Twelve Minutes has garnered a lot of attention for its star-studded cast of voice actors, but its influences from Hollywood also appear to come from Stanley Kubrick, particularly in one noticeable trailer nod to The Shining. An indie creation by developer Luis Antonio and published by Annapurna Interactive, Twelve Minutes focuses on a man stuck in a time loop during an evening in which he finds out his wife is pregnant, and a police officer comes to arrest his wife for the murder of his father. James McAvoy, Daisy Ridley, and Willem Dafoe lend their talents to the Twelve Minutes‘ three-character cast, but this other film connection is only present to eagle-eyed viewers of the trailer.
Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 horror classic is based off of a Stephen King novel, though the film adaption differs significantly. Kubrick is revered as a film director, and his body of work – comprised of many other classics, including 2001: A Space Odyssey and Full Metal Jacket – is widely influential. Oddly, one of the most iconic parts of The Shining is the hexagonal carpet pattern used throughout the Overlook Hotel. This distinctive and memorable carpet is Twelve Minutes‘ connection to the horror film.
Twelve Minutes takes place inside the aforementioned couple’s three-room apartment, and the floor of the hallway right outside the front door bears the same pattern as that of the Overlook. It’s extremely unlikely that Twelve Minutes actually takes place within the Overlook Hotel (what a twist that would be), since the apartment doesn’t bear much of a resemblance to a hotel room, but the reference to The Shining is quite overt.
The extremely recognizable carpet is not a coincidence, and according to some correspondence Antonio had with Kotaku six years ago, the films of Kubrick were influential to the development of Twelve Minutes. Antonio claims that Kubrick’s work helped him realize how artists “can use [their] medium to its full extent. Like in The Shining, the way he sets up the shots, the color palette or the spatial layout, all expanding on the themes he is exploring.” Aside from the direct reference with the carpet, Twelve Minutes‘ top-down perspective is also reminiscent of Kubrick’s tendency to utilize one-point perspective in his cinematography.
Kotaku did mention that Antonio “thinks he’ll remove the carpet from the finished game,” but it appears to be present in the final build, since it can clearly be seen in the Twelve Minutes launch trailer. Though the inclusion of the carpet is likely nothing more than a nod to the film, it’s a timely celebration considering this year is the centennial anniversary of the Overlook’s July 4 Ball. The convolution of time is also a prominent theme in The Shining, and the inclusion of the Overlook Hotel’s signature carpet in Twelve Minutes reinforces the developer’s own work while paying homage to a major inspiration.