2012 / Director. Rodney Ascher.
ROOM 237 is a cinematic piece of shit. Watching it filled me with anger and took me back to my film-school days when I was contending with pretentious wankers and idiots. This documentary is a dissection of Stanley Kubrick's THE SHINING and presents an assembly of different interpretations of the film. Just exactly who these people are is unknown as we only hear their voices and are not presented with their credentials. They cherry pick at tiny nuances and present all kinds of absurd theories and conspiracies... none of which are nearly as intelligent as they're purported to be. Astonishingly ROOM 237 has been praised and lauded by critics and audiences all over the world. I can only suppose that they think they're watching something deep and meaningful when in fact they're just party to a distasteful exploitation of simple-minds. Earlier this evening I watched and enjoyed GROWN UPS 2, a film which was overwhelmingly lambasted. It was savaged by critics as being puerile and pandering to less-intelligent minds... and yet most of those critics went on to celebrate ROOM 237. I take exception to the irony of this because ROOM 237 is nothing but disillusioned and obtuse adults wasting their time searching for meaning where it does not exist. Kubrick would be turning in his grave if he saw this. It's offensive to his craft and not at all sensitive towards his films. Some people will say that I am ignoring the humour of this documentary but that's not true. With so many differing opinions and theories on display it is clearly taking the piss out of these people... knowing this made me feel uncomfortable. I felt like watching a circus freak show but rather than marvelling at the Elephant Man I can see his affliction and I feel sorry for him.