The Oak Room is a 2020 Canadian mystery thriller about a young drifter who returns to his hometown during a snowstorm and visits a bar.
Directed by Cody Calahan (Vicious Fun; Let Her Out; Antisocial and Antisocial 2) from a screenplay by Peter Genoway, based on his play. The movie stars RJ Mitte, Peter Outerbridge, Ari Millen and Nicholas Campbell.
During a raging snowstorm, a drifter returns home to the blue-collar bar located in the remote Canadian town where he was born.
When he offers to settle an old debt with a grizzled bartender by telling him a story, the night’s events quickly spin into a dark tale of mistaken identities, double-crosses and shocking violence…
“There may be a bit of a pacing issue in the first third of the film. However, once the Third Act comes into play, The Oak Room kind of zigs when you might expect it to zag. Genoway’s writing work is effective here and most viewers will find the film an enjoyable time.” 28 Days Later Analysis
“The Oak Room is very much a thinking man’s film with a layered story where everything is not what it seems. When things do go south the violence is quite jarring but after some nerve-shredding tension it is good to have some release. The Oak Room is a compelling feature which will keep you gripped until its final reel.” Bloody Flicks
“True to its template, The Oak Room really is the movie equivalent of drinking a Budweiser in a dimly lit dive bar with wood-paneled walls, listening to on-edge drunks telling fish tales about childhood traumas and longstanding disappointments. Since we’re stuck listening on a neighboring stool without much to look at, they could stand to “goose the truth” a little themselves.” Culture Crypt
“The film is a must-watch for any true fans of thrillers. It features different stories, diverse narratives, and surprising plot twists. Calahan accentuates the art of storytelling and its complexity and value of a good story. It pairs well with the film’s dark themes and suspicious characters. Ultimately, all the film’s components create a satisfying, surprising, and bloody whole.” First Showing
“It would be a crime to give away The Oak Room’s secrets here, so suffice it to say that the minimalist elements at play, the superb acting on display, the edge-of-the-seat suspense wrought from a fine screenplay and crackerjack direction, and the constant sense of lurking danger and dread all make for a highly recommended motion picture.” Horror Fuel
“Most of the stories told here don’t really deliver when they reach their punchlines, but there’s something authentic about this. After all, how many times have you listened to some old geezer ramble on in a bar with what seems like a great story, only for it to peter out to a underwhelming climax? But if the old geezer is a good storyteller, it doesn’t matter how the tale ends – it’s all in the telling.” The Movie Waffler
“There are plot points that satisfyingly tie back into everything we’ve learned already, but there are also points that just seem dramatic for the sake of drama. Not every question you have will be answered, and I’m not sure if that’s a good or a bad thing. The Oak Room is a story about stories, but when it gets self-referential, it just isn’t enough to stand by itself.” Nightmarish Conjurings
“Calahan took a big risk stepping so far out of his comfort zone […] He chose a filmed play, with the limited sets and small cast that comes with it. And he pulled it off in fine fashion. The Oak Room proves he can do more than just dish up scares, not that there’s anything wrong with that.” Voices from the Balcony
The Oak Room premiered at the Fantasia Film Festival in Canada in 2020.
In the UK, Breakthrough Entertainment will release the film On-Demand on April 26th 2021.
Cast and characters:
RJ Mitte … Steve
Peter Outerbridge … Paul
Ari Millen … Michael
Nicholas Campbell … Gordon
Martin Roach … Richard
David Ferry … Kenneth
Amos Crawley … Thomas Coward
Avery Esteves … Young Michael
Coal Campbell … Young Gordon
Adam Seybold … Young Paul