There were a few different choices for the two movies I was going to review this week. I knew one of them would be "Sully" because it would have the most cultural relevance, but for the second film I could have gone with "Little Men," "The Wild Life," "When the Bough Breaks" or "The Disappointments Room."
Now, I could have said the reason I chose "The Disappointments Room" was because the trailer didn't give much of the film away and that's always exciting, or that I just love horror movies and want all of them inside me. Both of those reasons are true. But the real truth? The ugly, mirror of the soul truth is that I saw that the film had a 0 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and I just had to see what the hell that looked like.
Guess what? It looks terrible. I wish the film had exceeded expectations or at least been a somewhat watchable 90 minutes, but this is one of the worst movies I have seen in a theater in my entire life... and I've seen "Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot" on the big screen.
Kate Beckinsale plays Dana, an architect who moves out to the country with her husband and young son to fix up a big old beautiful mansion. A year earlier they lost their infant daughter and this fixer-upper is supposed to be the kind of project that helps Dana cope with her loss and escape her crippling depression and suicidal thoughts. One day while cleaning, Dana finds a locked and hidden room behind a massive dresser. This room... is the disappointments room. And it's haunted. Kinda.
The audience is never sure whether the ghosts of homeowners and dead children past are really there, or whether Dana is just losing her mind because she's off of her anti-psychotic medication. That kind of ambiguity works in most films, but this flick has more holes than scenes.
Characters appear and then disappear for the rest of the film. Beckinsale's entire dramatic monologue is done in the dining room where, apropos of nothing, there is a giant glowing donut sign on the wall. She's crying over her dead child and every time the camera moves we see DONUTS!!!!! The evil ghost (played by MAJOR FREAKING DAD) becomes super kill crazy for no apparent reason. A box of keys is introduced in the first act...never to be brought up again.
A ton of re-editing must have been done for this film in post production, because what remains is downright experimental. It's like director D.J. Caruso wanted to see if he could make a horror movie with no scares, no ending and a plot in which every scene is stolen from a better film.
Normally I'm pretty kind with film reviews because I mostly critique whether the director achieved whatever his or her intention for the film was. The only thing Caruso achieved here was several years in director's jail and possibly harming the career of everyone involved. "The Disappointments Room" is not a movie, it's a joke played on every single person who buys a movie ticket.
"The Disappointments Room"
Dir. D.J. Caruso
Now playing at Old Mill Stadium 16 & IMAX