Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Film Review: The Disappointments Room (2016)

The Disappointments Room (Review)
United States/2016
Format Viewed For Review: Netflix Instant
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: No

"...an unoriginal and uninspired haunted house movie."

A family moves into a rural house in an attempt to start a new life. All is well until they discover a hidden room in the attic...

The Disappointments Room is a disappointment. (Clever, right?) The plot is painfully generic, severely lacking original ideas and unique frights. To be blunt, it feels like the story was pieced together using scenes from other movies. The plot follows a family of three: Dana (Kate Beckinsale), the mother, David, the father, and Lucas, their five-year-old son. They move into a rural house because of an 'accident' that occurred in their lives—an accident that leads Dana to become unstable. While settling in, Dana discovers a hidden room in the attic. She begins obsessing about the room while having visions about the previous owners. Eventually, it reveals everything you already knew. There was a pretty bloody surprise towards the end, although it's not really a surprise when it comes to the actual story. Anyway, the actual ending is also disappointing—predictable and underwhelming.


The Disappointments Room isn't a horrible film. I wouldn't even say it's a bad movie. It's just severely lacking in originality and style. It's a story we've seen a thousand times without a single unique twist or spin by the filmmakers. Like I said, in both style and plot, it feels like this is just a collection of scenes from other movies pieced together to make the same movie. Yes, there are some interesting scenes here and there. I like the idea of a 'disappointments room,' although it's never really fleshed out. And, yes, it kept my attention from beginning to end. Being well-made, however, doesn't mean it's very entertaining or even all that interesting. This film fails to offer a good reason to watch it.

The acting was okay. Kate Beckinsale is stiff during a few scenes, but she also shines during others. She's not a bad leading lady. In fact, she's a silver lining for this film. The supporting cast was also decent. The film looked okay. The music was pretty standard for the genre, too—nothing really caught my ear as spectacular or horrible. The film was written by Wentworth Miller and directed by D. J. Caruso. The writing isn't bad, but it is way too safe. It takes zero risks, leading to an underwhelming and often dull plot. Caruso fares a bit better as director. He obviously knows how to make movies and he knows how to create suspense, but he's not nearly as good as he was when he directed Disturbia, which I enjoyed quite a bit.

Overall, The Disappointments Room is a mediocre film. It's an unoriginal and uninspired haunted house movie. It offers very little to the genre and fails to conjure any significant horror. The Disappointments Room deserves a disappointments room of its own, perhaps? I only recommend it to those who have nothing else to watch or who are not familiar with the genre.

Score: 4/10
Parental Guide: Some strong violence and blood.

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