He went upstairs. He saw the room. It was 237, and a crazy woman in the bathtub try to strangle him. Jack says. Which room? Meanwhile, we get this incredible shot. We find ourselves in Dick Hallorann’s bedroom. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Which I love because he has two pieces, very large pieces of erotic art. And I’m like, it just says so much about the character. More characters should have erotic art. Or, like, just the art on the walls again, in—


Alison Leiby: Does a lot of work. Yeah.


Halle Kiefer: Perhaps even movies we’ve done recently, perhaps a live show. It’s like there’s not a piece of art on the wall, there’s not a colorful curtain to be had. And this is like, this is his domain, right? And he’s in bed on the sheets, fully dressed with his socks off, and it’s like feet on a little blanket. He’s watching the news. He’s in Miami for the winter. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: He’s he’s having an incredible time. And both those photos are like nude, beautiful, paintings of women with afros, against, like, a bright red background, like very 70s. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah yeah I remember those. 


Halle Kiefer: Gorgeous art, for sure. And as he’s watching the news, they’re like, oh, my God, heat wave in Miami. But luckily we’re not dealing with what the Western, states are dealing with. There’s a huge storm hitting all of Colorado affecting the Rockies. All travel has been shut down, and the governor governor is expected to declare a state of emergency. We then reverse on Dick, who’s lying in bed, and of course, his intense synth whine starts in and we see his eyes, his mouth drop open Alison he’s getting his shine on. You know what I mean? Just like the sun of Miami. 


Alison Leiby: Shine on you. 


Dick’s shining. 


Alison Leiby: Crazy diamond. 


Halle Kiefer: And sort of like we see, like we are seeing it is both through his eyes. And then we’re also seeing Davy. Danny. Sorry. We see Danny sort of seizing and salivating in his bed, and we see through Jack’s eyes as he walks into Room 237, which is so good. It has like purple and green carpet. 


Alison Leiby: Mm hmm. 


Halle Kiefer: With pink furniture, gold and light wood. It’s so over-the-top, I wish I, I miss the 70s, having not lived through them. 


Alison Leiby: I like it was like nice when. Like there were bold choices to make. 


Halle Kiefer: Yes. That’s a good point—


Alison Leiby: Now everything looks the same. 


Halle Kiefer: And I do feel like people use like TikTok trends. Like. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: I was just talking to my friends about like, it’s like the corner stool, lavender wall, wiggly mirror and someone described that as avante basic. And I think that’s funny because I also love that. But it is because as soon—


Alison Leiby: It is, it’s avante basic. 


Halle Kiefer: Because as soon as something becomes a trend than it is like it’s everything, you know. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: But, you know, we see him walk through this, incredibly, beautiful hotel room. And through his eyes, we see him open the door to the bathroom, which is this beautiful pea green and marigold color. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: And we see him look and see a woman pulling back the shower curtain. She’s sitting in the tub, pulls back the shower curtain, revealing a topless woman who stands up and starts to step out of the shower. She slowly walks to him and he goes to her. And one thing to me is like, I like this movie. It’s like, you don’t know anything about this woman. 


Alison Leiby: Right? 


Halle Kiefer: You have already you have already lost your mind. So it’s like you’re going to a woman and she is a woman who expects nothing of you. There’s nothing to her. You can give her any personality, any meaning. She’s not like your bitch wife, right? 


Alison Leiby: Yes right. 


Halle Kiefer: She’s. She’s a totally vacant, just naked woman. She’s a vessel for your, you know, desire. And she walks out. Of course, the woman goes to kiss him, okay? Naturally. Wraps her arms around him and they kiss. And when he comes up for air, he looks in the mirror behind her and sees that her body is two horrible things, Alison. One rotting off and two old. And I don’t know which one’s worse. 


Alison Leiby: I mean, for a man probably old. 


Halle Kiefer: Absolutely. I mean, it’s like, Dear God, she’s old. Also, her skin is coming off in sheets, and we see the woman floating a corpse in the bathtub, an old woman decaying, and he looks at the woman in his arms. And she did what I would perhaps do with this moment, which is start laughing hysterically as he realizes. 


Alison Leiby: Obviously. 


Halle Kiefer: That she’s old and her skin is rotting off. Right? He runs out. 


Alison Leiby: Is this real? 


Halle Kiefer: I think the answer is no. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: I think that he’s experiencing another spirit and entity within the hotel. So it is real. It is. But just like his mind has been sort of open to The Overlook, like for me, Lloyd is the is the first signal of like he is now in communication with the hotel. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: But not in a way where it’s like at least Danny seems to be understanding, like the distinction between, like, I’m seeing these girls, but then also my mom and dad are real. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: I think it’s weird to think he no longer necessarily has that division if he ever did right. He is now experiencing. So this woman is real to him. So of course he runs out and he takes the key and he locks the door, after him. In Miami. Dick. Dick is the nicest man in the world. And I also think, you know, we’ve done movies before where it’s sort of like, a Black person who, out of sheer good will, comes to the aid of white people and has to be punished for it. But Dick is a good person. And so he starts to call The Overlook because, again, he has the shining. He he doesn’t. Our implication is he doesn’t know exactly what’s going to happen, but it isn’t going to be good. 


Alison Leiby: But he knows it’s bad. Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And so the phone lines are down. He’s able to get in touch with the Forest Service eventually. But in the meantime, Jack comes back to the suite and tells Wendy, you know, I didn’t see anything in that room, which is just a lie. So we know that he had this experience, and Wendy’s like, are you sure was the right room? Like, he has bruises on his neck. Somebody did this to him. And Jack says, you know, honestly, I think he did it to himself and Wendy’s  like, well, why would he do that? I don’t think that’s possible. It’s like, well, think about it. If his version of events isn’t true, that makes the most sense. Meanwhile, we see Danny in bed, eyes wide, horrified, and then he’s written on the back of his door the word redrum. And when he says, okay, finally she makes the point that you made earlier, Alison, where it’s like, whatever the explanations, we have to get a medical help because if he did do this to himself, we need to get someone to talk like that. Something is wrong. We haven’t figured out if someone’s here. We should also leave. So, either way, we should get Danny to a hospital or something. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. Let’s leave this place. 


Halle Kiefer: Unfortunately, Jack, you know, he’s so busy writing and he says it’s so fucking typical of you to make. Oh, sorry. It’s just so fucking typical for you to make a problem just when I’m really getting into my work. I’ve let you fuck up my life for way too long, but I’m not going to let you fuck this up for me this time. 


Alison Leiby: Fine you stay. We’re going. 


Halle Kiefer: And that’s why I think, like, I don’t necessarily think this movie is particularly scary, but I do think it’s an incredible rumination on like what an abusive person does, where it’s like you, he’s unable to see that he is the one fucking up their lives. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: He needs to. It needs to be his wife. It needs to be a stupid kid. It needs to be anyone else. 


Alison Leiby: It’s their fault. 


Halle Kiefer: It’s their fault that he’s a failure rather than being able to look within himself and deal. Like you are the one fucking up everyone’s lives. So of course, he storms out and he goes down the kitchen, starts throwing things around. And here’s some old timey music playing Alison. And when he gets down to the lobby, he sees sort of the detritus of a big New Year’s Eve party or maybe not New Year’s Eve, but some big party. 


Alison Leiby: Party. 


Halle Kiefer: Balloons and tinsel. And he starts wandering through the lobby to the other wing, which is where the Gold Ballroom is back in Miami, we see Dick Hallorann gets in touch with the Forest Service and they say, yeah, the phone lines are down. He said, could you please call up to the hotel? And obviously he’s not going to tell about the shining. So he says, you know, there’s a family with a little kid up there, and I just want to make sure they’re okay in this storm, you know? And the guy says, no problem. I’ll call it there. Give me a call back in like 20 minutes and I’ll, I’ll, you know, call him. In the meantime, Jack goes down to the Gold Ballroom, and it is the 1920s again. It is stunning. Everyone’s in flapper dresses and tuxedo. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: We have a full house, like gorgeous pink and red and gold decorations, and he bellies up to the bar. He greets Lloyd, the bartender again, and Lloyd serves him up a bourbon on the rocks. And this time Jack did bring cash and he goes to pay him. And Lloyd said, your money’s no good here, Mr. Torrance orders from the house, and Jack says, well, I mean, no, thank you, but I’d like to know who’s buying my drinks and Lloyd says oh it’s not a matter that concerns you, Mr. Torrance. At least not at this point. Jack says—


Alison Leiby: It’s also like. I know this is all not real. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: And like, his inability to, like, sort through what is real and isn’t real is gone. But it’s like you need cash. There’s no one here. Like it’s— [laughter]


Halle Kiefer: Also like I said, 1920 because it’s a if it’s 1920s prices—


Alison Leiby: You need like a dime. Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Maybe this everyone’s drinking on your dime. And so he gets a drink and he turns and a waiter walking by spills three glasses of, like a sort of, like, not a champagne flute, but it is a, a beverage called advocaat. And it is a traditional Dutch alcohol beverage made from eggs, sugared brandy, which does seem like they were drinking in the 20s. Right? 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Spills. It is kind of like a. It looks like, super, like custard spilled on him and where he’s like, oh, sir, this is humiliating. Please come with me to the men’s room. Let me try to clean off your coat because it stains horribly. So the waiter takes him to the men’s room, which is bright red, to clean off his jacket, and they’re standing there and Jack’s like, thanks so much. What’s your name? And the waiter says, Delbert. Sorry, am the waiter, says Delbert Grady. Jack pings of the name is a Grady. Didn’t you used to be the caretaker? Delbert says, I don’t think so. He said, well, you have a family, right? Yes. Yeah, I have a beautiful family. I have a wife and two daughters. Jack says, well, where are they? He’s like, around here somewhere. Jack says that. Okay, then you were right. You were the caretaker here. I saw your picture on the newspapers, and he says to Delbert, you chopped your wife and daughters up into bits, and then you blew your brains out. And Delbert looks at him and says that’s strange, sir, I don’t have any recollection of that at all. Jack says either way, we both know you were the caretaker, and Delbert stops him and says, I’m sorry to differ with you, sir, but you’re the caretaker. You’ve always been the caretaker. I should know I’ve always been here. And Jack sort of looks at him, baffled. Is like for last week is like, clearly like there’s obviously something in his brain where it’s like, wait, what? And Delbert says, you know, did you know your son is attempting to bring an outside party into this situation? And Jack says, who I would. Who are you talking about? What do you mean? And Delbert says. And he just says the N-word, which I’m obviously not going to say. 


Alison Leiby: Right. Of course. 


Halle Kiefer: But it’s like he’s just, you know, Dick  Hallorann’s on the way and Delbert says the N-word and Jack repeats it in shock. And Delbert goes and N-word cook, it’s like, okay, well, I, I knew there would be ghosts I didn’t know they would be racist ghosts. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: But I guess it stands to reasons a lot of white ghosts are probably racist. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. From the 20s. Yeah. I bet they use that word. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. And Jack says, well how would he be calling him? And Delbert tells him, you know, your son has a very great talent. I don’t think you know how great it is. But, you know, he’s attempting to use that talent and, you know, he’s well, he’s a very willful boy. Jack’s like, yeah, he is willful. Delbert’s like, if I might be so bold sir, he’s a very naughty, boy, Jack says. Yeah that’s his mother. She she interferes, you know. You know, women, you know. 


Alison Leiby: Like, I guess. 


Halle Kiefer: And Delbert’s like, well, you know, maybe they both need a good talking to. And he explains, he says, you know—


[clip of  Philip Stone]: My girl sir, they didn’t care for, The Overlook at first, one of them actually stole a pack of matches and tried to burn it down. But I corrected them, sir. 


Halle Kiefer: And when my wife tried to stop me from doing my duty, I corrected her too. Meanwhile, back in the suite, Wendy, you know, for all her doubt, she’s, she’s a mother and she knows, knows what’s up. And she says basically pacing around chain smoking being like, okay, so what, what’s fucking plan. And she’s sort of laying it out to herself out loud. She’s like, we have this snowcat. If the weather breaks, we can get down the mountain. I’ll call the Forest Service. And if Jack won’t go, then we’ll just fucking go without him. 


Alison Leiby: We’re just going without him. 


Halle Kiefer: Fuck him. Yeah. Meanwhile, Danny’s in his bed. He starts screaming. She runs and he’s screaming. Red, redrum, redrum, redrum. And she comes to him and he looks at you, still sleeping. His eyes are open, but he’s he’s really out of it. And Wendy tries to shake awake. Says, Danny, you just had a bad dream. Instead of Danny’s voice, we hear Tony say, Danny’s not here, Mrs. Torrance. Danny can’t wake up Mrs. Torrance. Danny’s gone away, Mrs. Torrance. Alison downstairs. Jack walks into Mr. Ullman’s office and we hear the Forest Service calling them, trying to get them to reply. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: And instead of replying, he takes the top of the radio off and just starts pulling the fuses out. 


Alison Leiby: I mean, this guy.


Halle Kiefer: Alison. At this point, the movie, I have to ask who will survive? 


[voice over]: Who will survive? 


Alison Leiby: I mean, I know that Jack dies. And I know that, right? At least I think I know that. The mother and Danny make it. 


Halle Kiefer: And what about Dick Hallorann? 


Alison Leiby: I think he survives. [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: Right. No, no, it’s good not to know. It’s good not to know. 


Alison Leiby: I don’t remember. 




Halle Kiefer: We see Dick Hallorann call the Forest Service again back in Miami. And they say, you know, we’re calling, but there’s no answer. But we could try again later. He’s like, okay, great, I’ll I’ll call back. And he sighs, because Dick Hallorann is a nice person and he’s like, God damn it, I’m gonna have to go to The Overlook. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah you do. 


Halle Kiefer: Text on the screen 8 a.m.. Dick, bought that fucking ticket. And he got on that plane at 8 a.m.. Like, we see him. 


Alison Leiby: Good man. 


Halle Kiefer: And he’s a good man and he he will receive his reward in heaven is what I hope. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: We see Dick flying to Denver. He obviously like again. Knows something is happening. He’s trying to stop it. He is giving his life for white people, which again, I mean, you can’t—


Alison Leiby: Wouldn’t recommend it. 


Halle Kiefer: You can’t. Yeah. I mean, you can’t critique any one particular work, but like it it is a pattern. It’s like okay, well but he, he can’t he can’t not know. You know, he knows what the shining is, and we see back at The Overlook, Jack furiously typing on his typewriter. Dick lands at the airport and he calls Larry at Durkin’s Auto Supply, which I think we’re to believe is like near is in Sidewinder, which is like the closest town. And he knows, Dick from his years working at The Overlook. He’s like, oh, how’s Miami? How’s it going? He says, well, I’m actually back in Colorado, and I’m going to drive up to you, and I need a snowcat to go to The Overlook. Larry’s like, what the fuck? He’s like, well, the plows have cleared all the roads in town, but those mountain roads are completely blocked. And so again, Dick’s not going to tell him about the shining. So he says—


Alison Leiby: Right. And how even would you. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, exactly. You can’t get into it with Larry up at the auto parts store. You know, like you think you’ll have the phone all day. And he’s like, I, I need to go up there because the people we hired are complete, unreliable assholes, unfortunately. So I need to get out there, find out what needs to happen if they need to be replaced. And, you know, we can’t leave them up there, you know? He said, so I’m going to drive. I’m gonna get to you. He’s renting a car during five hours. It’s like, ooh, renting a car. I like it like if you were the situation and I do want to save you, but, like, oh. 


Alison Leiby: To rent a car to drive for five hours alone in, like, bad conditions. I don’t know, man. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. And I would say for me you don’t have to do all that, you know, maybe you could take the bus. I’d love for you to show up. If not, don’t get a snowcat. Don’t worry about it. But Dick again, like a better person than us. And he drives and he’s driving on the highway. It’s total whiteout. The highways are not clear. We see a flipped over semi that is on top of a car. So it’s a madness, right? It’s horrible. 


Alison Leiby: Chaos. 


Halle Kiefer: Up in the suite, Danny and Wendy watch the Roadrunner again. Wendy is chain smoking and trying to get Danny to talk. She says, okay, Danny, I’m going to go talk to her daddy. I’m gonna be right back and I will be locking the door to the suite behind me. And Danny says, okay, Mrs. Torrance, because it’s just Tony still. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Wendy, we see go down to the Colorado room, and she got her baseball bat again. Because again, Wendy, knows what time it is. And it is, time to die, time to leave. And she finds Jack. You know, he’s gone from the room, and she goes to look at his papers in the typewriter again. This is perhaps a seminal moment in The Shining. She sees what he’s been writing obsessively, staying up so late to write, being so cruel to her and his son. And it’s the same line over and over and over again. Reams of paper with the same line. All work and no play make Jack a dull boy. She looks at his papers again. So I like this. Like, sometimes it’s formatted like a screenplay, and then sometimes it looks like a poem. 


Alison Leiby: Like a novel. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. And then it just becomes run on sentences over and over again. Of course, Jack appears behind and says, how do you like it? And when he screams, she starts to back away. And he’s like, why are you down here? She says, I just want to talk. So what do you want to talk about, Danny? Again. We see Danny upstairs. He’s staring in middle distance and we see the blood dumping out of the elevator. Jack says I think we should discuss Danny. I think we should discuss what should be done with him. And Wendy’s like, well, I think we should take him to a doctor as soon as possible. And he goes, oh, I think you should go to the doctor as soon as possible. I would be swinging that bat [both speaking] as soon as he said that name. Like, are you kidding me? And he says, you’re so concerned about him. Are you concerned about me? Do you have any idea? I’ve made a promise to the people. The owners of The Overlook Hotel. 


[clip of Jack Nicholson]: Have you ever had a single moment thought about my responsibilities. Do you have the slightest idea what a moral and ethical principle is? Do you? 


Halle Kiefer: And when he says, I’m going to go back to my room, and she starts to back up the stairs to the second floor with the bat in front of her. 


Alison Leiby: Yes, of course. 


Halle Kiefer: Jack is not deterred. And, she says, don’t hurt me. And she sort of holding the bat, kind of swinging it in front of her like, don’t stay away from me. And he’s like, honey, I am not going to hurt you. I’m just going to bash your brains in. And he reaches to try to grab the bat and she swings it, luckily hitting him in the head, knocking it, knocking him down the stairs. And he also injures his leg. As we see she’s able to run away. He wakes up, sorry, he falls, topples down the stairs, knocked unconscious. He wakes up while being dragged across the floor into the store room by Wendy. She can’t get the door handle open at first, is panicking. He’s waking up. Luckily, she’s able to unlock it, roll them in and slam the door right as he wakes up and gets up. This isn’t the freezer. This is just the dry goods store. So it’s just a lockable room that she’s putting him in. And so of course, in order to prey on her emotion, he’s like, Wendy, I think I hurt my head. Oh, God, Wendy, I need a doctor. Or trying to, like, get her to be sympathetic. To open the door. And Wendy is sobbing and he calls her over and she grabs a butcher knife. She said, I’m going to take Danny down to Sidewinder in the snowcat. I’m bringing a doctor back up here. When we get done, I I’ll get you help, okay? And Jack starts laughing. He’s like, you’re not going anywhere. Go check out the radio and then go check out the snowcat. Of course she takes a knife. She runs out the front door again, still blistering. 


Alison Leiby: Of course. 


Halle Kiefer: Runs out the front door and sees a snowcat. The hood is up and he has cut out. I don’t know engine, but she has cut out a big piece of the engine we see like four cords cut—


Alison Leiby: Clearly no long—


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. No longer functional. 


Halle Kiefer: Text on the screen. 4 p.m.. In the store room, we see Jack is sleeping on a pile of flour bags. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And a knock comes to the door and he says, Wendy. And the wife says, no, it’s it’s Grady, Mr. Torrance, Delbert. Grady. Grady tells Jack. I and the others have come to agree that it just seems like your heart isn’t in this. You haven’t a belly for it, you know? And if you got to think about your responsibilities here and Jack says no, I. You got to give me one more chance. And Grady says, you know, your wife seems to be stronger, Mr. Torrance. She seems to have gotten the better of you. Jack says only for the moment. Grady tells Jack, I’m afraid you’ll have to deal with the situation in the harshest possible manner. Jack replies, there’s nothing I look forward to as much as that, Mr. Grady. I give you my word. And the storeroom door unlocks. Meanwhile, Dick Hallorann is making great time in his snowcat. He is just driving across like the mounds of snow. No problem. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Danny and Wendy are back up in the suite. They’ve locked the door, and Danny comes over to his mother, who’s dozed off on the bed and says. redrum, redrum. And he picks up her knife and he writes red from on the back of the door in her lipstick, and he starts screaming, redrum, redrum, redrum, over and over again, until his mom awakens and sees in the mirror behind him redrum in reverse murder. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. Of course. 


Halle Kiefer: Then they hear a slam, Alice. And unfortunately, Jack is breaking down the suite door with an ax. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And he’s able to bust through it. And he say’s Wendy I’m home. Wendy grabs Danny and they run to the bathroom, and she’s able to get the little tiny window open and push him out, and the snow is drifted high enough along the building. 


Alison Leiby: That it’s like, yeah, not a far drop. 


Halle Kiefer: Yes, we kind of slides down the drifting snow, but she can’t get the window open enough as an adult. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: And she calls down to Danny and tells him to run, run and hide. And Jack comes to the bathroom door, starts hacking it down. Says, little pigs, little pigs. Let me in. Not by the hair on your chin, chin, chin. Then I’ll huff and puff and I’ll blow the house in. And he axes through the door and in perhaps again one of the other famous moments, he puts his face in the gap and says, Here’s Johnny. 


Halle Kiefer: Here’s Johnny. 


Alison Leiby: And he reaches in to unlock the door. But Wendy still has her butcher knife from the kitchen, slashes his hand. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. Okay, good. 


Halle Kiefer: And he jerks his hand back and they both hear Dick’s snowcat arrive outside. So they’re both sort of okay. He’s at least destabilized the situation. So she’s not be immediately about to be murdered. Right. And we see Danny running through The Overlook and he hides in one of the metal cabinets in the kitchen. And Dick Hallorann comes to the lobby is calling, is anyone here? Are you. Are you alive? But unfortunately, Dick Hallorann doesn’t know about everything that we know about him? And when he wanders through the lobby, we hear the howl of the wind outside. He has. No, he doesn’t know what’s around the next corner. And Jack lunges out of the shadows and buries his ax in Dick’s chest. 


Alison Leiby: Oh, right. Now I remember that. 


Halle Kiefer: Killing him. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: But that’s not enough for him, and he’s up next. He looks up from Dick’s body and screams. Danny and Danny, as a terrified child emerges in the kitchen cabinet and runs. Fortunately, because of Jack’s fall down the stairs, he cannot move as fast as he could. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Or else he would have just catched up to him. So Danny is loose. Jack is screaming for him, but is too slow, so he at least has a little headway. Meanwhile, Wendy emerges from the suite, having not been able to get through the window, knife in hand, and is also calling for Danny. And when she runs up the stairs, she sees the moment you referenced earlier, a man in a bear costume with, like, the butt flap open. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Giving a guy a blowjob? 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. What is that? 


Halle Kiefer: So, based on what I could Google, there’s a lot of different theories, but the literal answer. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Is that there was a subplot about the hotel’s owner being bisexual and having a man as his dog. Right. So sort of an erotic relationship with a man with his dog. He was his owner. And in the book, at least, he would sort of dress up as a dog and do tricks. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: But what’s interesting is this costume is more bear than dog. So that’s I think, a lot of like the theorizing and hypothesizing about is about and which will get to the end because there it’s a standalone image that in the context of the book, I think has more context, but removed—


Alison Leiby: In the movie feels so removed. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. And so but it’s also the first time that we see Wendy see the ghost. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: So to see that that be the first ghost you see is. 


Alison Leiby: Jarring. 


Halle Kiefer: Jarring and hilarious. Jack gets to the front door. He finds it open. He turns on the exterior lights, and poor Danny has to run into the hedge maze to hide from his father. And we see Jack staggering after him. Unfortunately, he could follow Danny’s footsteps because there’s no other footsteps in the snow. Because it’s been blizzarding, and Wendy makes her way to the kitchen and finds a way to lobby, where she finds Dick Hallorann’s corpse on the floor. And she turns and sees another ghost, a white man in a tuxedo with a bleeding head who says, great party, isn’t it? She runs, and when she emerges back in the lobby, it is covered in cobwebs and full of skeletons and fancy dress, looking like they’ve been there since the 1920s. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: In the hedge maze. Because Danny is a genius. He realizes he’s leaving footsteps. So to trick his dad, he backtracks into his own footsteps and then sort of erases them so he can go sideways down a different alley in the maze. 


Alison Leiby: Mm hmm. 


Halle Kiefer: As Jack sort of screams and tries to follow him through the maze, Wendy runs back and she’s finally in front of the red elevators. And then she gives the classic Shelley Duvall gigantic eyes gasp and she sees the blood dumping out of the open elevators. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: In the maze, Jack gets to the end of Danny’s footsteps, and it looks like Danny just disappeared into thin air. 


Alison Leiby: Yes, yes. 


Halle Kiefer: And he screams, Danny! And we see Danny emerge from the opening of the maze, just as Wendy runs out the front door and they grab each other arm, and she grabs him and she throws him into the snowcat that Dick Hallorann had brought. So he. And there’s a still functional snowcat. It’s his. Luckily the keys are in. Throws him in we hear it start it up and drive away. And as they drive away, Jack, we start to see him start to succumb to hypothermia. And as he starts to die, he screams, help me, help me please. Of course there’s no one there left to help in the morning with that last shot of him. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Completely frozen, eyes rolled up, sitting in the hedge hedge maze and we get the last shot again. Iconic. We see we’re traveling through lobby as old timey music starts to play. We zoom in on a wall of black and white photos throughout the history of The Overlook, and we zoom in on a photo that reads Overlook Hotel, July 4th. Ball, 1921. And right in the middle is Jack. Clearly having been added or perhaps being called back to the eternal check in list at The Overlook Hotel because after all, Alison, as Grady told us earlier, he’s always been there, The Shining. 


Alison Leiby: Wow. It’s like the first time. 


Halle Kiefer: It’s the first time ever. Every time. 


Alison Leiby: Every time. 


Halle Kiefer: Well, let’s do. Fatal mistakes. And we can get into our conversation. What are some fatal mistakes you think were made in The Shining? 


[voice over]: Fatal mistakes. 


Alison Leiby: I mean, taking this as a job. Thinking that your family won’t completely disintegrate around you and that you’ll get writing done. I mean, it’s really. 


Halle Kiefer: Yes. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. That’s. And also, like. Like not to blame her for still being in that marriage, but, like. I don’t go with them. You know, like, don’t. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: There are bumps in this road, and this isn’t a good relationship. So just take your adorable son and go start over somewhere else. Which I guess does happen at the end. But at what cost? 


Halle Kiefer: But at what cost? Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: Two people are dead. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, exactly. Again not to, certainly not to blame, Wendy. I would say it’s not a mistake that Dick Hallorann came back. 


Alison Leiby: Right? Because he was just trying to help. 


Halle Kiefer: Right. But, I mean, he did, it did lead him to his doom. 


Alison Leiby: Mm hmm yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: But that’s fine. I mean, he, I think he knew that on some level and was making a decision, the moral decision which I think is correct, to save a child’s life. But you know, again, better man than I. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


I, I’d be calling that Forest Service service to make a—


Alison Leiby: Like, you know, check on them. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: I have a question for you. 


Halle Kiefer: Lay it on me and then I have some questions for you. Okay. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. In a scenario where there isn’t, a haunting and a shining or whatever. But like, you are tasked with going with, let’s say, your wife and son. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: To a hotel, how long do you think you could have lasted if there was nothing like, spooky going on? It’s. And like, you have no medical issues. It’s just like, how long could you have lasted without absolutely losing it? Do you think you could make it five months? 


Halle Kiefer: I think I could make it no amount of time, I am I, I had two weeks off for, the holidays and I was like, oh, I’m going to, enjoy doing nothing. I went completely insane. I’m not someone I need to have both a lot of structure. And also I need to interact with a lot of different people. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And that’s just like, I know about myself. I couldn’t do it. I would never put myself in the situation. I would do, like a writer’s retreat. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: But like to be this secluded for this long. 


Alison Leiby: Could you do like, two weeks or is that, like too much? 


Halle Kiefer: I could do two weeks, I could do two weeks but at the very longest—


Alison Leiby: Say it’s like today you have internet and television and stuff like that, yeah, I think that’s fine. Yeah.


Halle Kiefer: And I would make sure—


Alison Leiby: I think two weeks is where I would top out. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. I just, I see it and I understand there’s people who are like, literally, this would be their dream. They could be totally fine. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. It’s not me. 


Halle Kiefer: Not me by any stretch of the imagination. 


Alison Leiby: Not I. 


Halle Kiefer: Now here’s here’s my question. There’s going to be a little pop quiz on again. 


Alison Leiby: Oh no. 


Halle Kiefer: Movie you’ve seen, you say twice, seems like three times. 


Alison Leiby: And now just listened to. 


Halle Kiefer: And so, Alison, please welcome to The Shining pop quiz. What was Dick  Hallorann’s job at The Overlook. 


Alison Leiby: Chef.


Halle Kiefer: Okay, great. Okay. 


Alison Leiby: Or cook or, you know—


Halle Kiefer: No, no, head chef. You’re absolutely right. Yeah. What food does he recommend? Wendy eat if she wants to be happy. 


Alison Leiby: Dried fruit slash prunes. 


Halle Kiefer: Okay, great. And then finally. 


Alison Leiby: Which is just, like, good advice for anyone. 


Halle Kiefer: Oh, absolutely. 


Alison Leiby: Get fiber babes. 


Halle Kiefer: And then finally, we met the character Delbert Grady. When we hear the story, what is Grady’s first name? 


Alison Leiby: Got me. Christopher?


Halle Kiefer: Charles. Actually. Really close. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: And then, as alluded to earlier, I do want to touch on Stanley Kubrick’s treatment. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Of Shelley Duvall. So this is very complicated. I think the thing about Alfred Hitchcock is that it is not complicated. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And like, I think Tippi Hedren later came back was like, I did get something out of these, this relationship. I mean. 


Alison Leiby: Sure. 


Halle Kiefer: It’s so complicated. And also, I think that was the expectation of Hollywood at the time. So the idea of like, oh, this guy was a monster. It’s like, well, yeah, but I worked in Hollywood. I was an actress. Well, what do you think it was like here? 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. And I think with Shelley Duvall and I would just say, if you want to know, read about her feelings about it now, in, February 11th, 2021, there’s a profile of her, in The Hollywood Reporter called searching for Shelley Duvall, the reclusive icon on fleeing Hollywood and the scars of making The Shining. And I think a lot it’s sort of like, it’s it’s something where it’s like, this is personally complicated for her, which is totally understandable. At the same time, Anjelica Huston, who was dating, Jack Nicholson at the time. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Talks to also talks to The Hollywood Reporter. Shelley Duvall, I think said like it was difficult. But ultimately, I think that this was like a good relationship and maybe a hard experience, but does not think of it as negatively as perhaps if it happened now, I think it’d be much clearer that, like, you cannot treat your actress—


Alison Leiby: Yes, yes. 


Halle Kiefer: —like this. And Huston, Anjelica Huston, she had more of a clear of like this to her was like Nicholson and Kubrick sort of ganging up on Duvall, kind of like the idea of like, oh, we’re going to push this woman to the brink to get a better performance out of her. And she is phenomenal in it, and she is much better than Jack Nicholson in it. She carries the film. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Because she’s the only one who’s playing it, like realistically. And the child of course. 


Alison Leiby: He’s playing it too big. 


Halle Kiefer: Right. So it just sort of like driving her towards it. But it’s one of those things where like, I think now if that were to happen, it’d be like, yeah, you can’t do this. And also I don’t buy it like, oh, the better performance. That’s just like a director having no boundaries and like being insane versus like, I think now we have a little more like an actress is a person like, oh, you’re going to, like, break this woman down on set. Like to what end, and and like, have her do like 35 takes, you know, I don’t know, but I, I don’t know. So it’s worth reading this I think to just see her perspective on it. Again, I don’t know it’s and that I don’t know like how do you determine someone else’s experience of something? 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: I don’t know how you decide that. Right. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: So I definitely think she’s someone would be like, yeah, he definitely made me cry. You know, he definitely made me do, you know, dozens of takes. But, you know, for her, that was part of the process and felt like I understand that, which feels very dated thinking in that way now. Right. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: And I think I do appreciate that putting in the Anjelica Huston, someone who, you know, sort of was around at the time, and her reaction to it was that this was something that was not that was beyond appropriate. This was not a it’s something that you had like, oh, a difficult director and a and a talented performer like that. This was a, a level of I mean, just like, workplace harassment, you know. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


That would be unacceptable today, you know, and I think it’s good, too, that we have moved in this, in this, direction where it wouldn’t be a question like if your main actress is sobbing because you’re berating her on set, like there be no question that that wouldn’t—


Alison Leiby: You know, it wouldn’t be acceptable. It would be like immediately something that people would be like, this is not behavior that we allow anymore, like, whatever. But back then it was a different grayer. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: Area. 


Halle Kiefer:  Yeah. And Anjelica Houston in this article she says like, of the performance, she actually carried the movie on her back. If you look at it now, because Jack wavers between sort of comedic and terrifying, and that’s how I feel watching it is like it is her performance because she is playing it. She is our everywoman. She is the normal person. Once Jack Nicholson goes over the top, she’s the only one grounding us and she really is excellent. But again, and at what psychological cost? Like, you know, yeah. Please, take a look at that. And then the other thing I want to talk about is, of course, Room 237. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Which is our documentary. And we’re just going to run down. 


Alison Leiby: The four theories? 


Halle Kiefer: The conspiracies or whatever. And so basically also please watch this. If you liked The Shining, if you haven’t seen it, I definitely think it’s worth, watching, even though I am about to to shit all over it, but that my shitting all over it is not a question of like, oh, is it wrong to look for these things? Or even is are these topics here? I personally think there is a limit to the value in looking for hidden messages. 


Alison Leiby: I agree. 


Halle Kiefer: In a piece of art, rather than just taking the art in total, like the idea of like looking for like different clues. I get it, but it’s just I don’t think that that’s how you could understand a movie. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah like it’s. 


Halle Kiefer:  And I don’t think it makes it better. I don’t know.


Alison Leiby: I think like there’s a level of like looking at detail and seeing how. It is a part of a bigger story being told. And I think that that as like an English literature major, like that was something I loved about, like dissecting a work. But when you’re trying to take the details and say it’s actually saying this, that’s when I’m like, yeah, I don’t know. I mean, I think one out of 1000 times, that’s probably a true thing. 


Halle Kiefer: Right. So here we’re going to we’re going to run this down. And also I think some of these theories aren’t theories are just like oh something that absolutely was in. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: The movie. And the first one of course, is the through line of sort of the genocide of Native American people. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Now to me and they’re like, oh, you know, in the store room, you see, for example, at one point behind Dick Hallorann, you see a Calumet baking powder canister. My thing about this is they told us it’s buried on an ancient Indian burial ground. We know that this is—


Alison Leiby: Like the American West. Like is. I mean, like, is much more, I think, in, in touch with the people who lived there before white settlers than the East Coast, which I feel like really push us down, indigenous history. So it’s like, yeah, of course there’s going to be like visual motifs. There’s going to be like acknowledgments. And that way, like, I don’t know why it was like supposed to be a mind blowing, that it was like, this movie deals a bit with Native American history when like, of course it does. [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: Yes. So that’s one where I’m like, okay, like and it’s, it’s reference directly like understandably. Okay, here’s another one. The Holocaust. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And so the here are the clues that people use in in Room 237 the documentary. There’s a repeated reference to the number 42. 42 is essentially when Hitler’s, grand design went into effect. Right? To me, that is so tenuous as to be an insane thing to say. They think that all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Dull boy. Is a reference to sort of the, work makes free like, you know, sort of the, the ethos of, you know, sort of like being put in a work camps. There is also at one point, Jack Nicholson has a yellow eagle shirt on his shirt, which the the argument is that it’s a Nazi emblem. It’s just an a an eagle.


Alison Leiby: Also if you were in Germany wearing a shirt with an eagle on it. Okay, maybe I’m a little more interested in drawing that line in America. Like it’s our. It’s like our bird separate from like like— [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: That’s right. Yeah. And I was just like, I don’t know about that. Okay. So this one okay. Maybe it’s sort of the the motif of the labyrinth and the minotaur. So sort of like the idea. 


Alison Leiby: Oh yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Of the maze is a labyrinth and Jack is sort of is the Minotaur, this creature hunting down his child. And I’m like, I guess I don’t know, like to me it’s like, that’s an interesting idea to bring to it. Well, I think—


Alison Leiby: There’s like there’s also such a difference when like, you talk about this kind of like film critique and theory where it’s like, maybe that’s like we absorb like different stories and archetypes and all of these things as, like people who create art. And it’s like, I am sure that Stanley Kubrick was very aware of, like, the myth of the Minotaur, or whether he was trying to show like that is just just, you know, there are like 12 stories ever. And everything that we see is kind of drawn from like, the same kind of few narratives. And like, that is one. And I’m sure he was aware of it, but it’s also not like what it’s about. [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: Oh, there’s also the other thing. And then there’s also like a poster of a skier that the like that looks like the Minotaur and I’m like, I don’t know.


Alison Leiby: Guys, I don’t know, it’s a stretch. 


Halle Kiefer: And then finally and of course, you know, the most. 


Alison Leiby: Interesting and controversial conspiracy theory. 


Halle Kiefer: Well, which is that this is in fact, Stanley Kubrick admitting that he shot the fake Apollo 11 moon landing footage. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: And, basically, that has long been a rumor that it was fake footage of them landing on them on the moon. Some of the references, Danny, does wear an Apollo 11. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Sweater. Some people say that 237 is refers to the mean distance of the Earth to the moon. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


There’s also things like the carpet pattern. It looks like the launching pad. And I’m like, I guess. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, yeah, there’s a lot of little I feel like I remember there was one where I was like, it’s kind of interesting. Like, not in a way that would like sway me, but I was like, right. That at least felt like a there was I just can’t remember what the detail was. But there was one detail I was like, that very much fits the story you want to tell. 


Halle Kiefer: Yes. Yeah. And I don’t know. I mean, look, I, I, I got an English history degree, so I took one class that was literally like, it was about. Oh, my God, what is that? What? Dracula. Is that the name of the book? 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Bram Stoker’s Dracula. And it was like, oh, the Dracula as the typewriter, Dracula as women liberations. 


Alison Leiby: Yes mm hmm. 


Halle Kiefer: Dracula as integration into Europe. And that’s interesting. But it wasn’t saying, like, if you look really close, that’s what it’s saying. It’s saying like, here’s the things that were happening that would have informed us. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: So I think to me it’s like perhaps you could say, oh, was he aware of that myth about him and that perhaps he could have put these things in? Because I think it’s sort of like, I don’t know, it’s like when, like gay people make jokes about, like what conservatives say about us and they’re like, that’s proof that it’s true. It’s like, no, we consume the same media. You do, we hear you.


Alison Leiby: Yes. This isn’t a vacuum like this, these things speak to each other. And that’s kind of the point. 


Halle Kiefer: Right? Like the idea that he’d be like, oh, this is an admission. Rather than if there is something there. You don’t think he’s poking fun at that rumor? I mean, like, come on. But that’s my opinion about it. 


Alison Leiby: It’s like, if you like the movie. Yeah, it’s a fun it’s very it’s not done well. It’s like whatever. But it is kind of a fun, like, you know, Sunday night, let’s watch something kind of weird, like, it’s a, it’s a fun it’s a fun watch. I think it’s on Netflix. 


Halle Kiefer: I saw it’s super stoned. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


That’s the way I see it. I will say the budget is was $5,426. So I would say for that budget—


Alison Leiby: Impressive. I mean yeah, there’s like there’s no talking. It’s just like, footage. 


Halle Kiefer: Alison, let’s put this on the spooky scale. 


[voice over]: A spooky scare. 


Alison Leiby: I think like that while, like, I don’t, there’s not a ton of, like, terrifying action done in this movie. Like I do find the scoring and just like general like the the unsettling nature of the movie to be very. I would give this a five. 


Halle Kiefer: Okay, great. I’m going to give this. I want to give it a five as well, because I really enjoyed it as sort of this tragic unraveling of this man that’s going to take this out of his family. And that was I think it’s a great movie. It just wasn’t there were I wasn’t spooked at any point. I wasn’t creeped out. I, I but to be fair, I mean, that could also be like this has been filtered to us, you know, for so many decades to perhaps have seen it in the theater. I’d been shocked. But what’s interesting is it actually, got kind of mixed reviews when it first came out and, to the point where they it was nominated at the first ever Razzies in 1981 for Worst Director and Worst Actress, and they later rescinded her, Razzie, because in 2022, out of sort of acknowledgment of Kubrick’s treatment of her, I’d say it’s like, well, it sounds like it was hard. We didn’t mean to make it worse by giving you a Razzie. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: Also she’s great in it. Like—


Alison Leiby: She’s like, I think they’re great, even separate from what was going on on set. Like, I don’t think that that she gives a bad performance at all. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. All right. I think that feels right. Everyone, thank you so much for listening. 


Alison Leiby: Thank you. Super sized fun, fun episode. This is the only one like this ever, because there’s no other movies that I’ve seen that we’re going to do.


Halle Kiefer: Right because we saw Scream. And this one I want to say that. Oh, did you see Saw? Get Out. That’s what it was. 


Alison Leiby: And Saw, Get Out [both speaking] I don’t know, I don’t know, like, who hasn’t seen it. Like, I don’t know, but we’ll we’ll figure it out.


Halle Kiefer: We’ll have to do it. All right, everyone, thank you so much for joining us. We love you very much. 


Alison Leiby: And please keep it spooky. 


Halle Kiefer: Don’t forget to follow us at Ruined podcasts and Crooked Media on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok for show updates. And if you’re just as opinionated as we are, consider dropping us a review. Ruined is a Radio Point and Crooked Media production, we’re your writers and hosts Halle Kiefer and Alison Leiby. This show is executive produced by Alex Bach, Sabrina Fonfeder and Houston Snyder, and recorded and edited by Kat Iossa. From Crooked Media our executive producer is Kendra James with production and promotional support from Ari Schwartz, Kyle Seglin, Julia Beach, Caroline Dunphy, and Ewa Okulate.