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Focus on the Frightful: The Room

Room is a Netflix original that came out in 2019. Here’s the synopsis:

Matt and Kate 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 the most is a child.

The Room movie cover

Spoilers ahead and discussion of miscarriage, incestual implications and rape

When Matt and Kay move in they find the room very quickly. And the design for it is very cool. They go nuts with it (as people are wont to do) in a very drawn out and lengthy scene. After things calm down, Kay seems very depressed so Matt suggests they try for a baby again. Kay is very resistant to the idea after suffering two miscarriages.

Matt wanted to try again but Kay decides to use the room to bypass the process and wishes for a child. Matt is furious as he wanted to try themselves. The scene was so vague, though, that both Tracy and I thought he meant by using the room, as well. He wants Kay to undo the wish but neither of them an do it.

Matt also finds out about a murder that happened there previously and the John Doe that did it claimed “The Room” made him do it. Matt goes to visit John Doe and discovers in the process that everything taken out of the house that was created by the room, turns to ash.

John Doe explains that he was a child of the room and that his mother killed his father, then let John Doe kill her so he could exist outside of the room.

During this, Shawn, the baby, escapes outside and ages at an incredible rate. So they forbid him from leaving the house. Eventually, of course, he does and turns into an adult. I believe he uses the room to look like Matt and rapes his mother. Because this movie wasn’t squicky enough.

A fight ensues and Shawn gets locked out and turns to dust. Matt and Kay leave the house but she discovers she’s pregnant and the lights flicker (as they do when the room is used). The implication being that she is pregnant with Shawn’s child.

Kay in the room

So. Where to start? It’s a relatively short movie but is weirdly sloppy in areas. The partying with the wish room goes on for far too long. Time that would have been better spent on strengthening the plot.

When you dig deeper into the plot, very little of it seems to make sense. John Doe lays out and establishes the rules of the plot. Kay would need to die for Shawn to be able to live outside of the house. And it appears that’s what Shawn is planning. But then it switches up and it feels like his spur of the moment plan is to get her pregnant. It’s just very loose.

The room itself feels very much like The Red Room from The Haunting of Hill House series. A room that can be anything you want it to be.

The room itself is not explained. The wires run from a machine in the cellar to the room and it’s revealed later that they run all throughout the house. I feel like they were going for “it’s creepier unexplained” but that doesn’t really work once you’ve introduced a source. Why does it give wishes? How?

Altogether it’s a quick, trope-filled, wish-gone-bad type of movie that could have been worse but also could have been a lot better. The acting was very good, at least. I’d love to see the actors again.

Published inFocus on the Frightful

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┬ęSci-Fi & Scary 2019
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