The Disappointments Room (2016)

Rated R
Horror / Thriller
Try pairing with:  Chicken Lasagna Rolls

Jen’s Rating:  D

While searching On Demand for our next selection we came across the trailer for The Disappointments Room. The trailer was far from a disappointment. With my husband, blanket and popcorn in tow we press play. It starts out slow with Dana and her family moving to an amazing mansion sized estate.  Kate Beckinsale plays Dana an architect from New York who has a special connection to the home.  I get bored quickly within the first 10 minutes of the movie. I cannot comprehend why anyone would move into an unlivable home without fixing the leaks in the roof or cleaning the place first.

Dana notices a hidden room that is not on the architectural plans, but is obviously there by the view from the outside of the house. Dana becomes haunted with the desire to open the door.  Instead of requesting help from her husband, played by Mel Raido who hasn’t assisted in repairing the house, she struggles to get the door open herself.  After seeing what’s in the hidden room, Dana is overcome by a paranormal connection to the house.

I felt the plot of the movie was the end leaving me disinterested during most of it. The ending was overwhelmingly satisfying considering the rest was rubbish.  I felt there was no connection between any of the actors in the movie leaving the characters very bland. I give The Disappointments Room a “D” because other than the shocking end, the cat and dog in the movie portrayed the characters best.

Jeremy’s Rating:  D+

When I began watching The Disappointments Room, I was very excited, as I had looked into this historical phenomenon of architecture prior to watching the film.  The dark smear on history that these “prisons” created was a very interesting topic to learn about, but it also cast some doubt on the film as I learned more.  Kate Beckinsale stars as an architect, who we find out shortly after the start of the film, has had some emotional episodes in the past and decides to start over remodeling a beautiful home in the deep country of the southern United States.  This is where the credibility of the movie began to deteriorate for me.  Although they selected a really cool and dark topic to tackle by combining it with a horror flick, the proliferation of “disappointment rooms” was generally restricted to the Northeast part of the country and to extremely wealthy families, so finding one in a home in the south is not completely, but nearly impossible.

The film goes through the basic rigmarole of a standard supernatural fright fest, peppered with bouts of protagonist psychosis, but keeps you engaged by hinting at the “room that’s not on the floor plan, but definitely has a door in the attic” hook to keep you wondering what’s inside.  Unfortunately, the reveal is less than spectacular and happens fairly early into the story.  Beckinsale begins to lose her grip on what is real and past events that seem to magically manifest around her, while the director throws in a pointless handsome young man assumedly to be an affair-driven interest that never goes anywhere.

At the last minute, a man is introduced who seems to be the evil entity that is influencing everything that is going on in the home, but is not even remotely explained.  By what is presented in action through the story, it can be assumed who he was, but why is he malicious?  Nothing ever points to him being a terrible man, just someone living within the social norms and ideals of a Victorian society.  For these reasons and others, the entire experience just falls flat.  From the uninspired performances from all of the cast to the storyline that flatlines after the room is opened, the only thing keeping it afloat for me is that it’s a horror film, and I have to give this movie a:

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