Chosen One of the Day: The Woman in Room 237 in The Shining

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Oct 18, 2017

The Shining is a film beloved by film scholars and horror enthusiasts across the board. It is among the most studied, picked-apart films of all time, and deservedly so. The classic is filled with moments, shots, and scenes wholly worthy of meticulous dissection. And one of those scenes is the famous Room 237 scene, the one with the lady in the bathtub.

Here's the full clip. NSFW unless you work in a naked lady factory. I don't know your life.

For those of you who are at work or who just get overcome with the vapors at the sight of uncovered chest regions, here's the censored version.

If you've seen Room 237, you know that a) people have myriad theories surrounding The Shining, b) most of these theories are batcrap bananas bonkers. A popular theory surrounding the woman in Room 237 is that she is the manifestation of the evil that lurks within the Overlook Hotel and Jack Torrence kissing her is the moment the evil truly takes over his soul, setting in place the final act of the film. A less popular but probably accurate theory is that it was the '70s and Kubrick wanted to get some boobies on screen. Who can say for sure? 

While in the film the scene is largely disconnected from the rest of the movie and provides no additional information about the woman in the bathtub, Stephen King's original novel has a bit more context. Lorraine Massey was a hotel guest who used to seduce young bellboys. Filled with self-loathing, she committed suicide in the bath and was doomed to haunt the hotel ever after. 

What she also is is the hero of the movie as far as I'm concerned. She's the only one getting anything done around here. Everyone else either dies or experiences a dangerous mental breakdown or has lengthy freak-out sessions. In one scene Mrs. Massey manages to enjoy a luxurious bath, make out with a young Jack Nicholson, and then terrify him and destroy his very mind for the duration of the film, and her time onscreen ends with a hearty laugh, unashamed of her body in all its forms. Quality work, Lorraine; well done. 

Also in the made-for-TV miniseries, she looks like this and I'll never stop laughing.