There are what seems like an endless number of references that American Horror Story: Hotel has already poured all over us in the first few episodes of this season. You can't turn your head in any direction in the Hotel Cortez without catching sight of a straight up serial killer from history or someone that is at least based on one. After last week's episode, it's clear that the hotel has become a character in it's own right and the references to The Shining have been reaching out and practically punching us in the face.
Obviously when they announced the setting for the new season of American Horror Story, it immediately brought forth nostalgia bubbles filled with visions of the most horrifying hotels/motels/hostels in cinema history. Well, I am willing to bet my Starbucks card that The Shining was likely somewhere at the tippity top of everyone's lists. Not only is the movie a classic horror film, but it managed to scare people in a deep psychological way, which is something that American Horror Story has been in the business of achieving to near perfection for four seasons now.
Since The Shining seems to be deeply rooted in the Hotel Cortez, let's take a look at the references to the classic film thus far. Remember, we are only two episodes in and I am sure there will be more allusions to come.
1. The Carpet
I mean, this is a straight up homage that basically sits in your lap. The iconic carpet from The Shining is almost exactly replicated in the Hotel Cortez. Immediately, it brings you straight back to the claustrophobic Overlook Hotel.
2. Creepy Kids, Man
One of the newer things we were introduced to in American Horror Story: Hotel is the slew of creepy children that are crawling out of every nook and cranny of the place. I think everyone with a brain stem can recall the two ghost girls, dressed identically in The Shining. Their creep factor was chilling and the identically dressed kids of AHS are definitely achieving that status as well.
3. The Significance Of Room #64
In The Shining, Room #237 (in the book it's actually #217) is where all of the unnerving things happen and that room is referenced many times throughout the film as a place you do not want to lay your head. In American Horror Story: Hotel, it's Room #64 that brings the unfortunate shenanigans and it's the room that Iris says they "never rent out." Both rooms are found to have some truly scary pasts attached to them. Room #237 in The Shining was the scene of a suicide and room #64 in AHS:Hotel was the dubious Mr. March's "office" where he killed many of his victims.
4. Extremely Loyal Maids
The story of The Shining was born from Stephen King's uneasy stay at the The Stanley Hotel in Colorado and much of the book/film is based off his experience there. He discovered that The Stanley once had a gas leak occur in room #217 which lead to an explosion that injured a chamber maid. The injured maid lived and ended up working for The Stanley as the head chambermaid until she died. But, guests say that she's still roaming the halls, folding clothing and tidying up like she did her entire life. If that's not loyalty then I don't know what is. Similar to this tale, American Horror Story: Hotel just let us in on the tragic story of Mr. March's maid, who faithfully cleaned up after his disgusting deeds (she just used love to scrub out those blood stains, y'all) until the very end when she asked him to kill her before he killed himself. Best friends.
5. The Bar Scenes
Both Detective Lowe from American Horror Story: Hotel and Jack Torrance from The Shining enter our lives as sober beings, living that sober life. The scene where Jack breaks his sobriety and is served a Bourbon by the ghostly bartender was directly alluded to in this week's AHS: Hotel episode. Detective Lowe is seduced into drinking at a creepy, almost empty bar while he listens to Iris tell the tale of Mr. March. Both men end up at these hotel bars where they end their commitment to sobriety and both men tell deeply tragic tales involving their own lives while doing so. The bar in AHS: Hotel even looked like The Gold Room bar from The Shining.
We're only two episodes in, and The Shining references are everywhere, so keep your eyes peeled for more as the season progresses!
Images: Screnshot/FX (4); Giphy (3)