Film: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars
I had someone ask me the other day while attending Halloween Horror Nights what was my favorite horror film and without even thinking I belted our “The Shining”…duh. Hands down, my favorite and still creeps me out and gets into my head as it did the very first time I watched it. In fact, I still remember today exactly when the first viewing was over 20 years ago. I have never know about all the proposed hidden meanings in the film before this documentary. Some of the theories really get you thinking are backed with impressive facts, while others are complete bullocks and will have you rolling your eyes. I like to think that I can be open-minded and took it for what it is and really got into the various different theories that were presented to be laying behind the lines of “The Shining” and overall I really enjoy this film.
Official Premise: In 1980 Stanley Kubrick released his masterpiece of modern horror, The Shining. Over 30 years later we re still struggling to understand its hidden meanings. 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 documentary “Room 237” fuses fact and fiction through interviews with both fanatics and scholars, creating a kaleidoscopic deconstruction of Kubrick s still-controversial classic.
If nothing else there is a ton of great work and research that has gone into this documentary. You can tell that the team behind it really love this film and were excited to get a chance to allow people to see the film in a different and new set of eyes. If for nothing else, the film achieves success on that level. What I do know is that I have seen this film three times and I enjoy it more and more every time. IFC gave the film an impressive Blu-ray presentation. The 1080p transfer is solid and works well, as does the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track. I wasn’t a huge fan of the score personally but it was well-presented nonetheless. IFC also delivered this in a cool slipcase, rounding out an overall impressive release and a must have for any true fan of “The Shining”.
After seeing this film for the first time a few months back, I was very excited to see what they would have in store in terms of special features. Well, I have to admit, I was not let down. There is great and highly recommend commentary track with Kevin McLeod, called “The mstrmnd Speaks”, adds some additional theories and in-side looks. “Secrets of The Shining” is a must-see panel discussion from the First Annual Stanley Film Festival. There are 11 additional scenes that did not make the final cut of the film. There is a featurette on “The Making of the Music”. Lastly, there is a Mondo Poster Design Discussion with Artist Aled Lewis and Trailers included.