The Disappointments Room

| December 26, 2016

The creators of this film must have been absolutely fearless of bad reviews when the decided to put the word disappointment right in the title.  The bad reviews really write themselves at that point.  On Twitter, after watching the film, I sent out something along the lines of “it turns out the real disappointments room is wherever you watch this,” I’m sure echoing a million other similar quips since the movie’s release 6 months ago.  Though, somehow I doubt a million people saw this, and even if a million did, not all of them hated it obviously.

I’m not sure I hated it either, but I was bored by it.  To me, making a boring film is worse than making a bad film.  I love bad films as long as they’re entertaining in the terribleness.  Disappointments Room is just slow and dull.  I wouldn’t be able to tell you anything about any of the characters, the mythology surrounding the mysterious disappointments room in our heroes’ attic is murky at best, and when the movie abruptly ended, I had absolutely no idea what I had just sat through.

The story, as best as I can understand it, is about a married couple: Dana and David (Kate Beckinsale; Underworld, and Mel Raido; Legend) who move to a remote new home in the country with their young son Lucas (Duncan Joiner).  Things seem to be going well until Dana is plagued with horrific visions while trying to unlock the secrets of the mysterious door in the house’s attic.

That’s really all I have.  The movie isn’t badly made, or badly acted.  It just doesn’t successfully convey to its audience what’s going on and why it should be scary, or even why we should care about these characters.  The one part of the movie I was at all invested in was the relationship between Dana and Ben (Lucas Till; X-Men: Days of Future Past).  They have a good chemistry and a budding flirtation that worked really well for their scenes, and then unfortunately went nowhere significant, serving as a metaphor for the rest of the film.

Available now on DVD from 20th Century Fox.

About the Author:

Joe Sanders Joe Sanders is a podcaster, playwright, and college instructor in Kalamazoo, MI. He has a master's degree in playwriting and a bachelor's degree in creative writing from Western Michigan University, where he currently teaches thought and writing, and is the host of the Quote Unquote Guilty podcast, part of the Word Salad Network.
Filed in: Video and DVD
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