The Disappointments Room (2016)
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Critic Reviews for The Disappointments Room
This spooky house flick would be better off locked up in the attic and forgotten for good.
Despite Kate Beckinsale's game efforts, D.J. Caruso's thriller proves altogether worthy of its title.
There simply isn't enough freshness in the script to warrant another journey inside a dark old house.
There simply aren't enough scares to build tension throughout. Most of the film is just Beckinsale walking around looking worried.
Audience Reviews for The Disappointments Room
Sometimes there's films that, really, I don't even know how to begin their review. It doesn't really connect to any point I want to make prior to the actual review itself nor do they really do anything outstanding that it makes reviewing them easy. Let's just get this out of the way, there's absolutely nothing that this movie does well. Absolutely nothing. I suppose you could say that Kate Beckinsale, despite having a poorly developed character, gives a solid performance. And that's certainly a very valid point, but Kate Beckinsale's performance exists outside of everything else that happens in the film. Kate is solid in spite of everything else that is happening around her. I get the film's concept and its inspiration in trying to tell this story. Kate is a mother whose baby died, in an accident, the year prior to the film's events. Dana (Beckinsale's character) is overcome with grief, understandably. The family then decides to move away from the hustle and bustle of the city to a more isolated house in the country so Dana, hopefully, can move on from the accident and get her life back on track. Dana, who's also an architect, decides to renovate the house as having a project might help her deal with her issues. Dana, while exploring her house, finds this room up in the attic that isn't in any of the blueprints and has a chifforobe in front of the entrance. The door, also, only locks from the outside. Dana has some strange experiences in this room, like being locked inside it and believing that she was trapped in there for hours. She tries to find out the history behind this room and is told that this room, called a disappointments room creatively enough, were built for children with special needs or deformities to be confined to. They would put this children in this room to keep them from embarrassing the rest of the family. Conceptually speaking, the film is somewhat intriguing. Like just from a basic point of view. If you were to tell me the basic idea of finding out what happened in this 'disappointment room' in the past and the dark story behind this room, then I would have though that that was a decent concept. It's not a great concept, and it's not really that different from other films that have explored similar subjects in places like insane asylums, but it could have been decent. Sadly, however, the film just wastes the idea. Firstly, this isn't really a horror movie. I'd complain about jump scares, but the fact is that there aren't any. There's a few scenes where you see figures walking in front of the camera, but I wouldn't call those scares. I would call that the set-up. Yet the scares never actually came. I get the idea behind focusing so much of the film on Dana's emotional and mental issues. It calls into question everything she says, even though she's telling the truth. But the film's insistence on focusing on that really leaves no room to develop an actually scary story about a father, whose shame of his daughter was so great, that he actually killed her with a hammer to the face. I think the film should have juxtaposed that with Dana's own issues, she feels like she's a terrible mother. And, maybe, the film was meant to juxtapose those two elements but, if they were, they did an awful job of it. They really fucking did. Characters are introduced to set up potential subplots that aren't actually ever paid off on. The acting is fine, but it doesn't really matter when the script they're servicing is so much of nothing. The narrative escalates to a point where Dana literally loses her shit at this dinner party, that just so happens to take place the same day that her daughter (the one who died) was born. She destroys everything around her, all the plates, vases, glasses, etc. A few minutes later, she goes into her son's room and she sees the father (the one who murdered his daughter) standing over her son's bed. She proceeds to take a hammer to this guy's face. When Dana's husband comes in, all he sees is Dana hammering a pillow right next to her son's body. The kid is obviously distraught. But David, the kid's father, manages to convince him that it was just a nightmare (this kid must be some sort of moron). Dana and David then have a conversation about what she's feeling and then they just leave the house. And that's how the movie ends. Really. Oh, of course, there's the typical 'it's not really over' bullshit. But, since they've already left the house, it's not like it matters. Talk about an anticlimactic ending. All that "story" for, literally, an ending that gives you next to no satisfaction. It felt flat like a motherfucker. So, yea, this movie was kind of bad. It's not really a horror movie, it lacks a plot that makes use of the various elements that are at play here, it doesn't really build to anything and the ending is completely anticlimactic. The acting may be decent, but there's no real reason to care about any of the characters. If it wasn't obvious, I cannot, in good conscience, recommend this movie. There's certainly worse films out there (like Sammo Hung's The Bodyguard, which I reviewed a few days ago), but this one just won't do anything for most of you. And for those of you that do find something to like here, please tell me who your weed supplier is.
Seriously, who fucking edited this? When you pit a word like "Bad", "Weak" or in this case "Disappointment" in your film title, it's worth making sure that the movie doesn't actually suck, otherwise you're just asking to get roasted by the critics.
You may not recognize the name D.J. Caruso, but if you're under the age of thirty-five you've probably seen a few of his movies. Whether it be the 2004 Angelina Jolie mystery/thriller Taking Lives, the double feature he directed with Shia LaBeouf in 2007 and 2008 with Disturbia and Eagle Eye or even the sign his career wasn't headed in as promising a direction as we'd hoped with 2011's I Am Number Four adaptation. The thing is, I want to like Mr. Caruso as I hold a special place in my heart for Disturbia which was more or less a modernization of Hitchcock's Rear Window (which itself was based on Cornell Woolrich's short story 'It Had to Be Murder'), but done with the added elements of humor and teen drama to make it more appealing to a broader audience. That Caruso was able to take the tense and rather static story from which Rear Window came and infuse it with a sly charm while keeping the inherent tensions intact was a feat worth acknowledging, but in the near decade since Disturbia it seems the filmmaker has become more a director for hire rather than the auteur he seemed to show the promise of becoming. What happened to the director? Why is his next project a fifteen year later sequel to a Vin Diesel movie that was only greenlit in the first place because of the success of The Fast & the Furious? We may never know, but while The Disappointments Room might have been a much hyped spring/pre-summer release rather than a slight horror film hoping to be disposed of in the dumping grounds of September ten years ago (given both Caruso's clout as well as Beckinsale's at that time) that is unfortunately exactly what we have today. Worse, The Disappointments Room suffers at the fate of being the first film to be released since Relativity Studios filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection on July 30, 2015. And so, with a reported budget of $15 million Relativity and its Rogue label are simply hoping to make some kind of profit by releasing this as quick as they can before its sits too long on the shelf. Despite all of what it has going against it though, it is easier than one might expect to understand why Caruso, who penned the screenplay with Wentworth Miller (Prison Break), had a desire to tell this story; the real issue being they chose to tell this story within the confines of a stale genre template. read the whole review at www.reviewsfromabed.com
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