EntertainmentHow Stanley Kubrick's The Shining Influenced Joseph Kosinski's Spiderhead

How Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining Influenced Joseph Kosinski’s Spiderhead


In “Spiderhead,” Kosinski tells the story of a group of prisoners (including Miles Teller) living in a very unusual penitentiary run by a pharmaceutical genius (Chris Hemsworth), but instead of doing normal prison stuff, they’re used as lab rats for mood-altering drugs. The outside of the Spiderhead facility is angular and aggressively futuristic. Think of the palace for a villain in “Dune,” but the inside is relaxingly modern in a West Elm kind of way. If Crate & Barrel designed a prison, you get kind of close. 

In the same way that the Overlook Hotel dominates the actions of the characters in “The Shining,” it sounds like Kosinski’s facility in “Spiderhead” brings its own motivations to the table. Certainly, Kubrick, who was famously a perfectionist about everything, was incredibly particular about the role architecture played in his movies, and it sounds like Kosinski takes it pretty damn seriously too:

“I find I get a lot of pleasure out of setting the frame and trying to make the most of every moment, regardless if it’s an insert or a wide shot, never let any shot go to waste because you have this opportunity to create something special, so try to do that at every moment … From a process point of view, I do feel like there’s a lot of parallels between architecture and filmmaking. The script and the blueprint are related. The role of an architect and having to create a building.”

It might not be an unusual sliver of inspiration, but it’s a fun one nonetheless. So get your double feature ready and queue up one of the greatest horror movies of all time, “The Shining,” along with Kosinski’s latest, “Spiderhead.” Maybe it’ll inspire a new series of Pinterest boards.



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