‘Don’t worry, Mom,’ says Danny Torrance in The Shining. ‘I know everything about cannibalism. I saw a program on it on TV.’
It’s an early scene in the film. Danny and his parents are in their car, heading for the Overlook Hotel and talking about the Donner-Reed Party, a group of US pioneers who in 1846 became snowbound and resorted to eating those in their number who froze to death in order to survive. Cannibalism doesn’t feature again in the film – the plentifully stocked pantry negates the need for the Torrances to resort to such things – but on the topic itself Danny speaks for all of us. For the average Joe, cannibalism is something we come to know through the occasional news story, TV documentaries and, chiefly, cinema.
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