Ambiguity Comes At Night

It Comes At Night

 

Horror movies, they seem to be popping up at random times during the year.  Why June 9th called for one, I don’t know, but nevertheless… here I am writing another review on one.  Tonight, we hit It Comes At Dark, a movie starring Joel Edgerton.  Based on the trailer, I was expecting a thriller set out in the woods, as our main cast remained isolated in their proverbial fortress of solitude.  And with good reviews on other sites, my expectations further swelled.  What lies hidden in the house?  Robbie K will try to answer with another spoil free review.

 

LIKES:

 

Unique Twist: I use the word unique lightly as most stories have been told in the daunting flood of movies.  This film though treks away from the typical presentation of the horror genre, focusing a lot more on character development instead of just on the scares.  It comes at night takes a more artistic explanation, using the metaphorical devices to build up the suspense, story, and spook factor present in the film.  Such an “original” presentation is fun to watch, as the realistic atmosphere adds a little more edge to the movie.

 

Creepy:  If you’ve read my other horror reviews, you know I like a movie that balances jumps with creep factor. It comes at night doesn’t rely too much on the abrupt symphony blares that shatter the silence, but instead focuses on the creep factor to get under your skin.  The director brought three components that helped deliver the motive.  The first is the use of shadows, letting the unknown hijack your imagination and pain the picture of what lies n the dark.  Have a fear of the night, or at least night in the woods, then get ready for your worst nightmare, because that is what you are going to get. Second is the utilization of subtle sounds to further tease your imagination to create an image of what lurks in the dark. And finally, the realism factor.  It comes at night’s twist could certainly happen and realizing the fact spices up the terror.  That’s right, no over the top monsters, gratuitous maiming, or cheesy over dramatic stories about possession. It’s just straight up creep fest, using simple scare tactics.  Nice job guys.

 

DISLIKES:

 

Slow Pace: It Comes At Night does indeed have a unique twist, but it also opened the movie for a much slower presentation. After a rather tense opening, the pace drops to a snails run as you watched the family work to make a living in this post-apocalyptic world. Like one of the weaker episodes of the Walking Dead, much of the movie involves sequences of chores, upon chores, upon…yep you guessed it…more chores. And given the short run time, I wanted more bang for the buck.  Certainly it develops character (a plus), but without that exciting finish and tension to bring it full circle, the movie dragged and left me bored at times.  Artistic? Yes!  Realistic Yes! Needed all the time?  No!

 

Frustrating flashbacks:  This movie has plenty of weird dreams and semi-flashbacks trying to tell the story and do indeed build up the tension of the situation.  What is frustrating though is how incomplete these flashbacks are in the grand scheme.  The director had a brilliant idea to tease you with the unknown threats looming in this movie.  Unfortunately, the flashbacks, again, never get to the final answer, and all the extra flashbacks (while a great portrayal of thought and fear) frustrated me to know end at the constant interruption of the momentum and not providing the answer. I get it…that’s the point of this movie, but come on…give us something.

 

Ending:  The ending is certainly not the typical, run of the mill finish you expect in most spooky flicks.  So, this reviewer gives them props for that originality and significantly hard punch in the face.  Yet again, the director’s obsession with being artistic resulted in an ambiguous ending that drops to black just like that.  After bringing things to a full boil, the big finish fizzles out with a hasty wrapped up conclusion and a silent final scene where nothing happens.  No answers to what has happened to the world. No answers to the unknown factor that led to chaos (no clear one anyway). And no satisfying ending to complete the run.  So unless you just like dark, vague, finales where you are responsible for piecing things together, get ready for a disappointing ending.

 

The VERDICT:

 

It Comes At Night certainly defies the typical horror genre, and finally injects some uniqueness back into the mix.  A fantastic use of shadows and using the imagination to fill in the gaps amps up the scares and truly colors the unique “monster” looming in the woods.  Yet, they went a little too far with this gimmick and the incomplete ending just didn’t do it for me.  Abstract thoughts and artistic quality aside, I can’t recommend this one for the theaters except for those who like psychological analysis of a plot. 

 

My scores are:

 

Horror/Mystery:  6.0

Movie Overall:  5.0

Mehlien: The Tactics/Production Are Not Out Of This World

alien covenant

 

Alien… a franchise that has continued to take many forms over the last four decades. While some of its evolutions have been weaker and worthy of forgetting, there have been some forms that will forever hold throne in the realm of good science fiction horror.  Tonight, Alien Covenant launches in US theaters, unfortunately to a mixture of reviews slamming it enough to call it worse than its predecessor Prometheus. So, alongside my friend Jeff, we hit the theaters to see what it’s got after all the buildup and hype.  Robbie K back and as always, I’m here to share my thoughts.

 

LIKES:

  • Back to Alien tactics
  • Danny McBride isn’t a stoner
  • Science Fiction Elements
  • Loose ends somewhat tied up

 

Summary:  Low and behold, Covenant finally returns back to the elements we fell in love with years ago.  Nostalgia runs wild in this movie as Daniels and her colleagues work to survive the nightmare that dwells in this movie.  Narrow Hallways filled to the brim with shadows as the “perfect” organism seeks out its prey, amidst shrieks, acid blood, and that infamous lethal tongue? The gimmicks are all there, alongside the science fiction element this series is famous for.  Biology is certainly one of the topics they focused on this one, in hopes of adding some plausibility and “realism” to the series.  My buddy and I both agreed that this component did some nice damage control and added a unique twist to the mix.

A particular like for me was finally seeing McBride in a new role.  If you’re a fan of classic McBride acting like an idiot constantly on drugs and spouting nonsense, you won’t see that side of him in this film.  For me this is refreshing, and McBride finally crafted a character I didn’t want to punch in the face, but instead relished as he took a major role in the story. While I certainly would have liked a little more him in the film (not something I say often), McBride works on so many levels for me in this film.

Finally, the story element of the movie.  When last, we left the series, Prometheus left so many freaking questions and confusion that we needed another movie to explain the movie.  Good news, Covenant comes in to tie up those loose ends, helping bridge the gap between the new and old and answer some questions we have asked for a while.  In doing so it adds an…interesting element to the mix and doesn’t raise as many questions as Prometheus did…. Thank the lord for that.

DISLIKES:

  • Weak opening
  • Most characters practically worthless
  • Weird gimmicks
  • Overzealous gore
  • Inconsistent story line

Summary: Reading some of my fellow reviewers’ writings I have to agree with many of the dislikes in this movie.  Much has to do with the story, and it starts with the weak, almost pointless opening that causes all the trouble. It’s lazy writing, with a random element thrown in to get things going that barely makes sense other than some special effect firework display. Throw in the pointless cameo (again) and you are left with a bitter taste from the start.

Unfortunately, that’s only the start, for Alien Covenant continues to take hits in the plot development, primarily in the character story aspect. Much of the cast is pretty much pointless outside of being fodder for the aliens, with few having any backstory or an understandable name.  We get it, Aliens is all about nameless characters facing the elements, but the first two installments were successful in integrating some of them into plot and bestow significance. In addition, someone wasn’t paying attention to their details, because Alien Covenant offset some of the details Prometheus set.  While it may not be a big deal to the layman, most fans of the series though are going to notice…yeah, we nerds can be a pain in the butt. Still, I didn’t like some of these lack of attention to detail and will most likely do everything in my power to theorize a story to cover this gap.

Nope… instead this movie wanted to try out some new gimmicks in multiple departments including weird kissing scenes, that notorious black crud, obsessions with “love”, and of course new types of creatures.  I’ll give them points for some originality, but the gimmicks were a little off the wall even for me (who is pretty dang weird).  Even worse, the gimmicks are kind of unnecessary or neatly explained in a single sentence. Instead the new gimmicks, as well as much of the movie was all about the gore.  Alien Covenant keeps to the displays of blood, going strong for the insanely detailed displays of blood (both CGI and real) and people getting torn to bits, by a less impressive looking Xenomorph.

 

The VERDICT

            Aline Covenant is pretty much what you expect from the series since Alien 3 emerged out into the theaters.  It is all about the gore filled hunt, mediocre story, all wrapped in a science fiction exterior.  A plus side is again the Alien tactics and tying up loose ends, but unfortunately it still lacks a lot of story, relevant gimmicks, and balance the first two movies had. Perhaps, should a next one be made, they will tie up more loose ends and obtain a little more storytelling.  In addition, the insane obsession with death and gore might be diluted as well, though I highly doubt this given modern audiences obsession with killing.  Worth a trip to the theater?  For the fans of the series, yes, otherwise hold out until RedBox for this one folk.

 

My scores are:  

Horror/Sci-Fi/Thriller:  7.5

Movie Overall: 6.5

A Ring Story, Without the Scares

rings

            Seven days!  A simple phrase that struck terror in our hearts oh so many years ago.  Certainly, you know I’m talking of The Ring, the horror movie about a death delivering video tape certain to scare you to death.  Samara’s tale has fallen on to the backburner for some time, but like the cursed video, the series has resurfaced to the modern world to once more have you cowering at your screens.  Will Rings live up to the potential?  Robbie K here, once more sharing his opinions on yet another film.  Let’s get started.

 

LIKES:

  • Decent acting
  • Nice blend into the modern era
  • Strong story for a horror

 

Summary: Okay, this movie is certainly not going to win awards for best performance, but Rings’ cast has some skill in their performances of college kids plagued by an evil spirit. Matilda Anna Ingrid Lutz and Alex Roe are the leads of this tale, doing a great job of balancing romance and detective work, finally a power couple who wasn’t annoying.  And Johnny Galecki trades one nerd role for another, though this time his scientific qualities had a little darker twist to the mix.  Overall, the cast gets a pat on the back for establishing some good characters to hook on to.

Yet the major things this reviewer liked involved the story components of the movie.  Rings has jumped into the modern area, dropping the outdated VHS tapes for modern day MP4 files.  It will help bridge the generation gaps, and add a new element that the other installments were missing.  And the story was much stronger than I anticipated.  Rings has more mystery to it, trying to find the answers to the elusive mystery of Samara’s origins.  Where it fits in the grand scheme of things is a little up in the air, but at least there is some character development and drama to spice things up.  And as for the ending, it too is a little ambiguous, providing some delightfully dark closure, but still leaving it open for future installments.  Not the strongest finish, but also not bad.

 

DISLIKES:

  • Scare Factor at A Low
  • Some plot elements lackluster
  • Not the same Ring

 

Summary: Rings story may be on target, but the scare factor still didn’t reach the same levels that the first movie was able to achieve.  This installment resorted to jump out scare moments, mainly trying to make you jump with sudden loud noises and hallucinations appearing from out of nowhere.  Many of these moments weren’t well timed, and to be honest many of the objects just weren’t scary.  Think of the first film and how creepy everything was, the unknown always teasing you until something sprung out of nowhere. All that was very diluted in this installment.  Even though they finally show you how she kills her victims, the team didn’t quite make it as horrifying as I thought it would be (think ghost rider’s soul stare without the flashy fire).  Rings was lacking this element, and had more of a mystery theme to it than an actual horror.  In addition, there were also some plot elements that didn’t shine as much as they wanted. For this reviewer, there is still some questions they still haven’t fully answered that you have to draw yourself.  The bottom line of the dislikes is that Rings didn’t quite hit the same level the first movie had all those years ago.

 

The VERDICT:

 

In conclusion, Ring is not so much a horror movie in this round, but a mystery film about uncovering the origins of Samara.  While the cast is decent, the story is mostly thought out, and we have some answer, it still didn’t feel like the Ring series we’ve come to know. If you are looking for a movie to scare the pants off of you, sorry this isn’t the film to do it. And you can probably guess, but yours truly doesn’t recommend this one for the theater and implores you to wait until it hits home rental stands.  Only people who might enjoy this one in theater are those who care about the story element of the movie, but I still think you can wait for home (I mean we have been waiting twelve years for this one right?). 

 

My scores are:

 

Drama/Horror:  6.5

Movie Overall: 5.0

Shyamalan’s latest Movie Is Not A Splitting Headache

split

 

No please not that, anything but that!  This might be the screams you hear when another M. Night Shyamalan film rolls into theaters.  The man who started out so strong, only to fall so far has tried his luck at horror once more in the featured film Split starring James McAvoy.  Will a movie about split personalities kidnapping girls be the step he needs to climb back to top notch director, or will his movie be laughable at best?  Robbie K here with yet another review, and as always I appreciate your reads.  Let’s get started!

 

LIKE:

  • Creepy kind of horror
  • Decent plot to keep it interesting
  • Complex morals
  • James McAvoy

 

Summary:

Fans of my reviews know creepy horror is better for me than jump scares, and Split is a prime example of spine-tingling chills.  Shyamalan and his crew get incredible effects from such simple tactics, using isolation, subtle piano background music, and gradual information revelation to keep you in suspense.  By using a believable human as the monster instead of some cheesy creature, the creeps are only further amplified by how horrible such a thing can be.

 

But scares alone don’t make a movie and Split does a decent job of crafting a tale to keep you hooked into the movie.  While certainly not original, Split’s plot is a culmination of smaller stories that detail the background info of a majority of our characters, helping to develop them in the short run time.  All of these tales have a moral twist to it, but one story in particular raises an intriguing concept that may provide some food for thought, or at least an ethical dilemma for future talks.

 

However, the piece de resistance is the leading actor James McAvoy who carries much of the movie.  The man can play multiple personalities well, tweaking his mannerisms and dialogues in subtle ways to craft an entirely different identity. His talents, as well as the direction, kept all his characters in the realistic zone, which while creepy, also made engaging characters to grab on to. There are few actors to which I could see doing the spectacular job he did.

 

DISLIKE:

  • Predictable Story
  • Trailer has shown much
  • Don’t see all the personalities
  • Mixed on the ending

 

Summary:

Despite the story being very well-developed for a horror story, it also isn’t the most unique either. Outside of the twenty-three-personality quirk, you can guess much of the backstory of each character and where the film is going by about the 30-minute mark. Part of the predictability can be attributed to the trailer revealing a lot of key details in the short collection of scenes, including the big revelation at the end.

 

The trailer also harbors on the twenty-three personalities, but in reality, it’s more like four with a few cameos from the others.  While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing (as too many personalities could be very sloppily done), it also was a wasted gimmick. What do I mean by this confusing statement?  I mean, why make twenty-three, instead of say ten, or even five? What was the significance of twenty-three outside of a nickname if you weren’t going to integrate all of them?  This dislike comes from the trailer’s focus on high number only to once again let it fizzle out.  And as for the ending, it’s a very open-ended finale that leaves a lot of questions up in the air.  Perhaps the potential sequel will answer these components, but only time will tell.

 

The VERDICT:

 

Split, to my surprise, was much better than I thought and was a horror movie worthy of the franchise.  If you are looking for realistic chills, a satisfying plot, and fantastic acting of someone with a mental health disorder then certainly check this movie out.  In fact, in regards to the horror genre I would warrant this movie earns a trip to the theater.  However, as a movie overall, it still has its shortcomings, especially in regards to the twenty-three-personality gimmick.  Yet one thing is for certain, if Shyamalan can continue this trend he may fall back into the favorable director field once more.

 

My scores are:

 

Horror/Thriller: 8.0

Movie Overall: 7.0

The Board Would Say Yes to this Movie Being Creepy and Better Than the First

origins

            You remember the movie Ouija? It was a stupid, boring film, with the only redeeming qualities being a short run time and a pretty cast (sorry if I have offended anyone).  However, there must have been enough interest in it to warrant Michael Bay to produce another movie about Mattel’s popular spirit connection game.  Based on the trailers though, it seems they might have learned their lesson when making this prequel and taken things back to the scary side.  Robbie K here, and tonight I’m reviewing Ouija: Origin of Evil. Let’s get to work.

 

LIKES:

  • Creepy
  • Well-developed story
  • A Halloween thriller

 

The last movie tried its best to scare us with corny jump scares, one spirit we barely got a glimpse of, and a too beautiful cast of spoiled teens to kill off.  Good news, they threw all of that out, only salvaging the forgotten names of spirit’s family and the creepy house it took place in.  Set in the 70s, the scare factor of this film comes in many forms, which will surely send tingles down your spine, or at least give you a disturbing feeling that something is lurking in the walls of your theater.  The creepy little girl will bear the brunt of load with raspy whispers, an innocent (but oh so sinister) smile, and that high pitched voice that always is disturbing in possessed kids. Origins also has plenty of things lurking in the dark, bodies distorting to the paranormal, and a few jump scares to balance the load. The directors build up the scares in this flick, while keeping your skin crawling.

Even more surprising is how the scares are integrated into a surprisingly decent story for a horror movie.  Origin’s plot starts out like most other films as a family struggling to make it after a life altering event.  Somehow they stumble into the Ouija board and, what do you know, bad things start to happen as they mess with the spirit world. It’s not original, but it is miles better than the original plot. The mystery behind Doris’ transformation is pretty messed up and can be described as a mashup of poltergeist meets malicious science.  While cheesy at times, the tale fits in well with the Halloween spirit, including an ending that will thrill you darker ending fans.

 

DISLIKES:

  • Hardly get to see the ghost
  • Not much suspense
  • Rather rushed at times

 

In a horror movie, less is often a good thing as the imagination can paint a much scarier picture than make up can.  Still with all the alliteration, I would have liked to have seen more of the malicious spirits that dwelled in the walls. Oh sure you get a decent, if not awkward scene of the black specter, but I had hoped the digital shroud of darkness would morph into something more gruesome.  Either that or at least more screen time that extend past milky white eyes.

The limited screen time of the ghost pales in comparison to the lack of suspense in the movie.  Much of this is due to the fact that the ghost just paraded around in the skin of a young girl, which while creepy wasn’t as threatening.  The spirit’s goal was also never really explained, and what little light was shed did little to impress or hype up the story.  A few bouts got the heart pumping, but they fizzled out like a Fourth of July firework in the rain.  And since we already know how the events will turn out, the only thing I looked forward to was seeing how everything came together.

As for the story, it has a good, malicious backbone, but needs some finessing to help bring it to the full potentialThey burn through much their plot at rapid speed, spending little time to draw out mystery or provide opportunities for the characters to develop. All so they can cram in more of the little girl defying physics and looking malformed .  While creepiness is what you are going for, the lackluster climax packs little punch and leaves you wondering just how many times can a character get thrown across the room without breaking a bone.  But despite the rushed plot and dull edge…Origins plot is still miles ahead of the game if not a little inconsistent should you remember the original’s plots.

 

The VERDICT:

 

Despite all its faults, Ouija origins is the creepy Halloween horror of this season.  The eerie atmosphere, insidious ghoul, and disturbing manipulations will get your skin crawling and the story isn’t half bad either.  Improvements aside, Origins still has some work to do in order to reach the greater heights it strive to achieve.  More plot development, a little more threat tagged on with the spirit, and some deeper suspense are required if they choose to make a sequel.  And if any developing directors read this review, make sure to cast the little girl again…she is a valuable asset.  Is this worthy of a theater visit?  I suggest you wait on this one, and revisit a classic this Halloween.

 

My scores are:

 

Horror/Thriller: 7.0

Movie Overall: 6.5

Bland Witch Project

blair-witch

            Years ago, one horror movie decided to try the revolutionary technique of telling a story through the eyes of a personal camcorder.  It was new, it was interesting, and provided a fresh spin on the horror genre. Yes, the Blair Witch Project certainly put the found footage franchise on the map, if mot potentially birth the genre.  Now, seventeen years later we get another attempt at making a legitimate sequel that doesn’t end up in the raspberry category. Hi Robbie K here and I’m here to review Blair Witch, so let’s get started.

 

LIKES:

  • Creepy setting and creatures
  • Lisa is cute
  • Only 90 minutes

 

Blair Witch’s tactics for scaring have always been about using the unseen and imagination to give you a fright.  The third installment continues this trend and resorts to the nightmare  of the woods where unholy creatures have plenty of places to hide.  You’ll fill your time watching weeds, bushes, and an occasional trunk move as the demonic entity moves off camera and hunts our naïve young adults. The terrifying sounds of nature rebelling mixed with the anguished cries of the monsters gets under your skin only to be amplified by the silence that envelops leaving you feeling isolated and alone. And then BAM, you get a glimpse of the creatures involved in terror that adds that final edge to the mix.  Sure…it is not the scariest thing to grace the screen, but the realistic setting and the subtle use of special effects get the job done for making your skin crawl.

In regards to the cast, well they do alright in terms of the acting department being able to curse, scream, cry, and panic to the best of any teen horror movie. While they may not get the best actor awards, our cast certainly has the hot look down for its target audience to look at.  My particular favorite is Callie Hernandez playing Lisa the attractive film student filming the journey to find Heather.  Not only is she incredibly beautiful (or at least cute), but she is the character with the most brains and strength of the young crew.  I’m sure that others will find someone to place their bets on though, most likely based on who they find attractive. And if for no reason you can’t find a person to root for, you only have to wait about 90 minutes and then the whole ordeal is over.

 

DISLIKES:

  • Shaky Camera Work…again
  • Annoying jump scares
  • Less developed characters
  • Unanswered questions…again

 

When you think of found footage, you only hope the camera is stable enough to not give you motion sickness that leads to vomiting.  Unfortunately, Blair Witch has not been able to conquer the trend of tremor camera and this time it is primarily focused on bushes.  As our teens run through the dark woods, you’ll find yourself filling the shoes of the teenager as you collide with foliage and trip over nature. The only reprieve is the shot of our limited cast looking like hell or the fleeting image of some poor lost soul.  At least with other found footage film you get a little action or better shots of the monster. This camera work certainly makes it more realistic, but it also needed to center on the monsters  and provide some more details to fill the picture.

Because of the direction the film takes, there was also limited tactics to scare you with. While I praised the creepy setting and use of darkness to get you tense, Blair Witch resorted to jump scares as the primary means to try and wet your pants.  They timed things well at times when a loud sound or person appears on screen, but like many films they overuse this method and force it into the stale zone.  How many times do you need to see someone crash into the camera before you get bored of it?  For me it was three  before the tactic grew bland.  For those with highs strung nerves and are easily frightened, may still find themselves jumping like a Mexican jumping bean through the film.

   Of course all the jump scare tactics and shaky camera work displace any real attempt to develop our characters in this film.  We see two, maybe three of the six, provide some details to further the very thin plot, but seldom does it add any depth to the characters acting it out. While not the primary focus (I know this is a horror movie people you just want scares), I was hoping for a little more to the teenagers to help me latch on and care what fate befell them.  Yet Blair Witch has dumped any attempts at character development for shallow writing and dull camera work.

And of course, they also skimped out on providing any real answers to the questions we had so long ago. A few of the characters help provide some backstory to the all this mess and give the Blair Witch a little more bit, but outside of that…we get nothing.  Why does the forest stay dark? What exactly were those creatures in the woods? What happens to the Witch’s victims and why does she seek out victims?  So many questions and so few satisfying answers to fill those holes.

 

The Verdict:

            Blair Witch is okay, and is certainly an example of the mediocre works that found footage films are.  While the creepy environment will give you goosebumps and the cast is nice to look at, there is little more to this movie other than screaming.  The lack of details and stale jump scare tactics are unimpressive and therefore do not warrant a trip to the theater in my opinion.  Recommended audiences include: Blair Witch followers and found footage fanatics.

 

My scores are:

Horror/Thriller:  5.5-6.0

Movie Overall: 4.0

Like The Title…This Film Was A Disappointment

disappointments-room

 

Robbie K here, and I’m covering yet another horror movie to grace the summer season. My first film in this genre is a film that came out of left field entitled The Disappointment’s Room. With little advertising and a title with the word disappointing in it, I can’t say I had high hopes for this one. Yet, you never know what you are going to get from Hollywood. Let’s get started.

 

LIKES:

  • A plot that keeps you guessing
  • Decent acting
  • Short Run Time

 

When it comes to a horror movie plot, you never know what creepy nightmare our team a writer is going to come up with. The Disappointment’s Room is a psychological thriller about a small family moving to the stereotypical old manor home for a new start only to find something sinister within. In this case, it’s a room, nothing more, nothing less. Sounds stereotypical right? Well it is, but the strength of this plot is that it keeps you guessing as to what is really happening to the family and who is the cause of all the trouble. This is accomplished by having one of the characters having a history of psychosis. It’s difficult to fathom whether all the spooks are indeed spirits or nothing more than an episode of mental illness gone wrong, which kept me engaged in the plot to say the least. If this doesn’t engage you and you still get roped into seeing it, fear not the run time is only 90 minutes.

Of course it helps to have some decent acting to bring that madness to life, which is accomplished by the lead actress Kate Beckinsale. The woman certainly commits to her character, and the Underworld Star captures the psychological tension of mother struggling from depression and potentially schizophrenia. From the endless montages of low energy sulking to the intense bouts of yelling and crashing, Beckinsale displays all these emotions to the full level. Outside of that though, the rest of the cast plays their parts well, helping to drive the plot while giving Beckinsale something to act off of. Unfortunately due to limited roles…there isn’t much past that. 

 

DISLIKES:

  • Limited Roles
  • Not scary
  • Unimpressive story
  • Unnecessary (quite confusing) violence

   As I just stated, the roles were certainly limited in this film. While I appreciate seeing mental illness portrayed well, I can’t say it’s the only character I want to see unless it is like A Beautiful Mind. Beckinsale’s character annoyed me in the fact that she did primarily screamed and cried. I was hoping for more in the lead character. The supporting husband, the clichéd creepy son, and the potential new friend were much too simplistic for me, and did little to better the story for me.   Again good portrayals of an outside support system, but without any further development…well can’t give this component kudos.

Speaking of limited characters, let’s talk about the ghost of this movie. The Disappointments Room’s specter could certainly have been developed more not only in creep factor, but story as well. Without ruining anything, the proverbial Englishman only brings arrogance and a bad temper to the screen. Our writers tried to give him some edge in terms of intense scowling, but he lacks a backstory or even skills that you hope your malicious antagonist to have. In addition, there was little else in this movie that scared me, with the usual ploys, such as things rushing across the screen or a sudden blare in music, being executed poorly by our design team. The exception to this is a few moments where Beckinsale starts to fall deeper down the mental tunnel and a few creepy moments, but outside of that…it’s kind of tame.

Instead, our directors wanted to fill the time with pointless violence, mostly designed around harming animals and children. Part of this comes from the very shortsighted, and somewhat confusing, story that our team designed. Oh sure the madness keeps you guessing, but wouldn’t it be nice to have a straightforward wrap up and fulfilling conclusion to all the craziness. Sorry folks, that doesn’t really happen here. Yours truly could only shake his head as he bore witness to at least thirty minutes of anger fueled smashing and incidents that should have gotten a child services call. It certainly fits with the tale, but this kind of stuff does not impress me one bit and became somewhat corny near the end.   Sigh, such potential indeed only to be lost to the shock factor.

 

The VERDICT

Hopefully from my review you can see that The Disappointments Room certainly is lacking in the horror genre department. While it has a strong actress leading the bunch, a plot that keeps you guessing, and a little throwback into history, there is not much this movie has going for it. While Kate Beckinsale has saved the vampire the occult world many times, she could not save this film from being, dare I say it…a disappointment. Therefore, I can’t promote this semi-boring film to be seen in theaters and would strongly encourage waiting until Netflix or cable picks up this option.

 

My scores for this review are:

Horror/Drama/Thriller: 5.5

Movie Overall: 4.5-5.0