Any Stephen King fan knows that when it comes to cinematic adaptions of his novels, few are as brilliant as the Shawshank Redemption or Stanley Kubrick‘s The Shining. But did you know that the 1995 movie directed by Frank Darabont sneakily references Stanley Kubrick’s acclaimed horror movie – subtly tying the two King projects together through a surprising easter egg?
The Shawshank Redemption tells the story of two convicts serving life sentences. On the other hand, The Shining is a story about the descent into madness as an ominous supernatural presence in the Overlook hotel begins to compel a father to murder his entire family. Yes, both films feature entrapment in some aspect, but really that is where their similarities stop.
In fact, with one being a drama and the other holding fantastical elements, you wouldn’t think that they were connected at all, if it wasn’t for the tiny easter egg that was included in Darabont’s thriller movie. In a blink and you may miss it kind of moment, it is revealed that Morgan Freeman’s character, Red, cell number is 237.
For those who aren’t as obsessed with The Shining as we are at The Digital Fix, 237 was also the number of a hotel room down at the Overlook. In The Shining, we see Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) enter room 237 and, in an iconic creepy scene, encountered the ghost of Lorraine Massey.
Massey was said to seduce the hotel’s bellhop boys and is now ‘haunting’ the room. Fans of the flick may still have nightmares from when we saw the spirit coming out of a bathtub to kiss Jack before revealing herself to be a rotting old woman.
Luckily no ghosts were terrorising us in Shawshank Redemption. However, the reference to 237 does remind us that despite not being a horror, the film is unquestionably still a Stephen king project. In the past, 237 has been referenced in flicks such as Poltergeist, and other Shining scenes have been included in films such as the 2013 adaptation of Carrie.
So yeah, the Easter egg is firmly on-brand for a King adaptation and is a cool titbit of film knowledge for any cinephile.