Room 237

"Very Good"

Room 237 Review


It's great fun to explore geeky theories about Stanley Kubrick's iconic horror film The Shining, even if most of them are too spurious to take seriously. As it outlines each theory, this documentary takes us deep into the film, often frame-by-frame, to discover things we'd never seen. It's so ridiculously nerdy that it makes us laugh. But it also helps us re-examine Kubrick's playful genius.

Subtitled "Being an Inquiry Into The Shining in 9 Parts", the documentary gives five movie obsessives a chance to explain their observations, complete with whatever evidence they can find to support their ideas. Obviously, these people have far too much time on their hands, watching the film over and over again to find the tiniest evidence that, for example, the film's real message is about the Holocaust and the genocide of Native Americans. While this seems rather far-fetched, we may agree that Kubrick may have been subtly exploring the way we suppress dark chapters in human history.

Director Ascher mixes in clips from other movies, including most of Kubrick's filmography, along with animated sequences that illustrate things like the wacky floorplan of The Shining's Overlook Hotel, which Kubrick clearly used to disorient audiences. Some of these theories are hilarious, such as clips that supposedly demonstrate Kubrick's glee at subverting Stephen King's source novel. And then there's the detailed theory that the film's pivotal Room 237 proves how Kubrick faked the Apollo 11 moon landing on a soundstage. (Well, the moon is 237,000 miles from earth.)

Many of these ideas actually say more about Kubrick's style of filmmaking than anything else, such as an experiment in which the film is overlaid with itself playing forwards and backwards. And in the end, we get the feeling that you could find something hidden in The Shining that would prove almost anything imaginable. Cinema lovers will certainly enjoy the chance to explore repeating images and themes throughout Kubrick's work. And the opportunity to dig into such an iconic film in enjoyably offbeat ways.

Rich Cline


Room 237

Facts and Figures

Genre: Documentaries

Run time: 102 mins

In Theaters: Friday 26th October 2012

Box Office USA: $0.3M

Distributed by: IFC Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 93%
Fresh: 113 Rotten: 8

IMDB: 6.3 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Rodney Ascher

Producer: Tim Kirk

Starring: Bill Blakemore as Himself, Geoffrey Cocks as Himself, Juli Kearns as Herself, John Fell Ryan as Himself, Jay Weidner as Himself, Buffy Visick as VHS enthusiast

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Murder on the Orient Express Movie Review

Murder on the Orient Express Movie Review

The latest adaptation of Agatha Christie's 83-year-old classic whodunit, this lavish, star-studded film is old-style...

Paddington 2 Movie Review

Paddington 2 Movie Review

The first Paddington movie in 2014 is already such a beloved classic that it's hard...

A Bad Moms Christmas Movie Review

A Bad Moms Christmas Movie Review

Everyone's back from last year's undemanding adult comedy, plus some starry new cast members, for...

Brawl in Cell Block 99 Movie Review

Brawl in Cell Block 99 Movie Review

Filmmaker S. Craig Zahler brought a blast of offbeat creativity to the Western genre two...

The Death of Stalin Movie Review

The Death of Stalin Movie Review

Fans of the film In the Loop and the TV series Veep will definitely not...

Call Me By Your Name Movie Review

Call Me By Your Name Movie Review

Set in northern Italy in the summer of 1983, this internationally flavoured drama is a...

Thor: Ragnarok Movie Review

Thor: Ragnarok Movie Review

The most riotously enjoyable Marvel movie yet, this action epic benefits hugely from the decision...

Advertisement
Breathe Movie Review

Breathe Movie Review

While this biopic has the standard sumptuous production values of a British period drama, it's...

The Snowman Movie Review

The Snowman Movie Review

With a cast and crew packed with A-list talent, this film seems like it should...

The Party Movie Review

The Party Movie Review

Comedies don't get much darker than this pitch-black British movie, written and directed by Sally...

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

Noah Baumbach (Frances Ha) is on his way to becoming the new Woody Allen, which...

6 Below Movie Review

6 Below Movie Review

Based on an astonishing true survival story, this film is subtitled "Miracle on the Mountain",...

Mother Movie Review

Mother Movie Review

Darren Aronofsky doesn't make fluffy movies, and has only had one genuine misfire (2014's Noah)....

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

It's been 35 years since Ridley Scott's 1982 sci-fi classic, which was set in 2019....

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.