Sometimes I think people see a lot things that aren’t really there… Room 237 is a good example of my sentiment.
This documentary examines the Stanley Kubrick film The Shining. More specifically, Room 237 breaks down the subliminal context of the film that Kubrick supposedly included for different reasons. Before I continue, it should be noted here that the people that act as the commentators of this process are passing along speculative opinions, this is not fact from Kubrick himself. Upon examination of the film through the eyes of the commentators, there are definitely some moments that seem like valid subliminal connections. One of those things is a look that Jack Nicholson gives during the film that actually occurs in other Kubrick films through different actors to convey a sense of malice or evil.
To be honest, I thought most of these connections were kind of a stretch. Through the dissection of the film, Kubrick’s vision of The Shining is tied to everything from the slaughter of native Americans to the Holocaust to another theory that Kubrick was the filmmaker responsible for staging the first moon landing video.
Room 237 breaks down this movie in a way that just seems hyper-sensitive. There’s one notation about what seems like a simple continuity error (a chair in the background that doesn’t appear in a consecutive shot where it should still be), that gets linked to indicating some super natural occurrence instead of maybe just a chair that was accidentally moved.
The thing that surprises me most about this project is that it got made and distributed in the first place. It’s purely speculation and opinion and has no grounding in fact whatsoever. So basically this “documentary” is 5 people sharing their opinions about what they think are subliminal messages left behind by Stanley Kubrick in The Shining.
I can share something for the people that made this documentary very plainly, without any subtext – get over yourselves. Sometimes a pile of luggage on the floor is just that, it doesn’t necessarily represent the Holocaust. And sometimes films are just films and what you see is what you get, quit trying so hard to find things that aren’t there.
subjective opinions by Sean McKnight