The Umbrella Academy’s pays a haunting tribute to The Shining

The Umbrella Academy is back on Netflix, bringing with them their standard selection of pop culture references, including a tribute to cinema’s spookiest layover, the brilliant‘s Overlook Hotel.

Based on Stephen King’s 1977 novel, the brilliant was directed by cinematic master Stanley Kubrick. Released in 1980, it is the story of Jack Torrance, who, taking his wife and child, moves into the empty Overlook Hotel, to act as caretaker during the closed winter season. As the film develops, it becomes apparent that the hotel is haunted and the spirits have an alarming effect on Jack. Back in the 1960s, the Umbrella Academy found themselves replaced by a rival team of superhero siblings known as the Sparrows. Unwelcome at home, the gang takes refuge in the Obsidian hotel.


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The Umbrella AcademyThe final season of paid a touching and unsettling tribute to Stanley Kubrick’s horror film spectacular, The brilliant. Even Klaus’ introduction of the hotel in Episode 1, “Meet the Family,” has parallels with Kubrick’s film. Entering the hotel lobby followed closely by his siblings, Klaus states that “in its heyday, it welcomed world leaders”. When Jack Torrance first sees the Overlook, he is informed that “in its heyday, it was one of the jet setters’ stops. They had four presidents staying there”. The similarity of vocabulary recalls the brilliant on the immediate introduction of the Obsidian Hotel.


Upon arrival, the gang explore their new surroundings, providing the audience with a delightful reference to the infamous twins from Kubrick’s classic. A very fast tracking shot passes a hallway as two similarly dressed women walk towards the camera, mimicking the iconic shot of the brilliant, where twin girls in blue dresses beg Jack’s son, Danny, to come play. The Umbrella Academy is soon joined by Diego’s son, Stan. Obviously short for Stanley, it’s a clear reference to Kubrick’s first name. Stan would later become part of the plot when he came across the White Buffalo Suite.


The White Buffalo Suite becomes the most important place in the hotel because Umbrella Academy Season 3 is developing. Initially, Harlan and Klaus weren’t allowed into the room, but entered anyway. Later in the series, the sequel becomes part of the time travel narrative, bringing together strands from this season and before, all the way to the climactic end of the season.

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In Kubrick’s film, Danny wanders around room 237, curious about a ball rolling out the door. After entering, he is attacked by a disheveled old woman. Jack investigates, where he instead finds a beautiful young woman in the bath. The woman gets out of the bath and kisses Jack, then quickly deteriorates back into the hideous old crone who attacked Danny. Danny is told never to enter the room, just as Harlan was initially instructed.


In King’s original novel, the room is actually number 217 and explicitly links all the deaths and associated hauntings that beset the hotel. The room’s importance in the novel mirrors the importance of the White Buffalo Suite, the two central locations from which all ancillary actions emanate.

Inside Harlan’s room at the hotel, the walls are decorated with wallpaper featuring the same pattern as the Overlook’s signature rug. The model was specially ordered for the brilliant and has been a staple horror reference ever since. The pattern is presented as an Easter egg in American Horror Story: Hotel and even toy story. Other wallpaper everywhere The Umbrella AcademyHotel Obsidian features leaf and wood patterns in dark green tones. Combined with the hotel’s evolving complexity and labyrinthine layout, these patterns are reminiscent of the Overlook’s hedge maze, in which the brilliantthe bloody climax of would take place. This complements Obsidian’s growing sense of claustrophobia and lends the setting a sense of impending dread.


Carpet-patterned evil twins, The Umbrella Academy repeatedly demonstrates its attention to detail and textual reference through a masterful tribute to Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece, The brilliant. After the season’s release on Netflix, it’s only a matter of time before the Obsidian Hotel reveals any more secrets.

Season 3 of The Umbrella Academy is now streaming on Netflix.

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