Friday, October 14, 2016
The Disappointments Room (2016)
DIRECTOR: D.J. Caruso
Jennifer Leigh Mann
When Dana and David suffer the horrible tragedy of losing their baby, they decide to move away from the big city and into an old rural mansion. Dana is an architect and hopes that this new move will allow her to fix up the property and take her mind off of the trauma of their past. Little does Dana realise that she will uncover a very dark secret about the property that will unleash unimaginable horror.
The Disappointments Room has had a bit of a struggle with the lead up to its release two years ago. The company behind the film filed for bankruptcy back in 2015 which put the release of the movie in jeopardy. Once the company managed to sort out its money woes, the film finally saw the light at the end of a very dark tunnel. With the movie finally being released into cinemas, all the problems that the production had faced may have finally been over.
After getting to watch The Disappointments Room, I think the money woes that this production faced were the last of the movie's problems. This is a film that is riddled with issues that are deeply rooted in the way that the story plays out and the editing of the film. The movie currently sits at a zero percent on Rotten Tomatoes. I honestly think somewhere along the way, this movie had too many cooks in the kitchen at one time and it shows in the final film.
The film is written by actor and writer Wentworth Miller. He wrote the incredibly dark Stoker back in 2013 and seems to have continued honing his writing skills with much darker material. I think maybe at one stage, he had a bright idea in there somewhere with The Disappointments Room. This is an extremely grim tale. The entire reveal of what the room represents could have taken this to some much nastier places. Maybe being a studio film, they tried to tame the story down during the editing process.
While watching this movie, you get a sense that this is a film that has suffered from someone coming in and trying to edit the story during post-production. The movie is so horribly chopped up that the premise starts to make little to no sense in sections of it. There are moments in the movie that happen that are never really explained or do they ever get touched on again. The editing is apparently done in such a way that you think there must be a lot of the movie that was left on the cutting room floor.
Once the ending of the film rolls around, the execution and handling of what some would claim to be a twist ending are horribly pieced together. I found myself asking was that all? The film throws in a psychological aspect to the story but still is not able to tie it together successfully. I believe this all falls back on how poorly edited the film is and how the story plays out. At some point, they had cut this movie to shreds. It's to the point where it feels like it was too hard to fix, so they just gave up in the end.
The first thing that The Disappointments Room gets right is having D.J. Caruso at the helm. He's a solid director when it comes to crafting a polished looking thriller. He has worked with these type of genre movies before with the likes of Disturbia and Taking Lives. Like those two films before this, the movie looks great. The film contains plenty of impressive and gorgeous shots and cinematography. I found myself really enjoying the film on a technical level.
When it comes to the gore and tension, it does contain a few scenes that may make some folks with weaker stomachs get a little queasy. We have a scene that involves a hammer that almost rivals the ferocious death scene from Ben Wheatley's Kill List. We also have a pretty impressive and gory dog attack. The movie regarding suspense is quite a slow burn thriller, it never really made me jump out of my seat, but the film does have an overall sense of dread to it.
Lastly, the performances from both Kate Beckinsale and Mel Raido need a mention. I think Kate Beckinsale is hugely underrated as an actress. Yes, she doesn't always pick or choose the best movies and roles to showcase her talent but here I enjoyed her as a sassy, take-no-shit mother. I also enjoyed Mel Raido as her husband as the cool and aloof father. He did his role justice. Both leads are notable in an otherwise painfully generic thriller.
DEATH TOLL: 3
BLOOD AND GORE:
- A kid and woman are covered in blood.
- A very violent and bloody dog attack.
- A decapitated cat.
- Someone is smacked in the face with a shovel.
- Someone is seen hanging from a tree.
- A child is hit in the head with a hammer.
- A dog's neck is snapped.
- A man's head is pulverised with a hammer.
- A baby is suffocated.
The Disappointments Room is a movie that I think may have suffered from a lot of studio interference and too many people getting in on the editing process. The film is poorly edited together, which in turn makes the movie not very cohesive or well told regarding the story. This is a film that is all over the place. The movie isn't completely worthless, it is polished and has some solid leading performances and gore. Just don't go in expecting something very original. A missed opportunity.