Detailed maps of the Overlook Hotel, from The Shining

That Stanley Kubrick's film The Shining features a wealth of subtle references is not in doubt, not least the inconsistent geography of the Overlook Hotel, which seems unremarkable at first viewing but becomes a brain-worm of weirdness when you think about it. Trying to map it out was a fetish of the early 2010s web, but I recalled those efforts ending as inconclusively as the location of the Gold Room. With the sequel coming soon, I decided to check in, and can happily report that the Overlook mappers have taken it to the next level.

Check out this beaut:

The Overlook is not exceptional amongst Kubrick's films for its disequilibrium.

The interior of The Overlook doesn't at all begin to fit with either the exterior on the studio set or the real life exterior of the Timberline in Oregon. At first glance it seems he might have had it constructed to fit with the set exterior, but he didn't. Eventually one realizes that there is likely only one window in the whole of the film that works with the interior, and only one entry/exit likewise. Nor do the different parts of the hotel's interior connect together in the way Kubrick visually leads one to believe. His manner of editing establishes assumptions, but those assumptions are wrong. One finds that the only possible room in the second floor section around which Danny cycles, is room 237.

I think that Kubrick's obsessive, idiosyncratic approach to cinematic composition is the only true reason for the hotel's impossible geography. Each scene is a perfect landscape, each location a unique environment, connected to one another only abstractly to form the Overlook Hotel's sinister whole. So the disorientation that results from trying to rationalize a map is an unintended but exquisitely consonant side-effect of Kubrick's disinterest in one.

The only exceptions are flourishes whose impact is immediate and self-contained, such as the infinite maze shot.