The Movie Waffler New Release Review (VOD) - DOOM ROOM | The Movie Waffler

New Release Review (VOD) - DOOM ROOM

doom room review
A woman awakens in a mysterious room with no memory of who she is or how she got there.

Review by Sue Finn

Directed by: Jon Keeyes

Starring: Debbie Rochon, Hayden Tweedie, Matthew Tompkins, Nicholas Ball, Johanna Stanton

doom room poster

After a frantically frenetic opening overlaid with heavy metal music, a woman wakes up in a strange room. She takes a turn about the room, which seems to be a place where old sets go to die, and finds herself observing a barbie doll tableaux that looks as if Mr Grey has raided the toy chest. Her soap opera habit of wandering about speaking to herself is interrupted by the appearance of other people in the room. The most persistent of these is a young lady in striped stockings, a la Alice in Wonderland, who doesn’t have a name. She’s clearly there to explain the plot to our protagonist, and thus the audience.

A bespectacled and dishevelled man shows up but doesn’t advance the plot; and then a last intruder arrives, this one strangely familiar, even covered in blood.

Next to make an appearance is a gothic bride who spouts nonsense while dancing about the room.

Some sort of religious Cleric shows up to rant some misogynistic rubbish at her, which she agrees with.

doom room review

However, her most frequent companions are the young ‘Alice’ type, listed in the end credits as ‘innocence’; the gothic bride and a young woman with no eyes.

It appears she has some amnesia happening and can’t remember where she is or how she got there, let alone her own name.

There are a lot of sexual assault enactments in this film so there should be a big trigger warning with this one; not to mention a sex scene between a fully clothed man and a naked woman who says, "pain is pleasure."

The second act is full of pseudo psychological sexual mumbo jumbo and the acting comes across as more than a little theatrical.

doom room review

All of the above is correct, except that it's not; as there is a realisation in the last 15 minutes of this film that pulls all that came before it into sharp focus and forces the audience to re-examine what it all meant.

I’ve seen this trick before, we all have, in bigger and better or less clumsy ways, but that doesn’t discount that what happens here gives the film some context and forgiveness for the things that made me prickle.

The unbalanced nudity bothered me as much as it does in any film or TV show; the acting isn’t always up to scratch; the script lends itself more to the theatre than to film - particularly considering its singular setting.

doom room review

The finale walks a fine line between being too much and also explaining all the odd and troubling stuff that came before. It almost goes over the edge of believability but is saved by the careful and engaging performance of lead Johanna Stanton and a nice tone of sadness writer/director Jon Keeyes manages to imbue those scenes with.

The melodramatic acting and continuous score, which recalls the generic music behind a DVD menu screen, conspire to make this appear cheaper than the sensitive material deserves. But in the end, though I may have eye rolled a few times during the earlier plot machinations, it did manage to make me feel something and ended on a compassionate note, which is no small feat. It may have been perhaps a little heavy handed and clumsy at times but has stayed with me more than the more polished films I’ve seen of late. I would watch it again.

Doom Room is on VOD January 15th.

2019 movie reviews