It’s 11:43 pm
Once again I was out and about doing a little movie hunting. Unlike many websites,I review movies that I buy. No studio sends me anything and I don’t have a YouTube channel where I do vlogs.
Nope,I do this the old fashioned way,I either find short films on YouTube or Vimeo that catch my attention or I go shopping at Family Video,Goodwill or wait for Dollar Tree to drop a shipment of titles. The rule is I can’t spend more then a 1.50 on any title. I also try not to review “blockbusters” or major mainstream releases.
I really loved the comment that my fellow blogger Heidi left on my “The Night Crew” review.
“Your blog always clues me in on stuff I haven’t seen.”
I guess that is what is fun about doing this series here,sharing the unknown with folks who like movies as much as I do.
So while I was looking for titles,I ran across this IFC Midnight release called “The Dead Room”. Now while I have found some great IFC releases,their horror branch hasn’t really been that good so far. The cheetah and I watched one a few weeks ago called “The Abandoned” and were both disappointed by it,it just wasn’t as good we normally see under the IFC banner.
But “The Dead Room” was vastly different and much,much better. It restored our faith in the IFC Midnight label.
“The Dead Room” is from New Zealand and that makes it stand out right there. The only horror I have either watched or heard about has been from Peter Jackson and that was eons ago.
The plot has a small team of ghost hunters being asked to investigate a home where a family was scared so badly they simply ran out without looking back. The team is led by Scott (Jeffrey Thomas) who believes science plays a critical role in exploring the paranormal,Liam (Jed Brophy) who supplies the tech gear and expertise and Holly (Laura Petersen) who is a psychic.
The team has worked together as you see them interact with each as they each set up the house,rigging it with detectors and sensors. Holly can’t detect any presence at first as they settle in.
“The Dead Room” is a slow burn tale…meaning there isn’t a lot of action going on,director Jason Stutter (also co-wrote the story w/Kevin Stevens) decides to ratchet up the suspense little by little.
Why this works so much better then most “haunted house” stories are Scott and Liam are much older then the usual youthful characters that cast in these films. Thomas and Brophy shine because they add a sense of realism here. Not taking anything from Petersen,her turn as Holly is very good as well,the chemistry of the three leads is a real plus here.
When the spirits start making their presence known,Holly wants to bolt while Liam is starting to feel uneasy as well. Scott’s observation about running right after they have met the goal of their life’s research is dead on. You spend years hunting and then panic at the first real sign?? It’s a nice touch by Stutter and Stevens drives that emotion home.
Running away was never in his mind,he wants to see what he has hunted his entire life.
I will have to say the ending wasn’t the best,several plot holes pop up that could have been explained a little better with just a bit more time. The Dead Room clocks in at a fast 78 minutes. I think Stutter could have fleshed out the ending a little better by adding 10-12 minutes of story including adding a origin.
The DVD contains no extras and that is pretty disappointing as most IFC releases have good extra features. But overall,the cheetah and I enjoyed this fun film from New Zealand and we give it a paws/thumb up.
Thanks for reading….if you have a suggestion of a small unknown film that Paladin and I should check out,please leave a comment below!!