‘Room 237′ Trailer: Understanding the Horror of ‘The Shining’

Published 1 year ago by

Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining may have received polarized reactions upon its 1980 release, but the film is widely considered a horror classic today thanks to a terrifyingly manic performance from Jack Nicholson, an immensely haunting setting and disturbing surrealistic imagery. The film has undoubtedly left a lasting nightmarish impact on viewers, as evidenced by the tagline for the upcoming documentary on the making of the film: “Some movies stay with you forever…and ever…and ever.”

The documentary, titled Room 237, takes fans of Kubrick’s adaptation of the famous Stephen King bestseller behind the scenes, exploring how the film was crafted while examining its subtext. This week, we are getting a look at the debut trailer for Room 237, which you can check out above.

Unfortunately, the trailer doesn’t give us a peek at never-before seen footage from behind the scenes of The Shining, but it does create a similar tone and mood that the film did. The very simple trailer builds excitement for the niche audience by scrolling quotes about the film’s cultural significance and its ambiguous nature, while re-creating one of the most memorable images from the film.

The trailer promises the documentary will tackle some of the symbolism and hidden meanings of the film that are still heavily debated today, including literary allusions to fairy tales and the argument that the film is a larger metaphor for the genocide of Native Americans.

Here’s the official synopsis for Room 237:

After the box office failure of ‘Barry Lyndon,’ Stanley Kubrick decided to embark on a project that might have more commercial appeal. ‘The Shining,’ Stephen King’s biggest critical and commercial success yet, seemed like a perfect vehicle. After an arduous production, Kubrick’s film received a wide release in the summer of 1980; the reviews were mixed, but the box office, after a slow start, eventually picked up. End of story? Hardly. In the 30 years since the film’s release, a considerable cult of ‘Shining’ devotees has emerged, fans who claim to have decoded the film’s secret messages addressing everything from the genocide of Native Americans to a range of government conspiracies. Rodney Ascher’s wry and provocative ‘Room 237′ fuses fact and fiction through interviews with cultists and scholars, creating a kaleidoscopic deconstruction of Kubrick’s still-controversial classic.

Like many of Kubrick’s films, The Shining was not immediately embraced by audiences or critics. Rather, the film slowly built a cult following that helped transform it into an accepted classic years later. Many members of its following became obsessed with what they perceived to be underlying themes in the film, creating intriguing discussion and informative essays – many of which contained what some may call radical, outside-thinking perspectives.

hero Shining2 008Pyxurz Room 237 Trailer: Understanding the Horror of The Shining

It’ll be interesting to see how the documentary unravels and explores many fans’ interpretations of The Shining and why it still resonates with horror aficionados more than 30 years after its theatrical release. It may not touch on much of Kubrick’s intensity as visionary auteur or the relationships between cast and crew, but its ambitious approach to the subject and the layers beneath one of our favorite horror movies definitely has us intrigued.

Room 237 opened to rave reviews at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and subsequent festivals, but is opening theatrically in limited release on March 29th, 2013.

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Source: JoBlo

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  1. cant wait to see this

  2. “In the 30 years since the film’s release, a considerable cult of ‘Shining’ devotees has emerged, fans who claim to have decoded the film’s secret messages addressing everything from the genocide of Native Americans to a range of government conspiracies.”

    That’s only really taken inebriate flight in the last decade or so since the three coinciding phenomena (a triangle. A TRIANGLE. Don’t you see? Eh? Eh??) of Kubrick’s death, the rise of the internet and the release of Eyes Wide Shut caused the Lone Bunfight contingent to wet themselves with glee and reassess every film he ever made, through a prism (there’s that TRIANGLE again: WAKE UP SHEEPLE) of maniac back-engineering. They start with an unshakeable premise and view everything as evidence for it. Like upending the contents of six separate jigsaw puzzles, cramming them all together to make one monstrous image and saying “Look, it was a monster all along!”

    Here’s hoping the picture that emerges isn’t a hot mess.

    • Can’t be much worse than the steaming pile you just dropped, bruh.

      • Keep going, son. I can remember when I had my first drink as well.

        • The genocide of the Native Americans element, among other things, was in the books, so Kubrick making references to that was from the source material itself as was much of the other imagery. And his way of telling the story was to not follow up the imagery with an explanation as was done in the books, so if anybody thought that was something Kubrick decided to add just for kicks, well, they obviously didn’t read the novel the film was based on.

          Folks also have to remember, there are an awful lot of scenes that work in the book, but that wouldn’t work on film, especially with the limitations of effects tech in 1980. The yellow jackets, the hedge animals, the sinister presence of the boiler in the boiler room, etc., it would’ve taken quite a feat to pull those things off back then, and even now with modern tech it could still risk looking pretty silly, and making a special effects extravaganza was not Kubrick’s intent, he wanted to scare people. I think his creative choices made a lot of sense in light of those issues.

          • Totally agree, and as far as scenes from the book not working on film, the 1997 miniseries featured the hedge animals – they didn’t work at all IMO. Bad CGI and poor direction notwithstanding. I think we’re still talking about Kubrick’s version 33 years on precisely because what he did on film couldn’t have been achieved in any other medium. The inconsistent interiors and exteriors added to the sense of disorientation, and the ambiguity that wasn’t there in the novel is as much a part of its lasting appeal as the visceral impact of the images, music and performances.

    • You took a paragraph to say nothing of note I’m afraid.Or perhaps you should have went back over your post and maybe there are just speelign and grammatical errors preventing me from understanding what you are trying to express. As it stands , it is just it’s own mess.

      • I’m afraid you won’t find any “speelign” or grammatical errors there. I’ll make it country simple for you. The more insane conspiracy theories about Kubrick’s films have only come about since:-

        1. The rise of the internet.

        2. The release of Eyes Wide Shut.

        3. Kubrick’s death.

        Just two of those conspiracy theories being:-

        1. That some or all of Kubrick’s movies from 2001 to Eyes Wide Shut (The Shining in particular) contain hidden messages about how he faked the moon landings for NASA.

        2. That Eyes Wide Shut contains hidden messages about the Illuminati, and that he was murdered for it.

        The people who swallow these theories hook, line and sinker have already made their minds up and point to ANYTHING as evidence to support them, no matter how flimsy.

        Better?

  3. Coo-Coo Sherrie! ;)

  4. I’ve seen the video on YouTube about how The Shining is Kubrick’s confession that he directed the Moon Landing…
    Personally, I think it’s a bunch of bull but I have to admit they really dig deep.

  5. Lame trailer…does not make me want to see this.

  6. Im supposed to believe kubrick faked he moon landing.

  7. Rob Ager has already done some extensive decoding of Kubricks “The Shining” on youtube several years ago. They are really well done and thought out. He has also done 2001 and other movies. It really gives you an insight into Kubricks thought process. I was amazed that thye entire interior of the Overlook hotel was all a set on a soundstage. It is also an impossible structre with rooms that could not exist and corridors that emerge from nowhere. Kubrick designed it this may to echo the maze in the garden.

    Anyway, check them out. I’m sure this new documentary has referenced Rob Ager’s work, as it sounds like it is referencing themes Ager has covered.

    And they are free to watch on Youtube!!

    • This one is also really interesting…

      • @Motoko
        Thanks for posting the links.
        I’m in Connecticut covered in 2 feet of snow so I’m gonna watch The Shining again and then check these out to kill some time.

  8. I love Kubrick’s The Shining and the craft and technique of making the film is extraordinary and it’s kinda shocking how little material there is about the making et al., but the story and visuals themselves aren’t that complicated, just read the novel and Stephen King explains all of it to the reader, plus tacks on a more reassuring ending than the one Kubrick came up with, which I think was directly influenced by Polanski’s Chinatown ending rewrite. Kubrick had not as much respect for this production as people want to believe (or Shelley Duvall’s mental health during its making, but I digress) but he did understand that horror at its root was fear of the unknown, so he just gutted all the parts of King’s novel where he explained everything and left the viewers with an onslaught of terrifying visuals and switched the POV character to the little boy, because it was a great metaphor for dealing with experiences one couldn’t fully digest or understand. The film was about deeply kept secrets and shame, hence the maze, and their boiling to the surface when they couldn’t be hidden anymore, like the blood from the elevator.

    Great, great, great film…

    • I’m reading the book at the moment and really enjoying it.

      • It’s a classic, one of King’s best, and the film and the book really compliment each other, although I’m perplexed at King’s hostility towards Kubrick’s interpretation.

        Incidentally, Stephen King is currently finishing up a sequel to The Shining, entitled Dr. Sleep.

      • I don’t usually read books but I started reading this one and I’m about halfway through.

  9. Even though I enjoy the movie every time I see it, it bugs me that Kubrik raped King´s book. In the book, the hotel drives Jack insane, but in the movie, he´s already nuts before Jack and his family move into the Overlook. So the main plot is almost non existing. But even though Kubrik changed almost half of the book, it´s one of the better King adaptions.

    • Without trying to spoil anything for people who haven’t read the book, I think Kubrick’s changes were pretty smart. He wanted to make a horror film and explore the mechanics of how and why horror works, and he understood that horror is the fear of the unknown, so he took out all the parts that explain everything which makes the film really disconcerting; you know the images are there for a reason but there’s no one there to spoon feed you the answers, plus the major difference is that in the end the literary version of Jack redeems himself, whereas Nicholson’s version is hopelessly lost and insane and gives in to his madness, which is scarier (not to mention one might argue more realistic?).

      I have to take issue with the argument that Jack is already crazy/lost by the time he enters the Overlook in Kubrick’s version, he shows quite a bit of remorse and terror at the thought of hurting his family for quite some time before he really snaps, plus a majority of the film is shown from the point of view of Danny, which was smart if you want to really unnerve an audience; the only thing more scary than an adult who is helpless to understand or control the chaos and violence around themselves is a child in the same position, especially one as likable as Danny Torrance.

  10. It looks like a film I will be watching for sure. Any retrospective on Kubrick’s work has got to be full of interesting things.

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    however I find this topic to be really one thing that I believe I would never understand.
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    comparison of most recent and previous technologies, it’s awesome article.

  13. Jesus! People read the book, it explains everything!

  14. Just saw this and it was terrible. Dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb.

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