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Briefly: The first film from Rodney Ascher, Room 237, investigated horror by diving into the deep strangeness that develops when film fans take the auteur theory so seriously that they can’t imagine that Stanley Kubrick didn’t have specific intent in mind when he assembled parts of The Shining.

Ascher’s next film will be another documentary, and one which focuses on a different sort of real-life horror. The Nightmare will be “a disturbing investigation into the demonic visions experienced by victims of sleep paralysis and provoked by Ascher’s own unsettling experiences with the condition.” The doc likely takes its name from the painting of the same title, seen above. Henry Fuseli painted the image in 1781 as a vision of sleep paralysis rooted in demonic visitation.

Sleep paralysis can manifest in slightly different ways, but in general it is a condition where a person finds themselves unable to move during a period between sleep and waking; it can be associated with fears of imminent threats that the paralysis leaves the sufferer unable to react to or escape from.

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ABCs of Death

The horror anthology V/H/S did well enough that a sequel went into production pretty fast, and you can already see the red-band trailer for V/H/S/2 from Magnet. Now another Magnet-released anthology, The ABCs of Death, is also going to be followed by a sequel.

The hook for The ABCs of Death was that the film featured 25 directors (and a 26th crowd-sourced entry) making short films based around a single letter. The sequel will take the same approach, and as with the first film the hook isn’t the concept, but the people bringing it to life. The new crew includes animator Bill Plympton, Day of the Beast and The Last Circus director Álex de la Iglesia, and Room 237 director Rodney Ascher. More participants in the gruesome sequel are listed below. Read More »

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There’s no denying that Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining is a film begging for discussion. A story that seems straightforward on the surface is littered with curious scenes and subliminal suggestions, and wraps up with a final shot that is curiously awesome. Even knowing that, though, you may have no idea how deep the discussions about The Shining can possibly go.

Rodney Ascher‘s brilliant documentary, Room 237, does a fantastic job delving into some of the most fascinating, crazy, and perhaps even true interpretations of the 1980 film. It entertains theories about the relationship of The Shining to Native Americans, the moon landing, super imposition, and oedipal readings. Since premiering at Sundance in 2012, the film has been riding a wave of good buzz and controversy on its way to release on VOD today.

We spoke to the Ascher about that controversy. In addition, our conversation with the director touched on the method of piecing together a the film entirely composted of archival footage, backlash from the Kubrick or Stephen King camps, whether he could do a sequel and much more. Read More »

One of the better movie posters ever made is the Saul Bass design for Stanley Kubrick‘s The Shining. The eye-catching yellow sheet with a horrified, pixelated face was one of the strangest things I’d seen in my young life when I first encountered it in a theater before The Shining opened. It remains a landmark of simple, effective design.

So it makes sense that the doc Room 237, from first-timer Rodney Ascher, would get a poster that ehoes the Bass design. Room 237 features five theories that explore what Kubrick really meant to say in his Stephen King adaptation. The first US teaser for the film referenced a teaser for Kubrick’s movie, and now the poster design follows suit. Check it out below, side by side with the Bass original. Read More »

An audience favorite film at Sundance and Fantastic Fest 2012 was Room 237, the documentary from Rodney Ascher that attempts to detail and unpack the various secrets of Stanley Kubrick‘s The Shining. What messages did he code into the movie? (If any?) Is The Shining just a great horror movie, or does it really feature a hidden conversation about the genocide of Native Americans? That notion is just one of the theories in Room 237.

IFC picked up the film and will release it later this year as part of its IFC Midnight label. The first US trailer is out (the one we posted last year has been pulled) and it is an appropriately simple thing. It won’t take you long to figure out where this one is going, especially if you’re familiar with the teaser for The Shining, but that doesn’t make the payoff any less entertaining when it happens. Read More »

Good news, Stanley Kubrick fans. The fantastic and fascinating documentary Room 237 directed by Rodney Ascher will be released by IFC Films on March 29. The film, which premiered at last year’s Sundance Film Festival, is an incredible look at secrets and theories buried in The Shining. Read our review here and check out the trailer below. Read More »

“Phenomenal…An Absolute Must-See.” That’s a quote taken from my review of the amazing documentary Room 237 and used in its first trailer. Truer words can’t be spoken. Directed by Rodney Ascher, the film dissects Stanley Kubrick‘s masterpiece The Shining to its core, featuring several insane – and not so insane – readings of the 1980 horror film starring Jack Nicholson. Whether or not you agree with these people or not, you’ll never watch The Shining the same away again.

Room 237 premiered at Sundance and has since been playing on the festival circuit leading up to an IFC release next year. Check out its first minimalist, trailer below. Read More »

If Stanley Kubrick were still alive, Room 237 would make him extremely happy. Directed by Rodney Ascher, the experimental documentary gives the legendary filmmaker a ton of credit, maybe too much at times, as it explores several wild, and not so wild, theories about his 1980 horror masterpiece The Shining.

Some theories, such as the suggestion that the film is a metaphor for the murder of Native Americans, are almost plausible. Others, like that insinuation that Kubrick made the film to clue everyone in that he faked the footage of the Moon landing, are much less believable. But no matter the case, Ascher’s film is a fascinating, funny and incredibly well made ode to a film that’s obviously way more dense than most of us give it credit for. The documentary is an absolute must-see.

Room 237 played as part of the New Frontier category of the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and, after the jump, you can check on the poster and read more about it. Read More »

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