When it comes to a discussion involving the well-known classic tale called The Monkey’s Paw (1902) from author W.W. Jacobs it has been vastly explored, in other books, plays, at least 15-movies and 4-television episodes, name any media and it has a variation of it. Among those movies most recently the 2013 version from director Brett Simmons and Wish Upon [2017] if one’s unfamiliar then simply understand that it is similar to the magic lamp with a genie granting wishes, which is similar to what is happening in this film.. That’s what director Christian Volckman (Renaissance (2006)) did with his film The Room, aided by 5-writers, among them he collaborated with Sabrina Karine (Hollow Man II [2006]), as well as the participation of Gaia Guasti and Vincent Ravalec, and finally Eric Forestier assembled the finished screenplay, which included a simple plot that anything removed from the house dies, well sort of there’s an asterisk and few issues to overlook. However, before diving into the film, released by Shudder and RLJE Films, one must look a glaring issue at the title itself, it gives everything away and it leads to massive confusion, many will likely recall the dreadful movie The Room (2003), but it leads to a bigger void there’s at least 56-movies that has “The Room” as the main title, of which 46 of them are short films. I eliminated the in development, video game, alternative titles, and television series / episodes.

A husband and wife Matt (Kevin Janssens (Revenge [2017])) and Kate (Olga Kurylenko (Mara [2018])) buy a house in an isolated rural area of upstate New York; Kate is a high-profile businesswoman, who seeks the escape from corporate hell, and through a few scenes we sense a sort hidden sadness in her eyes and action.  Meanwhile Matt is an artist seeking inspiration but lacking all of it until he discovers an odd key to The Room, once inside he finds a barren set of walls then strangely wishes for another bottle of whiskey and it appears. He soon begins asking for famous artwork and it all appears that whatever he wishes for, he encourages Kate to indulge and then it spirals to them entertaining themselves by wishing up money, alcohol, clothing and so much more, it becomes an indulgence in fantasy land. The home gives hints when the room is in effect, and discovers the maze of wires that snake themselves in the walls, floors down into the basement Matt learns that Kate made a new discovery she had the room take the pains of delivering a baby, Shane, which infuriates her husband, it breaks a deep moral code of his. Matt begins to learn about the room, and previous owners a childless couple encouraging him to visit a hospital and meet someone called John Doe (John Flanders (Among the Shadows [2019])) who sheds some light on Matt’s home and warns of the impending gloom. Kate tries to assume the motherly role, but something is missing within herself, that connection, the bond, perhaps knowing that something is missing from him. An interesting note, seven actors portray Shane as he ages from a baby to well you’ll have to watch the movie, and learn more powers of the room, that advance well beyond one’s imagination and allow for multiple doppelgangers, sadly the ending is clearly foreshadowed early on, nonetheless of how one gets there is entertaining.

Volckman uses a lot of scenery to build the background of the scene assisted by the cinematography of Reynald Capurro as the two primary leads do all the heavy lifting for the production as he promises to bring together some twisted views to disturb horror fans, sorry a brief moment of Oedipus complex isn’t enough for such a shock proof audience of late; this condemned by the numerous plot holes. Let’s take a look at some of these, first the room grants seamless unlimited wishes, the simple rule can’t leave the house, or they all turn to dust, so things you consumed don’t turn to ash in your body, strange. Next, one never learns of the backstory of how the house or room came to fruition, also if the couple were very demented they could conjure unknown women to torture via webcams for money, does it allow for images to transcend since the room is bounded by many wires, they have easy disposal methods. Then, John Doe came to exist via the room, by killing his parents he got to exist in the real world – WTF. Lastly, and sadly there’s no discussion about religion, Shane is born without a soul, does that mean there are no souls, he’s demonic or the room’s manifestation in human form, none though is explored, resulting in  a predictable plot.

There are endless what-if scenarios, but they seem to follow a materialistic, consumerism safe route, a psychological thriller, with dramatic undertones, and a little horror, but nothing to really engage the hardcore fans. Now it is not often a independent film has depth of primary characters, fine acting and compelling devices to motivated them, but it allows the viewers to debate what they would ask or how a room like this could lead to nightmares or endless pleasure or even the possibility of immortal life, who knows the rules aren’t given.


IMDb rating: 6.0/10

Baron’s Rating: 5.0/10