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You’d think that a horror classic about a man dealing homicidal past life issues with his family and a charming period piece comedy about an assiduous hotel concierge and his lobby boy apprentice would have little to nothing in common. However, this amazing mashup of The Shining and The Grand Budapest Hotel flows so smoothly it makes you want to get out your tinfoil hat and ponder if it was too perfect.
A filmmaker named Steve Ramsden pieced together this spectacular cut, The Grand Overlook Hotel, which brilliantly showcases a rather disturbing compatibility between the two seemingly dissimilar dilemmas of the films’ characters. While the clip contains footage from Stanley Kubrick’s tension-teeming horror masterpiece, the power of peppy music and editing has somehow absorbed the late helmer’s work into the folksy, charming stylistics of Wes Anderson. In essence, as the clip’s labeling suggests, this has become The Shinning as it would be translated through the lens of Anderson’s kitschy filmmaking proclivities.
There have been plenty of Wes Anderson-style parody treatments that hilariously showcase how the director’s vintage-store-style of filmmaking translates to genre-inappropriate properties. However, this one in particular unravels in a neatly linear form that seems to surpass the simple notion of parody. For all intents and purposes, 1980’s The Shinning and 2014’s The Grand Budapest Hotel have spawned this hybrid dark comedy piece about a man who interviews for a job at a fancy hotel full of salacious secrets and experiences a mental breakdown and terrorizes the staff and his own family. It makes a surprisingly plausible case for a film in its own right.
Oddly enough, there are some unifying attributes here that may have supplied the success for this synthesis. Besides the glaringly obvious fact that both films take place in a spacious, extravagant hotel, situated in an isolated location, there are also some thematic parallels. As a controlling concierge of the Grand Budapest, Ralph Fiennes’ Gustave, the product of the hotel’s heyday, is the taskmaster of an operation attempting to keep past glory alive that inevitably leads to an ignominiously abandoned end as a desiccated, abandoned property. Likewise, Jack Nicholson’s Jack Torrance, in the ultimate irony, runs from his own personal alcohol-induced demons to the idyllic Overlook Hotel to find peace with his family and write his novel. Instead, it becomes quite apparent that his efforts only landed him face-to-face with an unknown horrific past that he was attempting to avoid.
In essence, both characters tenaciously carry out an elaborate exercise in futility, fighting fate. Thus, the results of this mashup clip seem to mesh well, not only because of the similarities in the setting, but due to a similar levels of defiance in the protagonists against an apparent inevitability. Well, at least, that’s just one theory, anyway.