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Someone please put up a vacancy sign, or better yet one that reads “Do not enter,” on Room 237’s door.

Calling Conspiracy Theorists

'Room 237' is for those who own tinfoil hats [barf]

April 30, 2013, 12:00 am

Reader, you’re about to see the most hateful review I’ve committed to print and the interwebs. And remember, I’ve seen Safe Haven and half-seen A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III.

Room 237 director Rodney Ascher bears only partial blame for this bologna. The movie is competently made, with sharp editing, graphics and a decent sense of pace.

It’s the subject matter that’s horrendous: Hidden meanings in Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining and the crackpots who posit them. 

Here’s a sampling of the nonsense: The Shining is a metaphor for the genocide of Native Americans by whites; it’s proof Kubrick faked the first moon landing for NASA; the guy who’s an expert in Nazi Germany thinks it’s all about the Holocaust (duh); Jack Nicholson’s character is a MINOTAUR.

There are dozens of reviews praising Room 237 for exploring the ways art is interpreted, and that’s fair. But this is the cinematic equivalent of being stuck on the subway listening to an insane person rant. 

There’s an episode of The Twilight Zone in which a man can imagine anything into reality if he thinks about it long enough. Somewhere, the ghost of Rod Serling is smiling. I, on the other hand, am not amused. There ain’t nothin’ in Room 237, so stay out.

ROOM 237
Directed by Rodney Ascher
CCA Cinematheque

102 min.


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