Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Something in the Blood

As much as I love Kubrick's The Shining, I'm a little ashamed to say that the subject of this posting is something of which I've only recently become aware. The landmark image of a torrent of blood cascading out of an elevator at the Overlook Hotel is one of cinematic Horror's most indelible sights, but I did not know that there has been some controversy regarding it. As the deluge begins pouring out, there appears to be...something...that flops onto the floor as the blood flows over and around it. What is it? A body? Some part of a mechanism that held the liquid in abeyance until Kubrick called "Action"? Or is it a trick of the light? One needs to look very, very carefully -- but there does appear to be something there.

British filmmaker and amateur psychologist Rob Ager crafted a video examination of the footage, and posted it on YouTube --

Now, thanks to Xurgonic, we have a CGI recreation of the sequence, digitally "thickening" the viscosity of the liquid so that it flows more heavily, like real hemoglobin --

This has been highlighted on a number of movie sites this last week, with a "Gee, but isn't it interesting what they can do with computers now?" angle to the coverage. But what Xurgonic's efforts may have supplied is an answer to what, if anything, there is "falling" out of the bloodspill --

For comparison's sake, here's the original trailer --

Whaddaya think? Mystery solved?

1 comment:

knobgobbler said...

I'd never heard of this 'controversy' either... but despite the 'explanation' it still looks to my eye like something solid hits the floor and diverts part of the splash. It wouldn't have been that hard to do intentionally by having the object on a tethered pole of some sort that would be pushed out by the liquid and fall in a fairly precise manner, and stay where it hit.
Interesting that people put so much effort into examining this.