The trailer above is an original teaser for Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining. It recalls the similarly wordless and terrifyingly effective Alien teaser- no voice over or other image is necessary, all we need is the single haunting shot. It’s the kind of thing you can pull off when your film features one of the most quietly frightening images every filmed. In any event, the The Shining-focused docuthesis Room 237 has appropriated the fashion of this teaser for its own trailer from IFC, and it’s definitely worth checking out (available in QT from Apple).
I’m just old enough to possess a robust memory cache of dealing with VHS. I was one of the lucky few whose biological timing worked out so I could salve the frustrations of puberty with the joy of plastic discs with thing on them like The Matrix and The Fast & The Furious (you know, back when Vin Diesel traveled at speeds that still allowed for definite articles). However, my childhood proper included experiences with an ailing VHS device that sat, heavy with its moving parts and ever more dusty beneath the TV. Said device would often emit sounds that somewhere made Alala, Herald of S’glhuo proud, always when a kid just wanted to get down on some Power Rangers. Though the player would often cough up a mess of tangled magnetic tape following its apparent indigestion, nothing so scary as a tidal wave of blood ever reported from our player.
Cue a Gen X-er telling me I missed out on something magical, and that Mondo will be dropping a hemorrhaging VHS edition of the film next week.
Memory lane nothwithstanding, this is an entirely appropriate way of selling a film that is built entirely of images from Kubrick films, and uses voice over to explore the depth of interpretations out there for The Shining. It’s a dry doc at times, and you have to credit it with documenting all the interpretations of the film –from the most “oh yeah, I can buy that” to the laughably insane– rather than endorsing them all simultaneously.
What it comes down to is that if you’re in awe of The Shining as much as you should be, this is a film you need to spend some time with. It’s an exercise in digging up some of the scarier movie-conspiracy message board threads you’ve run across and running a current through them. It’s an event, in its own little way, one quietly speaking to what a masterpiece of any kind is want to bring out in people. See it. March 29th.