I would think Stephen King would be more p|ssed about the just plain
awful documentary, Room 237, than the movie it's based on.
I need to make a retraction: Not one day had past when I wrote a review
that said the masterpiece The Shining should be taught in film schools,
I saw Room 237 and thought differently. Just enjoy the classic for what
it is. If you look as deep as these buffoons did, you're missing the
extreme pleasure it is just to watch it.
Let's get the "synopsis" out of the way so I can really tell you what's
going on: Five (or six?) strangers, unseen by viewers, provide their
conspiracy theories disguised as commentary of 1980's The Shining and
their stories range from wildly outrageous to downright nitpicking.
Meanwhile, as they're telling their stories, completely unfitting and
distractedly horrible stock film footage "paints" the picture of what
they're trying to convey. Too bad; neither their background nor the
stale footage is interesting.
And what gives? Why didn't anyone want to reveal themselves? Why
couldn't we see anyone? Hell, I would've preferred the standard
"professor in front of a bookcase with raised eyebrows" shot than Tom
Cruise (from Eyes Wide Shut) relentlessly and ridiculously playing one
of these invisible loonies. (I hope he threw a fit for being associated
I digress. I guess these are all "professionals" and are well-known,
well, to some. But, I've never heard of them, at least prior to the
showing and they only give me the impression that they're all snobs and
never held my attention for more than a few seconds. I'm glad I don't
know who they are, because I wouldn't care to follow them.
I get the point of the faux-pas "live" audio commentary. It was not
just to get the nobodies (to me) to tell their first or 1,500th feel
for The Shining, it was for them to desperately try to convince people
of the deeper meaning behind the movie, or at least, show the movie
goofs. Three theories that I can recall are extremely far-fetched, but
I guess people see what they want to see:
A> Director Kubrick made the movie about the oppression of the Native
B> Director Kubrick made the movie about the Nazi holocaust.
C> Director Kubrick made the movie about the "fake moon landing
footage." (This one was my favorite conspiracy theory and made me laugh
Now, I completely agree on the central theme: Kubrick was a genius in
his cinematic achievements and even without so much researching his
background, reading any of the books based on his life or even seeing
all his movies, I can see him adding many, if not hundreds, of
subliminal tidbits in his movies, namely, The Shining. So, some of what
these comedians were pointing out, made me raise an eyebrow, but not
I could go to any movie, masterpiece or not, and see the color blue in
every room, in one form or another and say the movie was about The
Great Depression. Heck, people read the Bible and can spend this much
time as Room 237 did to point out on how it fits their agenda.
At any rate, going back to the three biggest conspiracy theories, which
by the way, can't all be right at the same time or maybe, Kubrick
laid these breadcrumbs for fools to follow so he can be further amused
when he was alive, the Native American one was the most obvious. They
verbally spoke about and visually showed artifacts, paintings and
symbols throughout. My six-year-old niece, who shouldn't be watching
this scary movie in the first place!, could've pointed that out.
The second one, the oppression, obsession and ominous killing of the
Jews in WWII, was a little deeper, but quite a reach. Again, I, too,
could see the number "42" or three additional numbers that could be
added or multiplied to make "42" as say it was either about the year
Hitler began his genocide, or I could say it was a cozy reference to
the Brooklyn Dodger's Jackie Robinson. I mean, I could even throw in
that there was "a black chef who, we all know, chefs love baseball and
he was, well, black."
The third one, the moon landing fictional film, I've heard before. Not
in reference to The Shining, but in passing. This one did make me
laugh, enough so, that I couldn't even remotely believe what the
commentator was trying to preach. He went as far as to change letters,
or create anagrams out of words in the movie. I guess since one
character basically becomes an "iceman" and dies at the end of the
original film, then the director could be saying "cinema" will die
eventually, as well.
Seriously. I should do this. I should make a "Checking Back into Room
237" sequel and come up with anything I want to make of it. I'll start
off with "
As you can see, Jack gets a drink poured on him and he's
lead into a red bathroom, which is an obvious reference to Stephen
King's Carrie, to which Kubrick was trying to say he was p|ssed that he
missed on making that movie over this one. And, to further my point,
there is a ton of blood pouring from the elevators, which, as we all
know, elevators go up and down, like the pig's blood that went up and
eventually down on Carrie at the prom
Wow. I'm even starting to convince myself that I am right in my theory.
In fact, perhaps I should watch The Shining again to see if I can make
more stuff up.
Final words: Tommy Wiseau's The Room is a helluva lot more entertaining
than this Room was. Skip this. See the masterpiece, instead.