The Disappointments Room Review

Posted: September 12, 2016 in Horror, Reviews
Tags: , ,

The Disappointments RoomYes, I suppose we need to get the obligatory pun on the title of this awful movie out of the way.

Q: What’s a disappointments room? A: Any theater showing this mess of a would-be horror film.

While we can acknowledge the guts, foolhardiness, or disregard surrounding the decision to title a film The Disappointments Room, nothing else in the endeavor merits recognition, beyond the scope of the disaster and a vague desire for answers to inexplicable questions surrounding this production. Simply put, The Disappointments Room is one of the worst major releases (1554 screens) of 2016. How bad is it? After the first weekend, Rotten Tomatoes had a reading of 0% on its Tomatometer for this movie, meaning that even the hack critics who live to see their name in blurbs did not have the balls to give this a thumbs up.

Why this one was sent to the cinema rather than directly to video on demand is a mystery. An even greater unknown is why Kate Beckinsale would ever have attached herself to this project. One has to look back to Eddie Murphy undoing all the goodwill he generated through his performance in Dreamgirls with his next release, Norbit, to find an actor that squandered success as suddenly as Beckinsale does by appearing in The Disappointments Room. Earlier this year, she was radiant in Love & Friendship, delivering a pitch-perfect performance as the wickedly witty and beautiful Lady Susan Vernon. Here, she sleepwalks in a blonde wig through the role of wife/mother/architect who agrees to move from the big city to the backwoods of North Carolina after losing her infant daughter. And damn it, wouldn’t you know that the creepy house with the black dog handing around outside is haunted?

You know you’re in for a long ride when a horror movie opens with a Gilbert & Sullivan sing-along, a scene that should never be attempted again after The Simpsons episode with Bart and Sideshow Bob. Here, it does nothing more that set a disturbing tone of illogic that the movie steadfastly adheres to. The room referred to in the title turns out to be hidden behind a cabinet in the attic and was used to stash offspring who suffered birth defects during a less enlightened time. Of course, it’s not the poor girl who suffered this abuse doing the haunting; it’s her no-good prick of a father who comes after Beckinsale and her remaining child. The ghost father is played by Gerald McRaney, who does look scary as hell, but is completely wasted here. His dog gets more screen time – and more lines.

Husband David (Mel Raido) is given little to do other than to alternately appear oblivious to the threat within the house or fret that wife Dana (Beckinsale) is losing it. There are occasional encounters with townsfolk to kill time and provide exposition, including some creepy scenes with a contractor (Lucas Till) attempting to put the moves on Beckinsale, who responds by asking him to dig up a dog corpse to make sure everything’s okay. Seriously. He ends up getting a shovel to the head, which does seem the appropriate punishment for everyone associated with the making of this movie.

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