R, 146 min.
Director: Stanley Kubrick
Writers: Stanley Kubrick, Diane Johnson, Stephen King (novel)
Starring: Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd, Scatman Crothers, Barry Nelson, Philip Stone, Joe Turkel, Anne Jackson
Now that I’ve watched Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining” again since seeing the theory laden documentary “Room 237” about the many various possible meanings of Kubrick’s vision, I have come to the conclusion that “Room 237” couldn’t be more full of shit if it tried. There is one theory presented in that so-called documentary that holds any weight, and it the one anyone could gather from watching the movie, which is that it is an indictment against the treatment of the American Indian by the U.S. Government. Of course, that was a popular theme in horror movies at the time. Steven Spielberg’s “Poltergeist”, produced two years later, but written before “The Shining” was made has the very same theme. In fact, haunted houses built on top of Indian burial grounds had been around in the horror genre for a while, so the fact that the producers of “Room 237” were able to put that one together is no great feat.
In my review of that film, I wondered why none of the so-called “experts” appeared on screen. That’s possibly because the writer/director made them and their theories up. He couldn’t show them on screen because then Sally might recognize her high school sweetheart who went off to become and actor in L.A. and now he’s claiming to be some sort of cult horror film expert in a bogus documentary. No, it’s very likely the people who claim to know what “The Shining” is really about in that movie are serious. It’s fun to find hidden meanings in things, but sometimes people see what they want to see.