The Disappointments Room

I don’t think a film’s title has been as appropriate as this one. This horror film starts out quiet and subdued, cranks it up a bit and then fizzles in the last act. A thin and uneven story drag down what could have been a moody, claustrophobic thriller.

Kate Beckinsale breaks out of the ‘Underworld’ mold for a moment and plays the part of Dana, a clearly strong woman suffering from a terrible loss along with her husband. In order to move past and heal, they move to a old mansion in North Carolina with their son, Lucas. It’s a big, old house with history and we get the feeling that creepiness will come when Dana discovers Lucas talking to a new ‘friend’, who then turns out to be a cute fluffy cat who is adopted as the chief mouse catcher. Dana tries to adjust to live in this isolated place. She tries to throw herself into fixing the house up and in doing so, she discovers a room that is not on the blueprints. This raises questions for her, and us as well. She looks into it more and discovers about Disappointments Rooms, secret rooms well to do  families would imprison their deformed offspring.

As Dana delves deeper into the history of her new home, she begins to see things and it just gets worse when she goes off her meds. Ultimately we’re led to question what is real and what is not, but the movie can’t seem to figure out a way to do it effectively. Instead we get a meandering collection of scenes that seem to be creating something but during a lackluster final act, it just sputters off. The finale proved it could have been far more horrifying, if the film makers only had the guts to do it. Instead we get a flat, pointless and suspense free ending.

The only two bright spots in this film were Kate Beckinsale herself. She was able to show the pain of a mother dealing with something no mother should. She gave us a woman who was strong, but held together only barely and as the only thing holding her sanity together, she protects her son with everything she  has, and the cat. A cute little guy who steals the few scenes he can be seen in. Ultimately, while I am not a horror film fan, I can say that this movie failed in the worst way because it wasn’t even a little shocking or even creepy. It was just a mess.

Audience: The auditorium was empty save for a few people, and of course in the row in front of me were the most annoying people ever! Some pregnant woman who was blissing out over being out with her friends.  They talked and whispered throughout the whole movie. They need to find a way that you can hear the movie, but not hear the other people around you, or people are going to have to realize that when they say ‘don’t talk’, they are included in that warning.