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Friday, April 5, 2013


Filmmaker Rodney Ascher examines the many conspiracy theories surrounding Stanley Kubrick's controversial 1980 horror classic The Shining by speaking with fans of the film, and scholars who claim the director had a hidden agenda in adapting Stephen King's bestselling novel to the big screen. In-depth conversations with Bill Blakemore, Geoffrey Cocks, Juli Kearns, John Fell Ryan, and Jay Weidner (Kubrick's Odyssey) reveal a wide spectrum of theories pertaining to Kubrick's film, including speculation that it was a cinematic allegory for the slaughter of Native Americans, the Holocaust, or perhaps a cleverly-constructed confession that he was in fact the filmmaker responsible for faking the 1969 moon landing that placed the U.S. at the cutting-edge of the international space race against the former Soviet Union. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

Director: Rodney Ascher

Cast: Bill Blakemore, Geoffrey Cocks, Juli Kearns, John Fell Ryan, and Jay Weidner

Release Date: Mar 29, 2013

Rated: Not Rated

Runtime: 1 hr. 42 min.

Genres: Documentary


Room 237 is like a speaking tour into a conspiracy theorist slightly insane mind. Connections are made from the slightest misinterpreted detail and extrapolated into infinity. The funny thing is that after a bit of listening to some of these people it starts making sense until reality seeps in. It’s a fascinating adventure into these people’s minds. At its center is Kubrick’s The Shining. I’m personally a massive Kubrick fanboy who just adores everything the man ever did. His style and attention to detail are something that’s always left an impression on me. His films are just masterworks, at least in my humble opinion. That being said The Shining, as a straight up horror movie, really never did anything for me. It never terrified me or sent me home weeping like The Exorcist did. That not to say I didn’t enjoy it, I still do, but it’s a totally different animal than a standard issue horror flick. Listening to the variety of theories set forth on this documentary kind of speaks to that. Having read the King book, I can tell you the movie bears little relation to the book outside of major plot points. Kubrick’s creation was something more of a cipher leaving the door open to all kind of crackpot theories, some slightly more sensible than others. As a film fan and Kubrick diehard I enjoyed listening to even the craziest connections, Moon landing and Minotaur being my favorite. Rodney Ascher stays as neutral as possible with only a few condescending displays thrown in here or there. We never see any of these people, only stock footage or clips from Kubrick’s catalogue repurposed along with a lot of clips from The Shining, sometimes played backward, in super slow mo and well you get the idea. It’s all great fun for movie lovers and when it starts to drag a tad it wraps up and lets you come back to reality.



  1. This sounds really good!

    I don't know that much about Stanley Kubrick or his films but I do know The Shinning well enough

    Will have to keep an eye out for this as it has caught my interest!

    K :-)

    1. It's a lot of fun K, listening to all these outlandish theories is just something else.

      I would always recommend more Kubrick to any movie lover, they are some of my favorite films.

      The Shinning is a favorite around here for a variety reasons even if the Simpsons has skewed our view of it forever.

  2. The only Kubrick film I have seen was Spartacus and found it disappointing considering how much I usually enjoy historical epics. However conspiracy theories are always interesting to listen to, especially UFOs. Great review Daniel!


    1. I recommend you watch more Kubrick's films, they are really some of the best work of the past century.

  3. I'm honest with you: I loved Room 237 sooo juch, I'd love to have a Room 237 sequel. Yes, another 100 minutes of weird people talking about wacky Shining theories. I could listen to them for hours :)

    1. I'm righ there with you man, I could listen to another film with other theories. Hell it doesn't even have to be about the Shining either!

    2. omg yeah, bring on some other insane theory-documentaries. 2001? Blade Runner? Psycho? I don't mind, just bring 'em :)

    3. I know! I was really curious to hear what some of these people thought of 2001!


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