The Room (2019) is a film that impressed me from start to finish — with beautifully shot art-like visuals and interesting framing, writing that allowed its cast many opportunities to display some very emotive acting, and a narrative that attacks some heavy material, The Room is truly something special and is certainly not your everyday suspense/horror film. Taking the monkey’s paw or genie’s lamp scenario, putting it in the hands of a stressed couple who questions things much too late, and giving the premise a modern, psychological-horror update worked out well in the hands of director/co-writer Christian Volckman.
It is one of the most mind-bending indie movies I have seen in a while, in fact, I would say it is on par with something like Christopher Smith’s heart-racing sci-fi thriller, The Triangle, only with a heck of a lot fewer bodies piled up. I did find myself yelling a lot at the main male character who I found was made to make questionable decisions, but they are understandable when framed in their shocking situation, and in the end, speak to the overall development of his character. The Room feels like a psychological thriller placed in a Twilight Zone-like setting of a fantasy house, and like a Twilight Zone episode, there is a definite moral lesson to this story, but not before the audience is taken on quite an emotional roller coaster ride — The Room is one great wish-gone-bad movie.
Olga Kurylenko and Kevin Janssens star as Kate and Matt, a married couple who have moved from Europe to upstate New York to start over in a new house. Having experienced the trauma of a miscarriage, Kate and Matt work on both their family and their new fixer up, both of which are in need of repair. When Matt finds a hidden room during renovations, he soon finds that it can somehow grant wishes both small and to the limit of one’s deepest desires, forgetting that one should be careful about what they wish for.
It is always a wonder when a horror movie begins with the new family discovering the new creepy basement, cellar, attic, etc. that is somehow to their amazement. In the case of The Room, it is an otherworldly room, one that has the power to make one’s wishes manifest. Do people really buy homes sight unseen? Another suspension of logic was that they were not told of this famous murder house before moving in, which I thought was the law, but then we wouldn’t have a movie after all. Also, there are mail order guns? Besides these minor holes being glossed over and the origins of the power of the house not being at all fleshed out, I thought that the storyline, which focused heavily on the couple’s relationship, turned out to be very captivating, especially in its climax as my mind tripped on the film’s plot twist.
The Room is already on the longer side for an indie movie, however, it did not feel long at all and was a well-paced ride through a dark, modern fairytale house. It lightly taps on the trauma of loss and the agony of a woman grappling with her desire for motherhood — the whole cast performed well but Kurylenko carried most of the emotional baggage of the film and did so gracefully. This movie can be enjoyed by all who appreciate a layered story and whiplash-inducing plot twists, find The Room streaming VOD now, and on DVD beginning July 21st.
MOVIE RATING — 7.5 out of 10 ☠️
Sabrina B. Karine, Eric Forestier, Gaia Guasti, Vincent Ravalec, Christian Volckman