One of the more prominent documentary releases this year, Rodney Ascher’s “Room 237,” enthralled last year on the festival circuit with its in-depth dissection of Stanley Kubrick’s classic, “The Shining.” The film covers plenty of nerd conspiracy theory ground, alluding to Native American genocide metaphors and Holocaust allegories, before delving into all sorts of minutiae.
As the film uses mostly footage straight from the actual movie, that didn’t leave a lot of options when cutting a compelling trailer. So instead, the first trailer for “Room 237” is a sort of brilliant, wordless homage to the original 1980 teaser trailer for “The Shining.” The original trailer, which shows nothing from the film but the famous shot of blood pouring out of the Overlook Hotel’s elevators, was a feat at the time, as the MPAA did not allow blood to be shown in film trailers. The “Room 237” trailer swaps those elevators out for a VHS player, furthering the fun, fan nostalgia that fuels the film’s theories and appeal.
This isn’t the first time that the likeliness of the “Shining” trailer has been used: the first teaser for Roland Emmerich’s 2009 disaster film “2012” featured a sly, subtle reference to the trailer as well; probably the best thing about an already literally dated and forgotten film.
You can check out all three trailers below. IFC Midnight will release “Room 237” on March 29th.