Illustration for article titled iRoom 237/i Decodes Insane Theories of iThe Shining/i — Calumet, Anyone?

Is The Shining more than just a straightforward horror film? Could it also be a densely layered exploration of the Native American holocaust, or perhaps Kubrick's cryptic admission that he helped fake the moon landing? If you've never seen Room 237, you're in for a weird ride through the hallowed mind-halls of some of the wackiest conspiracy theorists around.



Director Rodney Ascher's 2012 cult-classic documentary Room 237 (read a great interview with Ascher here) features a number of close readings of Kubrick's film, suggesting either that it's the most subtext-heavy film of all time or that it attracts fans of questionable sanity.


Whether you believe The Shining is a feature-length condemnation of the mass killings of Native Americans (as represented by conspicuously placed cans of Calumet baking powder in the background), that it's about the Holocaust (as represented by Jack Nicholson's German typewriter), or that it's a recreation of Theseus' battle against the Mintoaur (as represented by a poster in the background of a skier with a horn-like silhouette), this eccentric doc is required-watching for anyone interested in cinema and its interpretations. There are important questions to be answered, after all, like why exactly was Jack Nicholson reading a copy of Playgirl in the Outlook lobby?


You have four days to check into your nearest haunted hotel and watch this thing. Come back on Friday and put these theories to the test in the comments.

Documentary Club is a weekly feature in which we watch and discuss the finest documentaries available to stream on Netflix. Watch the film and join the conversation, won't you?

Price Peterson is a comedy writer and TV recapper from Los Angeles, California. His work currently appears on Vulture,, and The Atlantic Wire.


This post is a sponsored collaboration between Netflix and Studio@Gawker.

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