The Shining (1980) is a more multi-layered horror/thriller movie than most in the genre during the early 1970’s and 1980’s. The basic idea is: is the “possession” of Jack (Jack Nicholson) really a supernatural happening?
Is he acting strangely because he has lost his mind, whatever mental illness fits the description, but maybe he’s a violent, bad man rather than someone acutely sick?
Or is he possessed by a supernatural force or personality, such as a demon?
Frightening, perhaps sickening stuff. Certainly, it’s gripping and suspenseful. But what’s happened to Jack?
What Jack does is wrong, but this movie is asking what the cause is.
What caused his erratic change from normal to extremist acts that may be can’t explained rationally?
Even so, iis his change of behaviour rationally explained or supernaturally explained? It seems no one knows. It could be explained one way or another, but not just one way.
In the end, why? Who knows?
From a biblical perspective, it’s clear there’s a Devil and people who get possessed by devils.From today’s psychological perspective, there are rational reasons for people’s behaviour.
Yet, The Shining does not seem to take either standpoint as gospel. This has opened up the possibility for both to true, and the supernatural realm a distinct reality even in a secular society.
The supernatural world is something the Bible points to. The Biblical narrative is of a supernatural God, who is All-Powerful, and presiding over the affairs of human beings. In the Bible, there a God who is spirit and powerful, but there is also an opposing entity or personality that seeks to usurp God’s rights over the earth and the people in it.
The Shining doesn’t define the possible supernatural force in the film in those terms; it does not say, and it may not know.
But the Bible, literally taken, gives us a clear picture of the supernatural world the Bible says we live in, and that The Shining may or may not implicitly reflect.
On the other hand, the rational reasoning behind Jack’s change of behaviour is a school of thought that is more apparent this century and last century as psychology and psychiatry looked to explained human phenomena.
Is the Biblical view and the modern view opposed? And how would distinguishing the two school of thoughts arrive at a better explanation for Jack’s behaviour?
It seems both worldviews are opposed on the surface, but if one looks at the structure and reasoning patterns of the books in the Bible, there is logic and reason at work.
In the Bible, logic and reason are not displaced by the supernatural and spiritual worldview. Both co-exist.
So, even as the Bible portrays a supernatural world and a use of rational reasoning, we still don’t know why Jack went off his head. A rational or a supernatural cause? Maybe bring in the doctor and the exorcist? One thing is sure: demons do leave a person in the name of Jesus.