Imagine you have the opportunity to wish for anything. Anything you need. Anything your heart desires. Your greatest wishes will come true in an instant. Expensive alcohol. Money. Art. Clothes. Jewellery. The child you dreamed of having. All your wishes will come true in a secret hidden and totally not suspicious room in an old New Hampshire house. No genies explaining the rules or having you sign a shady contract. Just you, the room, and some dire consequences.
In Christian Volckman’s The Room, we follow a loving couple, Matt (Kevin Janssens) and Kate (Olga Kurylenko), who have moved to an old upstate manor in hopes of living an authentic life away from the city. They are a young and dynamic couple that clearly love each other, but both have to work through issues that lie beneath the surface. As they repair, their new home Matt discovers a secret room. At first, it seems to be nothing special until Matt discovers that it grants wishes. The room is not all about the theatrics of granting their wishes. The couple makes their wish, lights flutter, and the room has granted their wish. The terror comes from not knowing the cost of their wishes.
Olga Kurylenko has become quite the horror queen as she puts in yet another great performance that fits perfectly into this thrilling horror. Kate is a carefree and loving woman who also is carrying trauma. Kurylenko does an excellent job balancing the depths of her character as well as being the leading lady of an eerie and shocking horror film. Kevin Janssens carries the mystery aspects of the movie with Matt becoming suspicious and doubtful of the room when it gives them a baby. However, once things take a turn for the worse Janssens adds another layer to his performance that enhances the whole experience. Both leads are perfectly matched for this story.
Volckman’s film is a prime example of how minimal special effects, good pacing, great performances, and a compelling premise can go along away without ever needing to lean in horror gimmicks. He also does not get bogged down in explaining the mechanics behind the room, why it does what it does, and why the consequences are as they are. Instead, we follow Matt and Kate, as they deal with their situation in their own ways. The drama between this dysfunctional family is what sustains this horror.
The Room offers a surprise or two that truly make it stand out. At a little under two hours, this is a horror that keeps you on your toes as you wait for the needle to drop. From the performances, score, direction, cinematography, and story The Room will hold your attention until the very end, and leave you feeling very wary of easy wishes.
The Room is available now exclusively on Shudder
by Ferdosa Abdi
Ferdosa Abdi is a lifelong film student and aspiring film festival programmer. Her favourite genres are science-fiction, fantasy, and horror and her favourite director is Guillermo del Toro. She is madly in love with Eva Green and believes she should be cast in everything. You can follow Ferdosa on Twitter @atomicwick