Room 237 (2013) – Halloween Movie of the Week (Dia De Los Muertos Edition)

Room-237-Cesar Zamora

Halloween has come and gone but I figured I would do one more HMOTW to commemorate the end of the “Season of the Witch”. Which doesn’t truly end until after “Dia De Los Muertos”. I was originally going to write about “The Shining”, probably my favorite Halloween movie, a staple of mine for the past few years, instead I’ve decided to go “meta” and write about the documentary about “The Shining”, “Room 237”. Read on for my spoiler-free thoughts…

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This is going to be a quick review because I don’t want to get too much into detail on this one. The movie is on Netflix instant, which if you don’t have then you probably don’t read articles on the internet either, so I recommend that if you’re a fan of “The Shining” in the least that you watch it immediately.

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The documentary is just a collection of people, speaking off camera, giving us their thoughts and theories on “The Shining”. Some have noticed patterns and subliminal imagery, others see a whole other story taking place right in front of them. Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece of horror takes a whole new level of creepiness once you’ve watched “Room 237”.

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I personally was fascinated by all the theories. I’m just now reading the book and just realized that the “scary room” is a different room number, room 217 in the book. The theory the movie posits on why Kubrick made the change is pretty awesome, even better is that the movie also disproves Kubrick’s original explanation for the difference.

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I haven’t seen any other documentaries this year that I can think of so this is the best one of the year so far for me, by default. I would be hard pressed to recommend this to people that aren’t fans of “The Shining” or Kubrick himself. It’s a fun movie that is very enjoyable to watch, but I’m afraid my bias might impede my judgment. If you’re curious at all, feel free to check it out but be warned that it is almost required that you at least watch “The Shining” first. You may want to just watch all of Kubrick’s movies too, not just for the documentary but for the cultural betterment of your life.

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Some of the theories in the movie are farfetched. I think the documentary on its own, had it been about any other movie or director, could be a huge joke. Farcical even in its most mundane moment. But, given the subject matter, the combination of the movie and the director makes even the craziest theory seem possible. Because with Kubrick you just never know…

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