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Animal Room (1995)

 -  Drama | Thriller
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Ratings: 5.4/10 from 264 users  
Reviews: 7 user | 4 critic

Cynical and intelligent Arnold Mosk, a known drug user, is put into a disciplinary program at his high school meant for the seriously disturbed where he becomes the main target of the psychopathic Doug Van Housen and his gang.



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Title: Animal Room (1995)

Animal Room (1995) on IMDb 5.4/10

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ryan Payne Bell ...
Dechen Thurman ...
Eddie Malavarca ...
Doug Van Housen
Eddie LeMaster (as Brian Vincent)
Arnold Mosk
Stephen Pearlman ...
Principal Jones
Dr. Rankin
Pamela Kramer ...
Teacher 1
John Digaletos ...
Teacher 2
Madison Arnold ...
Older Guard
Paula Stevens ...
Teacher 3
Gary Trancer
Scott MacCann ...
Gary's Friend


Exasperated over their lack of viable solutions to problem students and growing school violence, teachers and school administrators institute a trial program whereby they can lock away those kids who "don't fit into the mainstream profile." Brainy malcontent Arnold Mosk - over strenuous objects from his school counselor - is labeled a trouble student and herded into the program due to dropping acid to escape his problems, both those at school and at home. While old friend Gary Trancer tries to reconnect with and support Arnold, sociopath Doug Van Housen takes cruel delight in leading his gang of violent school thugs to torment and bully those around him, especially Arnold, leading to tragedy. Written by statmanjeff

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Echoing Alarms of Clockwork Orange


Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for brutal violence, strong language, sexual content and drug use | See all certifications »

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Did You Know?


Gary Trancer: Listen, I wanna talk to you about something... later. Maybe I could stop by... after practice or something?
Arnold Mosk: Why not? We'll have milk and cookies.
Gary Trancer: [missing the sarcasm, or ignoring it] Okay. Great.
See more »


References Night of the Living Dead (1968) See more »


Dr. Phibes Rides Again
Performed by The Misfits
Courtesy of Cyclopean Music and The Misfits
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A shocking and unforgettable surprise...masterfully acted and directed
27 April 2000 | by See all my reviews

I had heard nothing on "Animal Room," but when I saw it in the video store, I noticed it had a big cast of young future stars and it sounded like it had an interesting premise. I figured I'd give it a try and was quite impressed with it, finding it to be quite a hidden surprise.

The story centers around Neil Patrick Harris (who we all know as Doogie Howser, M.D.) as a teen who has a bit of a drug problem and finds himself stuck in a school dropout prevention program where he finds himself often fleeing from a group of mean students there, led by Matthew Lillard (SLC Punk). They often torture and beat up Neil, with the only aid is his best friend (Gabriel Olds, Calendar Girl) who is the only bright spot in his depressed life. Neil hopes to find whatever way he can to avoid the bullies just in time so that things don't get uglier than before.

I wouldn't recommend this to many mainstream audiences or those looking for a cheery movie, since "Animal Room" is probably one of the more depressing and disturbing films I've seen. But its also a fascinating and creepy film that gives you plenty to think about and talk about when the movie is finished.

The actors are fantastic in their roles. Harris is quietly intense in the lead part as the confused teen. Lillard is the most powerful I've ever seen him. Lillards acting is phenomenal and I look forward to seeing Lillard in even more films for how talented he is. Olds performs the likable part really well that shows plenty of skill and charisma. Amanda Peet (The Whole Nine Yards) and Catherine Hicks (Childs Play, TV's Seventh Heaven) have small, but memorable roles as Olds concerned girlfriend and Neil's crazy mother.

The directing by Craig Singer is excellent and the camera work is both beautiful and dreary at the same time, which makes it perfect for the films gloomy atmosphere. It has your eyes glued to the screen right from the beautiful opening shot in an old carnival. The hallucination sequences in the film in particular are quite eerie and have the right creeped-out look to them. If I had to mention a gripe on the film, the script by Singer keeps you thinking, but it feels a little bit sloppy and tries to pack too much into one film. It tends to feel a bit uneven around spots and not all the subplots in the film aren't fully developed.

Overall, I would recommend this for art house fans looking for something different or those who are fans of the stars. I found it to be an unforgettable and VERY intense little film that will most likely shock you. Those who don't like brutal movies though should stay away since its a really graphic and violent movie.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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