New Releases for Tuesday, December 20, 2016
The Disappointments Room
Directed by: D.J. Caruso
Run time: 86 minutes
The Lowdown: There’s two main reasons to watch The Disappointments Room and only one of them is Kate Beckinsale.
The other is writer Wentworth Miller, the longtime character actor, whose second screenplay doesn’t match the intensity and lurid depravity of his first, Stoker.
Miller crafts a very watchable haunted house flick that thankfully co-writer/director D.J. Caruso doesn’t screw up. In fact, The Disappointments Room is probably Caruso’s best film since 2002’s The Salton Sea.
Miller has essentially crafted a modern-day slice of pulp on par with 1976’s Burnt Offerings, the it’s-so-bad-it’s-glorious gothic thriller starring Karen Black and Oliver Reed. The difference here is that Miller isn’t simply padding his time between spectral thrills. He actually does a delicate dance into the chilly waters of mental illness, presenting an unreliable heroine (Beckinsale) acting wildly unpredictable following the mysterious death of her infant daughter. Miller’s ace is that, as written, you’re never quite sure if Beckinsale’s Dana is bat-guano crazy or not. At least not for a good long while.
The Disappointments Room did just that – disappoint – at the box office, and reviews were pretty savage, but the truth is it’s not a bad little thriller, and it goes down fast and easy in a darkened den late at night.
The Stuff You Care About: Hot chicks – I could watch Kate Beckinsale just sit and breathe for 86 minutes.
Nudity – No. Gore – No.
Drug use – No.
Bad Guys/Killers – The ghosts of disappointments past.
Buy/Rent – Rent it.
Hellraiser: The Scarlet Box Limited Edition Trilogy (Arrow Video, 279 minutes, R, Blu-Ray): Goddess bless the good folks at Arrow Video for putting together a package worthy of sacrificing your soul to endless Cenobite torment. The Scarlet Box pulls together the first three Hellraiser films in the indominable franchise, but that’s not why you want to own this glorious box (get it?) set. In addition to the three films on Blu-Ray, you also get a hellishly good trove of goodies, including art cards, publicity materials, sketches, a hardback book and the stand-alone fourth disc, titled The Clive Barker Legacy, a 50-minute documentary.