Starring Johanna Stanton, Nicholas Ball, Debbie Rochon
Directed by Jon Keeyes
From the first few dizzying shots of Jon Keeyes’ Doom Room, I could already tell that I’d be in for some type of hallucinatory experience…and while that’s usually NOT a bad thing to partake in, this particular endeavor took a little more out of me than I’d care to admit.
Taken from a true story about a young woman who was kept captive in a small box under the bed of a demented couple for 7 unlucky years, we follow the beautiful Ms. Jane Doe (Stanton) after she awakes from her chemically-induced trip around the nightclub in a room with no escape. This place has “grunge and scum” written all over it (not literally but close), and Jane is now searching for answers on how this happened and how does she make her escape…if she can (cue ominous music). The haunting, nightmarish images that surround her at times are the stuff to have you questioning your own sobriety, and they all play a huge part in assisting Jane to retrieve the answers she so desperately needs to make it out of this shithole in-tact. The only problem is she’s going to have to deal with some seriously horrific stuff before a clean getaway can be made, and the getaway’s not exactly a stone-guarantee either.
The movie’s a psychological piece and uses all of its slimy bells and gritty whistles in order to assemble a display of a woman’s life that may or may not be ultimately worth rewarding – hell, that’s kind of why she’s jammed up in this turd-box, isn’t it? A disturbing relationship between a husband/wife is just the tip of a very brutal iceberg, and the work alone of one of horror’s most regaled scream-queens, Debbie Rochon is paramount to this movie’s potency – quite possibly one of the strongest performances I’ve seen her offer up. Now I’m normally down with the debilitating mental effects of grinding down a victim’s psyche in horror films as long as that delicate tiptoe-barrier into “torture-porn” isn’t breached, and luckily Doom Room keeps its feet in bounds during game time.
While some of the dialogue and its delivery can come off a bit staggered and hokey, the movie doesn’t suffer as a result and the audience shares in Jane’s trauma, which adds up to a moderately successful jaunt inside this captive container of chilling conundrum. Overall I can recommend this one as a sure-fire watch (one-timer to those less inclined to travel the trauma highway), but it’s a room that I wouldn’t mind being stuck in again…I’ll just require a heavy douching of antibacterial once I’ve made my way out.