The Room (2019)
the room | christian volckman | eric forestier | olga kurylenko | kevin janssens | joshua wilson | drama | mystery | sci-fi | sci fi | france | luxembourg | belgium | john flanders | francis chapman | vince drews | marianne bourg | oscar lesage | carole weyers
Film: The Room
Director: Christian Volckman
Writer: Eric Forestier and Christian Volckman
Starring: Olga Kurylenko, Kevin Janssens and Joshua Wilson
This was a movie that I was turned on to when an online friend of mine posted a list of horror films that were coming out during the month of March, so thank you Marknado. With the quarantine going on and being unable to go the theater to see new movies, I decided to take advantage of seeing this on Shudder. The synopsis is Matt (Kevin Janssens) and Kate (Olga Kurylenko) buy an isolated house. While moving, they discover a strange room that grants them an unlimited number of material wishes, but since Kate has had two miscarriages, what they miss most is a child.
As the synopsis states, we get this couple as they arrive at their new house. They’re both originally from Europe, but have relocated to the United States. Matt is a painter while Kate is a translator. They’re taking this house in the middle of nowhere, hoping that Matt can be inspired and it looks like Kate is giving up her career as a translator. While they moving items in their new house, they discover weird door. Matt tossed out of a window an odd piece of metal that turns out to be a key to the door.
While inside he discovers that whatever he wishes for appears. He asks Kate to make a wish and her first thing to come to mind is money. This spooks her at first, but then the two of them go on a binge where they’re partying hard and have more money than they’ll ever know what to do with it. The wishes cause power surges and this causes them to call out an electrician. When he sees the set up in the basement, he’s shocked. He states it is older than his grandmother and that he’ll need to figure out the cost to replace it. He also lets on about murders that happened in the house.
This cause Matt to look into them and leads him to John Doe (John Flanders). This unknown teen killed Mrs. Schaeffer (Carole Weyers) and Mr. Schaeffer (Michaël Kahya) many years ago. Matt goes to visit John in the mental institute he’s been kept since then. John knows exactly why Matt is there and is cryptic in his responses. Matt does learn that everything that comes from the room ages to dust once outside of its walls.
With their new found fortune, Matt wants to try to have a baby. As the synopsis states, it hasn’t gone well before and this freaks out Kate. She comes up with a different idea of what to do about having a child. Things don’t necessarily go as planned though as Matt hasn’t shared the rules he’s figured out yet, which causes things to take a dark turn.
Now I will say I came into this movie pretty blind. I just knew that it was getting its release here in 2020, it was on Shudder and that I’m a fan of Kurylenko. I also figured there’d be something with a room from the title. What I’m getting at is that I didn’t read a synopsis or anything before checking this movie out.
What I want to lead off here stating is that I like the concept. It isn’t anything that we haven’t seen before with the ‘be careful what you wish for’ narrative, but it does take a different twist on it which is always good. I like the idea that there’s this house, with odd wiring that we never really learn about, just that it is in all of the walls and that it is pretty much the insulation. It powers up and can make whatever material item you want to come true, which does include people. I know that is a slight spoiler, but I’ll leave it there. This narrative can be intriguing when it is done correctly. There’s the interesting idea here though that nothing can be taken out of the house, but John Doe knows a bit more about this.
We explore some interesting things here as well in regards to the soul and humanity. Kate’s mother is referenced as she calls when they get to the house. Matt hints that she’s religious, but neither of them really seems to be. What makes this intriguing to me though is that when Shane comes along, we get to see what could happen if you’re not raised from birth. Things you’re taught over time are missing and he’s forced to stay in the house as well. How things here play out is quite interesting, especially when you have a room that can give you everything that you want.
I really haven’t thought of what this movie is trying to say with this power source. I was wondering if it was going to shut down and prevent them from making more wishes. That doesn’t really happen, so I’m wondering if in part it is powered by people being in the house. It feels like the more you use it, it is feeding off you being there as you lose your humanity to the material. The house did lay dormant for some time so it would seem that it doesn’t want to drive the residents away, but find a way to keep them there.
Now I want to shift this over to the pacing of the movie. For the most part, I thought that it was good. I was hooked to see where this was going to take me. I would say that that I did get a bit bored during the montage of them taking advantage of the room, but then once we get to the main idea of the movie, I was hooked to see where they were going to take it. I thought how things played out was interesting. Even more as they learn about John Doe and the family he killed to how it parallels what happens here. There’s also an interesting dynamic between Matt and Kate as well.
Since I’m referring to their characters, I’ll shift this to the acting. I’ve already said that I’m a Kurylenko fan. I think she’s a solid actress and I find her attractive. Her character here is interesting. She’s had two miscarriages and it is has affected her deeply. Matt thinks now having the room, that they should try again as it can help them with whatever they need. She is terrified though and doesn’t want to try again. There’s partly a health concern there, but there’s also the grief that has scarred her deep. He doesn’t seem to get it and he’s not the greatest husband to be honest. I do think that Janssens plays his role very well though. It is interesting look at being a step-father in this movie. I have a really good friend who doesn’t think he could date someone with children as he can’t see himself raising someone else’s child where another doesn’t mind it. Matt struggles with things here and it almost feels like he has trouble growing up and being an adult. That would fit him being a painter. Flanders was solid as John Doe and the rest of the cast rounded this out for what was needed, especially all of the actors that portray Shane.
That would move me to the effects here. I don’t really remember a lot of them to be honest. It is interesting though being a Sci-Fi film to not have more, but to be honest it really doesn’t need them. I think that it does well in portraying this room’s power with the flickering lights. All of the wires that are throughout the house are creepy as is the power supply. The descent into madness and complacency seems natural for sure. I also think that the cinematography helps to what they’re conveying as well.
Now with that said, I found this to be a pretty enjoyable movie. I like the idea of this house in the middle of nowhere having this dark past and harboring this secret. It really allows you to have your heart’s desire, but things don’t always work as you plan. The acting really brings these characters to life. I do think that it is has some parts where I waned in interest, but not enough to ruin this movie. There’s not a lot in the way of the effects. It really doesn’t need them and I thought the soundtrack was fitting for what was needed as well. I’d rate this as good movie. Could possible be a contender at year end, depending on how other movies play out for sure.
My Rating: 8 out of 10