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Film Review: Mystery of Stanley Kubrick Explored in ‘Room 237’

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CHICAGO – Every film buff remembers the first time they laid eyes on director Stanley Kubrick’s memorable horror classic, “The Shining.” In the film, Scatman Crothers’ character warns young Danny, “There ain’t nothing in Room 237…so stay out.” Filmmaker Rodney Ascher has ignored that warning in his documentary, “Room 237,” and takes us inside one of the most analyzed films in cinema history.

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.0/5.0
Rating: 4.0/5.0

“Room 237” in the film “The Shining” is that room in the Overlook Hotel where everything seemed to happen, and the documentary takes the same approach in revisiting the film. Director Ascher has gathered some of most interesting theories regarding the messages that director Stanley Kubrick hid behind the strange narrative of a scary hotel, the breakdown of a writer and a little boy who can see the evil there. With the digital age – including the ability to stop a film frame-by-frame on a DVD and indulge in what lies within them, and then post those findings on the internet – a cult of personality has grow regarding “The Shining,” and the enduring mystery of Stanley Kubrick. Although the documentary has several slow spots, it is fascinating, whether you believe the theories or not.

It has been over 30 years since the release of Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining,” based on a novel by Stephen King and featuring Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Scatman Crothers and child actor Danny Lloyd. On the surface, it is a classic psychological thriller, as the madness of an isolated writer in a snowbound hotel starts to affect his family. This includes his young son Danny, who has the ability to “shine,” which involves reading thoughts and seeing the evil in the hotel.

In “Room 237”, five different points of view are expressed regarding the film, including theories expressing the genocide of the American Indians, the Holocaust and the Apollo 11 moon landing, plus other freeze framed, mapped out and hyper analyzed visions of the ever-spellbinding universe of filmmaker Stanley Kubrick.

“Room 237” continues its limited release in Chicago on April 5th, and is available with Video On Demand. Check local listings for theaters, show times and VOD availability. Directed by Rodney Ascher. Not Rated.

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Room 237”

Rodney Ascher
Blast Off: Actor Danny Lloyd Resurrects Apollo 11 in ‘Room 237’
Photo credit: IFC Midnight

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Room 237”

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