Recently, I was watching (for the millionth time) Stanley Kubrik's The Shining.

One of my favourite scene is the first meeting between Jack Torrance and Lloyd.

At the beginning of that scene, we see a angry Jack that walks the hallway making some gestures of annoyance (or pure rage, Wendy had just accused him of having tried to strangle Danny).

On the left of the screen, we can see some mirrors in which Jack is reflected while he walks, but when he is near the Gold Room (the bar where he gets in and meet Lloyd), the mirror doesn't reflect Jack anymore.

Is this a clue that Jack is about to enter a "world of fantasy" created by the Overlook Hotel? Or is this simply a matter of perspective due to the camera movement?

Here the link of that scene, the mirror that I'm talking about appears near the 25th second of that video

  • 1
    Can you specify where the mirrors don't reflect him? He's clearly reflected in one of them (on the far right) as he approaches the bar, and in subsequent shots it's hard to see whether he's reflected or not because of the angle (as you suggested) and also the (ghost) bottles obscuring the mirrors.
    – Walt
    Commented Dec 4, 2015 at 15:35
  • Yes, i'm editing my question Commented Dec 4, 2015 at 15:46
  • 1
    I see, the last mirror in the hall. It's an interesting theory, but the fact that he reflects in the bar mirror after that (at 1:00 in the clip) makes me think it's just a perspective thing.
    – Walt
    Commented Dec 4, 2015 at 15:53
  • 2
    Jack is about 2x further from the camera than the mirror is when you can see his reflection, but at the moment you mention, he is the same distance (or closer) from the camera than the mirror is, so it is simply not possible to see his reflection. Is this a subtle practical effect to suggest a departure from reality, or simply an incidental element to the scene? Only Kubrik et.al. can say.
    – Yorik
    Commented Dec 4, 2015 at 15:59
  • It's perfectly acceptable! Another movie that uses something like that is David Fincher's Fight Club, where in a convex mirror Marla has no reflection, neither does Tyler, but the objects behind them had (you can see it here or the full explanation on this very good theory site) Commented Dec 4, 2015 at 18:45

1 Answer 1


I don't think it's foreshadowing. If you look at the chandeliers being reflected, Jack has already passed under the chandelier that is reflected in the last mirror, before that chandelier is shown. I.e. Jack is too close by the time he passes the last mirror to be shown in it.

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