Even though we’ve seen the horror of what the Overlook Hotel can do to people, we’re still not prepared for the ending that Stanley Kubrick gives us. While in the novel, Jack is blown up with the hotel when the boilers explode, in the movie, he dies, frozen in the snow after chasing his family through the hedge maze.
Then, the very last shot of the film shows us a photo in the Overlook’s hallway that shows Jack, very much alive in a photo dated July 4th, 1921 – 60 years before the events of the film. Does this mean he’s a ghost and will always be a part of the hotel – past and future? Or is that just someone else who looks like Jack? Even Stanley Kubrick wasn’t 100% sure, but the ambiguity is the most chilling part of the film.