The Shining is one of my favorite horror movies of all time, and as I’ve previously written here before, I think potentially one of the best and most complex films of all time. It’s a film that a lot of people know and have seen but haven’t ever really taken the time to ponder the deeper themes or implications of. It’s one of my favorites for that reason alone, because watching it with a friend who claims to have seen it before, and “got it”, and then blowing their mind with the myriad weird details about the impossible architecture, subliminal meanings, commentary on cultural genocide, and of course the entire nature of the film itself being potentially not even supernatural at all. For the longest time though, finding out any of this information was only available online, either in long, relatively boring essays, or complicated, drawn out YouTube videos narrated poorly by some english dude with a lisp. Well that looks to change with the release of Room 237.
Room 237 is a documentary about all of the hidden, background themes in The Shining, be they present, extrapolated, or projected. Anything from thoughts about the Apollo 11 moon landing that Kubrick allegedly faked, to Native American genocide, to Hitler’s genocide, and I’m sure a slew more in between.
The best thing about this trailer, and at the same time the worst, is how little it shows. It’s essentially an unfunny parody of the original trailer for The Shining, only without the infamous elevator doors, which are now replaced by a VCR. It’s clever enough I think, but at the same time I think it’s one of the few cases where less isn’t more, but is still less. A more traditional trailer with snippets of talking heads briefly mentioning the topics that will inevitably be covered in the film would have been nice. It’s funny because I almost never say anything like that, and usually prefer more creative or inventive trailers like this one. I just happen to think the case is different for documentaries, since you’re really watching a movie about a movie, little clips that would “spoil” things aren’t really that big of a deal, since the point is to spark thought and debate to begin with.
Room 237 is out now on a lot of VOD services, and in limited theaters (although good luck finding one playing it), so not only can you watch this trailer and be intrigued, but you can probably walk over to your Xbox/PS3/iTunes/Amazon/whatever and spark up the film to watch for yourself right then and there. It’s a film almost certainly worth watching if you’re a fan of The Shining, I know I am and I can’t wait to see it.