Deathgasm, What We Do in the Shadows, Housebound, Black Sheep, and The Devil's Rock have all impressed us in different ways, so when anything new and scary comes out from The Land of the Long White Cloud, we take notice.
That said, The Dead Room is the first Kiwi fright flick that we've seen in a while that underwhelmed us. It's a valiant effort, and it does some things well, but overall it's an uninspired affair that offers more tired tropes than it does genuine scares.
|THEY ARE ILL-EQUIPPED TO FACE THE TASK AT HAND.|
|"WAKE ME WHEN SCIENCE GETS HERE!"|
|HURRY, GET TO THE SAFE ROOM WHICH ISN'T SAFE AT ALL! OR MAYBE IT IS. JUST RUN!|
The real problem with this movie is that it isn't scary. The house is suitably creepy, but we know so little about why its haunted that there isn't much space for any kind of tension to build. Who is the tall ghost that stalks the halls at night, and why is he doing it? Why is the room at the end of the hallway a safe haven from his supernatural rampage? And what happened in the farmhouse to make it such a supernatural hotspot?
We never get to see the "tall man" ghost, and what we did see at the end (it's hard to explain it any further without delving into spoilers) was quick and fleeting, so it kinda felt like there wasn't any payoff.
Answers to those questions may have helped make things better, although the way it all played out was so stupid at times that it just couldn't be scary. It all started off well, and there were some scary bits here and there throughout, but it never really felt like anyone was in danger. Something scary happens, everyone goes to bed. The next day, something else scary happens, and they go to bed again. Rinse, repeat. By the time any of them decide to do anything, it's the end of the movie, and you just know that they're all doomed, even if it's not exactly clear why.
With most supernatural movies, I usually feel like the characters aren't in any real danger. Most of the time we see movie ghosts slam doors, walk across hallways, jump out an yell boo, contort their faces and scream, and do a bunch of things that look cool, but make no sense threat-wise. I'll admit that I would probably shit myself if anything like that happened to me, but as far as characters in movies go, what are the real stakes if all they have to deal with is flying chairs?
|ALRIGHT, SO THINGS MAY HAVE GOTTEN A BIT DANGEROUS AT THE VERY END...|
Laura Petersen sure did wear some skimpy outfits.
|DO BONERS KILL GHOSTS OF SOMETHING?|
Watch it for free on Netflix if you have it.
The Dead Room is available now on Blu-ray, DVD, VOD, and is streaming on Netflix.
Laura Petersen online, but here are a few.