Room, film review: ‘Subtly draws you in’
- Credit: Archant
Michael Joyce falls for the measured approach of this low key portrait of suburban mid west horror.
Director: Lenny Abrahamson Starring: Brie Larson, Jacob Tremblay, Joan Allen, Tom McCamus, Sean Bridgers and William H. Macy Film Length: 118 mins
The horror film is just about the only type of film in risk-averse Hollywood where it is still acceptable to not have a happy ending, though even these are getting rarer. A horror film happy ending usually involves the abused heroine, blood splattered and dirt smeared, chest heaving in tight top, standing over the dead (ah, but not really) body of her assailant. Room is a film about what happens after the horror film happy ending, how to cope with life after experiencing the worst it can throw at you.
Room is based on the Emma Donoghue novel, which was inspired by the Josef Fritzl case. It imagines a woman (Larson) abducted when she was 17 and forced to live in a fortified garden shed by Old Nick (Bridgers). She shares the space with her five-year-old son (Tremblay) who knows nothing about the outside world other than what he sees on TV.
Room is a drably banal kind of hell and their captor Old Nick is a dull streak of bearded nothingness. Absolutely the best thing about Room is its total disinterest in its villain. He is shown when necessary and then discarded when not needed. The film is all about the victims. Midway through, they escape and the second half, where they struggle to adapt back into happiness, is what makes the film special.
You may also want to watch:
Abrahamson (Frank, What Lenny Did) is not a man for the big gesture and his measured approach really pulls you into the situation. With its low key portrait of suburban mid west horror, it is the film The Lovely Bones should’ve been.
Rating: 4/5 stars
- 1 Is lockdown working in north London? Here's what the latest data tells us
- 2 Royal Free's critical care beds 98pc full as Covid-19 cases top 500
- 3 Joan Bakewell fires legal threat to government over second Covid jab
- 4 Hospital staff describe 'distressing' battle against rising Covid cases
- 5 Camden man charged with prostitution offences and sexual exploitation
- 6 Lord's Cricket Ground used as Covid-19 vaccination centre
- 7 Royal Mail delays in Hornsey 'could see Covid-19 vaccination letters missed'
- 8 Housing: Billionaire owner of 'squalid shoeboxes' must 'up its game'
- 9 Royal Free and Whittington under pressure amid London 'major incident'
- 10 One in ten people without symptoms Covid positive at Haringey centres