The Disappointments Room – USA, 2016 – reviews

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‘Some mysteries should not be unlocked’

The Disappointments Room is a 2016 American psychological horror thriller film directed by D. J. Caruso (Are You Afraid of the Dark?DisturbiaTaking Lives) from a screenplay co-written with Wentworth Miller (Stoker).

Main cast: 

Kate Beckinsale (Stonehearst Asylum; VacancyUnderworld and sequels), Lucas Till (The Curse of Downers GroveStoker; Dance of the Dead), Gerald McRaney, Mel Raido, Michael Landes (11-11-11; Final Destination 2), Ella Jones, Michaela Conlin (Bones).

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Plot:

Looking for a fresh start, Dana (Kate Beckinsale) and David, together with their 5-year-old son Jeremy, move into their dream house, a beautiful old rural home.

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Hidden within the attic is a secret room. When frightening and unexplainable events lead Dana to discover the long lost key to this room, she accidentally unlocks a host of unimaginable horrors that reveal the house’s past is terrifyingly tied with her own past…

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Reviews [click links to read more]:

“Miller’s script and Caruso’s direction save this from being another heavy-handed ghost movie, and Beckinsale’s performance in the latter half of the film is among the best work in her career. Sadly, the film itself is so unfocused that it’s not quite as unsettling as it wants to be, with the major disappointment of the film being the lack of closure or ambition in its final shots.” Ken W. Hanley, Fangoria

“Not helping matters is that the film is rather dull for the majority of its runtime. It’s mostly just Beckinsale walking around the house staring at things. The film attempts to build suspense around the mystery of the titular room and the circumstances surrounding the death of David and Dana’ daughter, but none of it works particularly well. Miller and Caruso try to link the history of the disappointments room to Beckinsale’s grief, but it just doesn’t mesh.” Trace Thurman, Bloody Disgusting

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Disappointments has the strange confidence of a much slicker, more decisive movie, and all of its sort-ofs don’t add up to much … This movie is at once more serious, and harder to take seriously; toward the end, in search of psychological closure, it leaves the fate of a key character entirely unclear. The film’s meditations on the act of losing a child only turn it into a different kind of exploitation.” Jesse Hassenger, A.V. Club

“As Dana’s fears and fantasies spin out of control, we are treated to lurid images of hangings and axe murders, with Gerald McRaney cast as the satanic former master of the manse. But the film never generates any real suspense, and the ending seems particularly anticlimactic. Maybe the filmmakers were leaving the door open for a sequel, but that seems like a pipe dream.” Peter Lovino, The Hollywood Reporter

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Cast and characters:

  • Kate Beckinsale … Dana
  • Lucas Till … Ben
  • Gerald McRaney … Judge Blacker
  • Mel Raido … David
  • Michael Landes … Teddy
  • Ella Jones … Laura

Filming locations:

Greensboro and Ramseur, North Carolina

Release:

The film was released theatrically on September 9, 2016, by Relativity Media.

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