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Room 237

by Craig Good

March 13, 2012

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Donate A movie review on a skeptical blog? Indulge me. I think this film will be of interest to anybody fascinated with how the human mind makes connections and so often reaches the conclusions it wants. We just screened this Sundance hit at work and, while it could use (and may still get) a little trimming, it's very entertaining and interesting.

In Room 237 Stanley Kubrick's 1980 horror masterpiece The Shining serves as a kind of Rorschach Test for a few people obsessed with analyzing the film. Cleverly using mostly clips from Kubrick films as visuals each subject takes us on a tour of his or her pet theory. I don't want to include any spoilers here, so let's just say that pareidolia, confirmation bias, and numerology lead these people deep, very deep, down several divergent rabbit holes.

It may be worth noting that Lee Unkrich, who has been obsessed with this movie since the age of twelve, and who has this terrific blog about it, spent days at the Kubrick Archives in London and reports that numerology was deliberately put into the movie. People see patterns and symbols in the everyday world. Just imagine what some of them might find in a work of art designed to resonate with them.

The director and producer report that they got picked up for distribution, so keep an eye out for it. Especially if you're also a fan of The Shining.

by Craig Good

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