‘Life in the suburbs can be hell’
A Room to Die For is a 2017 British horror feature film directed by Devanand Shanmugan from a screenplay co-written with Matthew J. Gunn. It was originally titled Rancour
The Champagne Charlie Productions-Swing of the Shovel Productions movie stars Michael Lieber, Loren Peta (Rock Band vs. Vampires; Bad Moon Rising), Christopher Craig, Antonia Davies, Ben Ellis, Natalie Ann Parry (Death Race: Anarchy), Vas Blackwood (Fanged Up; Creep), Frederik von Lüttichau (Witch), Topher Cox, Jon Campling (Curse of the Witching Tree; Tales of the Supernatural; The Zombie King) and Jonny Pert.
Marcus Crowe (Michael Lieber) is an aspiring but atrocious stand-up comedian who struggles with reality. His girlfriend, Jill (Loren Peta), supports him by working in a call centre.
Broke, the couple find a room to rent owned by an old couple, Henry (Christopher Craig) and Josephine Baker (Antonia Davies), who takes a keen interest in the young couple’s lives. They are shocked when told the old couple has a newborn baby.
Stuck in the house 24-7, lazy Marcus spends his time watching porn and soon spirals into paranoia as he believes the old couple is spying on them. When he finds the horrifying truth behind the baby, the old couple’s real reason for renting the room is revealed…
” …a neat idea that’s scuppered by poor acting and writing […] Christopher Craig’s performance overshadows that of the rest of the small cast, even though the standard of his acting rarely surpasses that of his fellow cast members. To be honest, the standard of acting is barely adequate much of the time, although it’s only really a major problem in a couple of scenes.” 20/20 Movie Reviews
“The young couple are pretty unlikable right from the start especially the boyfriend and the older couple are so uninteresting so we can’t engage with them either. What happens in the film is supposed to generate some kind of emotion but all I felt was sorry for the actors involved in this film.” Chris Genro
“You may think these last 20 minutes up the ante, throw in some exciting violence & gore but you’ll be sorely disappointed. The body parts look fake, the blood watery & the ‘rape’ scenes defy logic. The movie tries to be ‘artsy’ with its music & shots but falls woefully short because it is so boring. A Room to Die For is just one big mess of tired ideas that offer nothing worth getting excited by.” Games, Brrraaains & A Head-Banging Life
” …A Room To Die For does manage to make one queasy by the end and might be the right fit for someone in the mood to be made uncomfortable. Just know that you’ll be straining to hear some fairly unimportant dialogue, and be ready to ignore any scenes that don’t make immediate sense—focus on them, and you’ll just get angry.” HNN
“This starts seeming like an oddball comedy. Peculiarly, Shanmugan has placed all the emphasis in this section on the least sympathetic character – boyfriend Michael Lieber who is supported by his girlfriend while he does nothing except lie in bed watching porn and getting into arguments with the landlords […] also suffers from a pace that is on the slow side, while the photography is not very good.” Moria
“It’s a superbly written film with a chillingly disturbing core of the like I haven’t seen in a British horror movie since Steven Sheil’s Mum & Dad (2008) […] Fine touches like the operatic score that accompanies the movies most heinous moments serve to heighten the impact of the abominable goings-on, while the claustrophobia of a movie set largely within the confines of one property only adds to the uncomfortable vibe.” The Schlock Pit
Henry: “I think we might need to get some more plastic sheeting”
The film was released on DVD in the UK on 16 January 2017 by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.
Buy DVD: Amazon.co.uk
Cast and characters:
Vas Blackwood … Detective McQueen
Jon Campling … Gary the Tramp
Loren Peta … Jill Scott
Natalie Ann Parry … Chloe (as Natalie Parry)
Christopher Craig … Henry Baker
Michael Lieber … Mark Crowe
Frederik von Lüttichau … Detective Teller
Antonia Davies … Josephine Baker
Jonny Pert … Dead Boy
Ben Ellis … Jason Scott
Topher Cox … Ben
Apparently shot in mid-2015, there was a Kickstarter campaign in 2016 to raise funds for post-production work.