"Ghosts of the Past Trigger Psychological Demons"
In THE DISAPPOINTMENTS ROOM, a female architect, her husband and son move to an abandoned country home, where she encounters the demons of her past and believes a secret room is haunted, or is it? With some strong foul language, gory violence and an occult worldview, THE DISAPPOINTMENTS ROOM moves very slowly until the end, which still leaves something to be desired.
Dana, a female architect, moves from Manhattan with her husband, David, and young son, Lucas, into an abandoned fixer-upper in the country to start a “new beginning.” Obviously, something disturbing has happened to them recently, and Dana is still visibly upset by the whole ordeal.
As they settle into the secluded estate, David and Lucas seem to take everything in stride. The people in the small town welcome them with the traditional southern hospitality, although they’re a bit taken aback by David’s role as a househusband. Dana remains skeptical of everyone and everything; especially their new house. Every creak and groan sets her on edge, and she’s rattled by a hallucination of a black dog that appears in their yard sometimes when she looks out the window.
Dana puts forth her best effort to shrug off her uncertainties and soon gets to work renovating the house. Rolling out the blueprints, she makes detailed plans and hires a local handyman to help with some of the projects. He’s young, and it’s soon apparent he fancies her. To her credit, Dana puts him in his place and rejects his subtle advances. However, he does provide some emotional support for her when David travels to Manhattan for a few days on business.
One night, Dana awakens with the urge to explore the second floor of the house. She comes across an old piece of furniture hiding a secret door, which isn’t in the house’s blueprints. However, the door is locked, and she spends the next several days trying to locate the key. In the meantime, she notices outside one evening that the room’s lights mysteriously turn on and off.
Desperate to find out what’s in there, Dana finds the key and discovers that the room contains the horrors of the past. To learn more, Dana consults a local historian who explains that what she found is a disappointments room: a place where parents locked up their disabled children and treated them like prisoners until they either died or were murdered.
For some strange reason, Dana isn’t repelled by this news, but is eager to enter the room again and learn more. This time, the door closes behind her and locks her inside. Ghosts of the family who owned the house a hundred years ago appear. There is a frightened girl, and the patriarch of the family along with the same black dog Dana had seen in the yard.
For hours, she cowers in fear for her life, but is suddenly set free. She rushes downstairs and becomes furiously angry that her family hadn’t noticed she was missing and needed help. David tries to comfort her, but is somewhat dismissive of her story. It’s clear this isn’t the first time something like this has happened.
Each day, Dana becomes more and more suspicious as the ghostly activity picks up, but no one else around her seems to notice anything unusual. Finally, she gets to the point of not knowing what’s real and what’s imagined. This puts her son’s life in mortal danger.
THE DISAPPOINTMENTS ROOM is a disappointment for anyone hoping to be treated to a horror movie. There are some disturbing scenes, but they’re mostly concentrated in the last third of the story. Things move slowly and dully up to that point with only flashes of hints as to what’s coming. About midway through, the movie separates into two different storylines that have nothing to do with each other. The main plot involves Dana dealing with her inner psychological demons. The writers unsuccessfully try to tie that into the history of the house where disabled children were locked away and eventually murdered by their parents.
THE DISAPPOINTMENTS ROOM is essentially a drama with some goriness tacked on to make it more interesting. There is some strong language and light sexual innuendo, but the primary issues are with the movie’s occult worldview and violence. The concept of spirits haunting the house is a large part of the plot (the movie’s named after it), but ironically, it gets a little lost until the end. Scenes of animals mauling other animals and people occur, and a child is murdered with a hammer in a gory scene. Finally, there are some disturbing historical photos of disabled children.
(OOO, FeFe, B, LL, VVV, S, NN, AA, D, MM) Very strong occult worldview featuring the mean ghost of a mean man and his ghostly abused daughter, but set up in such a way where the movie makes viewers wonder if the married heroine is having a mental breakdown, with some feminist elements where the wife is portrayed as the primary provider of the family while the husband stays home to raise their son, and some light positive moral elements about family, but in a story involving characters with emotional problems and “Satan” is mentioned in one scene; 16 obscenities (including about 10 “f” words) and six profanities; some very strong and strong violence includes a dead cat is shown mauled in the woods, a woman kills a dog attacking her by breaking its neck, a dog attacks a woman, a dog attacks a boy and limbs are shown being ripped, a dead woman is shown in a body bag, a woman angrily throws dishes and breaks them, a dead man is shown hanging from a tree, it’s implied that man gets hit over the head with a shovel, a father kills his handicapped daughter with a hammer, a man tries to kill a boy with a hammer, a mother nearly kills her son with a hammer, and a flashback is shown where a mother accidentally smothered her newborn baby in her sleep and killed her; sexual innuendo occurs in a couple of scenes, a man uses the term “phallus fest” in one scene, and a handyman flirts with married woman, but nothing happens; the bottom half of a disabled child is shown naked briefly in a picture; there is some wine drinking at meals, a woman is drunk in one scene; cigarette smoking occurs in one scene; part of the plot involves locking away disabled children and treating them like prisoners.
In THE DISAPPOINTMENTS ROOM, female architect Dana moves with her husband and young son from Manhattan into an abandoned fixer-upper in the country to start a “new beginning” after her infant daughter’s death. Obviously, Dana is still visibly upset by the whole ordeal. In an effort to put everything behind her, Dana unrolls the blueprints to the house and sets her renovation plans into motion. Upon inspecting the second floor, she uncovers a locked secret room not in the blueprints. She searches the house for the key. When she finds it, she literally unlocks the ghosts of the past.
THE DISAPPOINTMENTS ROOM isn’t scary enough to satisfy horror movie fans. There are some disturbing scenes, but they’re mostly concentrated in the third act. Things move pretty slowly and dully up to that point. About midway through, the movie separates into two different storylines having nothing to do with each other, an old-fashioned ghost story and a story of psychological disorder. THE DISAPPOINTMENTS ROOM has some strong language and innuendo, but the primary issues are the movie’s occult worldview and graphic violence.