Room 237's Best Theories
Theory: The Shining is about the genocide of Native Americans.
Evidence: The Overlook Hotel's Navajo décor; Calumet baking powder cans (logo: an Indian chief) appear at moments when characters are "making treaties"; Nicholson's Jack Torrance asks a phantom bartender to commiserate about "the white man's burden"; the Overlook is built over an Indian burial ground, which must be where the elevators haul the blood from.
Least compelling evidence: The silent summer caretaker who sulks through Torrance's job interview and walks several steps behind his boss has skin that, on a muddy VHS copy, could possibly seem nonwhite.
Theory: The Shining is a retelling of the myth of Theseus.
Evidence: Nicholson's Torrance looming over the hedge labyrinth; the hotel's maze-like structure and impossible architecture; a ballroom is called the "Gold Room," and Theseus followed a golden thread through the maze.
Least compelling evidence: If you squint, a poster of a skier looks kind of like a Minotaur.
Theory: The Shining has "a deeply laid subtext that takes on the Holocaust."
Evidence: Torrance uses a typewriter from the German manufacturer Adler, the name "Adler" being German for "eagle," the bird that represents Nazi Germany and no other country anywhere ever; Schindler's List had typewriters in it; the frequent appearance of the number 42; an early dissolve from one scene to another seems to show Overlook Hotel tourists being turned into a stack of luggage; in the dissolve into the film's last shot, Nicholson's receding hairline in the penultimate image becomes a Hitler mustache on his face in the final one.
Least compelling evidence: In an establishing shot, there are 42 cars and trucks in the hotel parking lot.
Theory: The Shining contains Stanley Kubrick's admission that he helped fake the moon landing.
Evidence: All of 2001: A Space Odyssey, which was an R&D project to perfect the front-screen projection techniques Kubrick would use when filming Neil Armstrong on a soundstage; curious lights in the background of NASA's moon-landing footage; the assertion that the fakery occurred on some studio's stage 237; the fact that Kubrick changed room 217 in Steven King's novel to room 237; the fact that the moon, according to older science textbooks, is some 237,000 miles from Earth; the no-joke, pretty-damn-amazing way the carpet young Danny Torrance plays on resembles satellite photos of the Apollo 11 launch site; Danny wears an Apollo 11 sweater as he marches into room 237.
Least compelling evidence: A key chain reading "ROOM No 237" has the letters M-O-O and N capitalized on it.
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