A really terrible "social drama" masquerading as a nigh unwatchable occult thriller, Giles Daoust's The Room is all sorts of irritating. If you go only by the DVD cover and the back-case synopsis, you might think you're getting into a haunted house psycho-thriller of some sort. Ignore that fleeting impulse, put the DVD down, and go rent something less annoying. Like the complete works of Ernest P. Worrell.
Boasting the world's longest 82-minute running time, The Room is nothing more than one random episode of a Belgian soap opera, with only a few cursory references to things horrific, mysterious, or supernatural in nature. The players are two miserably awful parents, a pregnant daughter in her late 20s, and a mentally retarded brother who's used as a pawn between the other three.
And when I say that these are some of the most outrageously obnoxious movie characters I've ever come across, I hope you won't dismiss that sentiment as hyperbole. So stunningly grating are these people (especially the father!) that I was tempted (on three separate occasions) to get up, remove the DVD from my player, and fling it across the room while sneering wildly.
Shooting for psychological horror but settling mainly for C-level dinner theatrics, The Room is not scary, not interesting, and barely worth the disc it was printed on. It's a meandering and aggressively pointless movie, and, well, I really hope I keep a few people from wasting their cash on it. Aside from a few ham-fisted nods to The Shining and perhaps one or two slick little camera flourishes, the movie feels like it could have been directed by a computer. An old and obsolete computer.
Video: The anamorphic widescreen (2.35:1) transfer is suitably fine, even if the movie feels like it was shot in your uncle's living room over one very bored weekend.
Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0 in English or French, with English subtitles available on the French version.
Extras: Mercifully none.
As if you couldn't tell by now, I hated this one. It's not even that the thing's marketed as a horror movie, and it isn't one, but that even if it HAD been advertised as a melodramatic angst-fest full of hateful characters, I still would have hated it.