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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Oct 3, 2016

The Disappointments Room: A Haunted House Movie About A Secret Room, Be Ready For Some Jolting Boo Moments

THOSE WHO enjoy watching horror films should check out “The Disappointments Room”, which is written by Wentworth Miller, the star of “Prison Break” who has outed himself and has now turned into a screenwriter. It stars Kate Beckinsale (best known for the “Underworld” franchise about werewolves) as Dana, an architect who’s grieving over the death of her baby daughter.

 Her husband David (Mel Raido) tells her it would be best for them and their 5-year old son Lucas (Duncan Joiner) to have new surroundings for a fresh new start, so they leave the hustle and bustle of New York City to move to an old secluded house in the tranquil southern countryside that needs some renovation. But in films like this, it’s easy to conclude that something spooky is lurking somewhere in their new residence.

Not too long after they’ve moved in, Kate starts experiencing unsettling visions and scary nightmares that hanker for an explanation. She then discovers a hidden room behind a cabinet in the dark and musty attic. She tries to find the key to unlock the room’s door and thereby delves into the devious history of a family that lived there in the past century.

Kate delivers with her fairly engaging performance as a traumatized mother who gets to explore the psychology of grief and mental anguish. Her character has a hard time distinguishing whether the things she sees are real or just figments of her imagination.

As her fears and dreams that test her sanity become more and more vivid and real, we are shown terrifying images of ax murders, with Gerald McRaney as Judge Blacker, the devilish former master of the old house who used the secret room to hide his deformed daughter, Laure (Ella Jones), who whispers in Kate’s dreams: “He doesn’t want you here.”

Kate learns from the place’s local historian, Ms. Judith (Marcia de Rousse) that the secret room is called the disappointments room, where unwanted children were kept by embarrassed parents until they died. As might be expected, the souls of these forsaken kids will not rest quietly and this puts Dana and her own family in great danger, including Lucas’ pet cat and a good looking and cocky handyman, Ben (Lucas Till, who plays the new “MacGyver” in the revival of the popular TV series.)

The movie is directed by D.J. Caruso (who has done thrillers like “Eagle Eye”, “I Am Number 4” and “Disturbia”) and he does a pretty good job of making the story move at a fast pace to hook the viewer’s attention, along with the help of cinematographer Rogier Stoffers’ fine work that effectively establishes the right mood and atmosphere as it creepily explores the house’s eerie nooks and crannies. Be ready for some jolting boo moments to shake you up.