Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Movie Review #487: "The Disappointments Room" (2016)

Movie"The Disappointments Room"
Director: D.J. Caruso
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hour, 32 minutes
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After a tragedy, a family moves from the city into an old country manor in the middle of nowhere. Upon discovering a hidden room that was not on the house's floor plans, Dana (Kate Beckinsale), who was most affected by the tragedy, starts having strange visions and experiences that open a door into the house's mysterious past.

This movie sure lives up to its title.

"The Disappointments Room" is directed by D.J. Caruso, who also wrote the film along with actor Wentworth Miller. It stars Kate Beckinsale as Dana, an architect who, along with her husband David, played by Mel Raido, and son Lucas, played by Duncan Joiner, move to secluded country house for peace and quiet. The couple recently had a tragedy befall their family and Dana is understandably having trouble coping. They hope this change of scenery will help, but when Dana uncovers a strange room in their newly acquired home, she starts having bizarre, often violent visions which drive her further off the edge...or something like.

We had never seen one bit of marketing for "The Disappointments Room," and if we haven't seen a trailer, you sure as hell better bet no one else has, either. This movie is all over the place. The narrative is dreadfully awful and disjointed. It has what seem like random occurrences that don't go anywhere shoveled into the script for little to no purpose whatsoever and has multiple plot lines which are started but never actually finished by the time the credits roll. The characters are not really developed at all, either, and the dialogue forced out of the mouths of the actors is so terrible and so poorly written, we found it difficult not to burst out laughing at their feeble attempts to say the crappy words from their scripts. It may have helped if better actors were hired to be in this film. Mel Raido is one of the worst actors we've seen this year, and Kate Beckinsale isn't much better, unfortunately. This horror mystery is filled with clich├ęs and genre tropes. The filmmakers use cheap, innocuous jump scares, plenty of false foreshadowing and red herrings, and the occasional fake-out death scene too. It seems like it wants to make the audience question whether or not Dana is just crazy or if their house is really haunted. The answer stays pretty ambiguous, which wouldn't be a problem if the filmmakers had the slightest idea what they were actually attempting to showcase here.

In addition to pointless scenes, there are also pointless characters, like Lucas Till's Ben, a handyman who shows up to heavily flirt with Dana for no real reason and supposedly fix a hole in the roof, though we never really see him do any actual work. At one point, something happens to his character and he never comes back, leaving his purpose undisclosed and random. Other characters show up and as soon as you see them appear on screen, you know they are there to give some form of exposition. This is most certainly the case with Ms. Judith, played by Marcia DeRousse. As soon as she appears, we thought, "Oh! She's going to give us information on the history of the house and the weird little room and its purpose," and like clockwork, she does just that. Like we mentioned, the acting is pretty horrendous for the most part, even bit players like DeRousse. Beckinsale barely hovers around mediocre, but she is head and shoulders above the rest of the cast. This isn't saying much, though. Why they get what appears to be exclusively awful actors for these terrible horror films is beyond us.

There are a couple moments of horrific gore, which is why the film received an R rating, but these instances of gore are its only redeeming qualities as a horror film. Otherwise, it is totally ineffective on every possible level. Nothing flows organically, no one does a good job in front of or behind the camera, and even the cussing doesn't fit and feels unnatural. And finally, the blatantly distracting product placement of the equally random Krispy Kreme donuts is among some of the worst, most obvious and egregious product placement we have ever seen. This couple decided a "Krispy Kreme Hot Donuts Now" sign in their dining room would be the thing that'd really tie the room together. That's how blatant the product placement is. Michael Bay would be so proud.

"The Disappointments Room" is a turd, and it's a giant messy one, too. It's no wonder the distributor of this film didn't bother to promote it. Don't waste your money.

My Rating: 2/10
BigJ's Rating: 2/10
IMDB's Rating: 4.4/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 0%
Do we recommend this movie: AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE!!!

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