The architect Dana, her husband David and their son Lucas move to an isolated manor in the countryside seeking a restart of their lives after the death of their baby daughter in a tragic accident. Dana overhears noises in the attic and finds a hidden locked room. Soon she finds the keys and is haunted by the evil spirit of an old man. She researches and learns that old rural houses had disappointments rooms where disabled children were locked to avoid embarrassment to the traditional families. Further, the spirits of the original owner of the house, Judge Blacker, and his daughter are still trapped in the house. However, only Dana is capable to see and contact them and David believes she is delusional. When Judge Blacker threatens the life of Lucas, Dana tries to protect him but she is not sure of what is reality or daydream.Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Two buildings in downtown Greensboro, NC were refinished to look like New York during filming. They're across the street from the scene of the Greensboro Four Sit In. See more »
The house is supposed to be in North Carolina. The obituary refers to the MK&T (Missouri, Kansas, and Texas) Railroad and the Pecan Bridge, also located in Texas. See more »
See, it's gone unchecked for a while.
Lucky it didn't cave. Lucky I stopped by when I did.
Well, and lucky for you people around here like to gossip.
That they do. Also heard you were an architect or something.
Yeah or something.
Well, maybe we should talk about money.
Well, that's a little premature.
You haven't been hired yet.
[...] See more »
Title doesn't show until the end of the movie: before the rolling credits. See more »
A dramatic dinner scene that includes Beckinsale's character having a drunken breakdown was included in the US theatrical release of the film, but no subsequent DVD or digital versions include this scene. See more »
(From the film "Jane Eyre")
Written by Bernard Herrmann
Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation See more »
Botched Gothic horror effort
"The Disappointments Room" follows an architect (Kate Beckinsale) reeling from a family tragedy who moves into a remote mansion in upstate New York with her husband and young son to restore it. She uncovers a hidden room in the house that does not appear on the floor plans, and begins experiencing increasingly disorienting visions of the home's original owners.
I have to admit that I was fairly excited by the trailers for this film; it promised nothing groundbreaking, but appeared by all accounts to be an at least entertaining Gothic throwback—and I'd assume the script would lead one to a similar assumption, but the film unfortunately is something of a self-sabotaging effort.
It starts out briskly and glides through the typical haunted house fare—family arrives at old mansion, wife notices strange things immediately off the bat; she may be unstable, or the husband may be oblivious; the child is in imminent danger. These tropes are thrown at the audience in succession throughout the first act of the film; enter the second half, and the film seems to turn on its head. The plot regarding the history of the secret room and the apparent spirits in the house is sidelined, and suddenly the film becomes an anemic psychological study of a broken woman. The intrigue—or at least what little there was of it—for all purposes disappears.
The last forty minutes of the film especially are marked by awkward, amateurish editing choices that break any sense of flow, and a frankly ho-hum performance from Beckinsale. This isn't to say she's a bad actress, but she certainly seems bored here. The husband character is essentially useless in the film, and Lucas Till comes in as a sexualized handyman in the last thirty minutes, far too late to introduce a character that is apparently supposed to have some significance to the plot. By the end of the film, I was wondering where the narrative was attempting to take me—through the journey of a traumatized woman? Through a family that's falling apart? Through a haunted house? I still don't quite know, as the film fails to commit to any of the above in a genuine way. The last scene ties things together in a neat package, but there is no sense of relief or catharsis.
Overall, "The Disappointments Room" was a letdown (yes, I'm going to avoid the pun). In spite of the wonky editing, bad pacing, and general lack of narrative direction, the worst part of it all was that I honestly feel there is a good film somewhere in here; not an innovative one, or even a great one, but at least a good one— one that is capable of delivering a straightforward Gothic horror story without imploding on itself. One of the few things the film gets right is the atmosphere, and its most noteworthy scene comes at the end in the form of a disturbing Victorian-era flashback. Aside from that, "The Disappointments Room" is a lost opportunity. 4/10.
49 of 55 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this