‘Room 237’ will make you never forget ‘The Shining’

Josh Carlton

If you’re not familiar with Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining” I highly suggest you see it. Then see it again. Then see it one more time. For those that have watched (and enjoyed) it, forget for a second that it scared you because of its on-the-surface content, and remember all the underlying factors that made you uneasy.

“Room 237” is a documentary that gives us the thoughts of six different interviewees who still can’t get the film out of their heads. Those being interviewed are never shown onscreen, just heard. Director Rodney Ascher compiles visuals from “The Shining” as well as other Kubrick works to accommodate their words and emphasize the points they make.

Kubrick has had a lasting impact on the culture of film. With movies like “2001: A Space Odyssey” and “Dr. Strangelove” in his back pocket, the man has inspired more of today’s filmmakers, than he hasn’t. It’s not hard to see why either. Movies become classics because there was something about them that all of us can’t let go of. “The Shining” is a classic, because it stays with you long after the credits roll. Some would say this is because of the psychological terror inflicted upon the Torrance family. Others might say because of Stephen King’s creepy book the film was based on. The doc’s guess? Kubrick is toying with us the entire movie, subconsciously driving us as mad as Jack Torrance.

The claims made in “Room 237” range from subliminal messages indicating the Native American war, the holocaust and a staged Apollo mission. Whether any of them are true is up for debate, but I don’t think that’s entirely the point. When watching a movie, you take what you want from it. That’s the beauty of art- it’s subjective. One’s mans trash is another man’s treasure; so to speak.  The documentary reminds us of this by showing the interpretations in a bare bones, uncut fashion; making the viewer feel like the obsessive conversations taking place are happening in real time.

After watching it, you may start to feel obsessed too. It’s hard not to get caught up with the ideas these cinephiles present, especially if “The Shining” spoke to you. Then again, some may think these theories are a bit nutty. Personally, I feel that “Room 237” is a captivatingly eerie love letter to a haunting masterpiece, and a must-watch for any Kubrick fan.ピアノ買取