Saying that the fictional Overlook Hotel in the Rocky Mountains is one of the most iconic movie settings ever is not an exaggeration. In Kubrick’s masterly The Shining, the secluded hotel is the perfect setting for the mental collapse of its winter caretaker, Jack Torrance. The beguiling nature of this location is an important factor in the enduring lure of the movie, and the hotel features heavily in many theories about the film.
So who wouldn’t want to take a virtual stroll on the premises of the Overlook Hotel? That is exactly what this 360 degrees video offers. Visual artist Claire Hentschker painstakingly recreated the hotel (and the other locations in the movie) from the film’s footage itself. Starting from still frames, three dimensional models were created (using a process known as photogrammetry). The result is an eerie 3D environment that you can experience in 360 degrees while the camera takes you along the same trajectory that Kubrick’s Steadicam followed in the original movie.
Since everything was recreated from the imagery in the movie, this means that this resulting 360 degree version is necessarily incomplete. It looks ragged, frayed, torn. In these times of photorealistic CGI and of immersive VR, such incompleteness might be perceived as a weakness. But the opposite is true here. The nightmarish imperfection of the visuals turns this video into much more than just a gimmicky recreation of the beloved (and bewitched) hotel. This rendition is more a mental image than an architectural one. You’re not just cruising through the corridors of the Overlook Hotel: you’re drifting through the warped mind of Jack Torrance himself.