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 things in prison, they are used as laboratory rats for psychotropic drugs. The exterior of the Spiderhead facility is angular and aggressively futuristic. Think palace for a villain in “Dune,” but the interior is relaxingly modern in West Elm fashion. If Crate & Barrel designed a prison, you’re getting a bit close.

In the same way that the Overlook Hotel dominates the characters’ actions in “The Shining,” it seems that Kosinski’s setup in “Spiderhead” brings its own motivations to the table. Granted, Kubrick, who was known to be a perfectionist about everything, was incredibly picky about the role architecture played in his movies, and it seems Kosinski takes that pretty seriously too:

“I find I really enjoy setting the frame and trying to make the most of every moment, whether 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 every moment… From a process point of view, I feel like there are a lot of parallels between architecture and cinema . The scenario and the plan are linked. The role of an architect and the need to create a building.”

It might not be an unusual source of inspiration, but it’s fun nonetheless. So get your double feature ready and line up one of the greatest horror movies of all time, “The Shining,” as well as Kosinski’s latest “Spiderhead.” Maybe this will inspire a new set of Pinterest boards.



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