Film Review: ROOM 237

Room 237
Directed by Rodney Ascher
Starring various commentators/ conspiracy theorists

Room 237 is more about conspiracy theory than it’s about the movie, THE SHINING. Five of them turn up in voiceovers to give us their take on the film and how they were able to connect the dots from Kubrick’s take on King’s book to their favorite conspiracy theory: the annihilation of the American Indian, bogus footage produced by Kubrick to document the moon walk, minotaurs, the holocaust, etc. We go through the film with each of these theorists, some more able to convince us than others, to find the moments that prove their ideas about the film. I found no credible theories though, not that their attempts to find connections was uninteresting.

Your interest in this film will depend on a number of things, I think. Do you find conspiracy theorists or those who believe in signs and symbols interesting? Do you watch movies so repeatedly that you can understand how some viewers begin to see things that aren’t really on the screen? Is THE SHINING such an important film for you that spending some time with it here is pleasurable.

The theories these contributors come up with are often embarrassingly close to what you might hear in a film class or read in a film journal. This is probably the film’s most interesting observation although it is unvoiced. There is theory offered about what we are hearing. It is up to you for make judgments, form a theory of your own.

ROOM 237 was a clever idea for a film, especially now when so many people believe they are being duped, fooled, and misled by various entities. But it became tedious for me at some point. I didn’t find the people funny or insightful. Their connections almost all seemed far-fetched and unhinged.

Just a good nudge for me about where watching movies too many movies too often might take you.

Patti Abbott