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With: Kate Beckinsale, Mel Raido, Lucas Till, Duncan Joiner, Celia Weston, Gerald McRaney, Marcia De Rousse
Written by: D.J. Caruso, Wentworth Miller
Directed by: D.J. Caruso
MPAA Rating: R for violent content, bloody images, some sexuality and language
Running Time: 92
Date: 09/15/2016

The Disappointments Room (2016)

2 Stars (out of 4)

Letdown Lounge

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Despite the casting of a high-class actress and an intriguing design, this haunted-house movie doesn't have much to offer; the scares, mysteries, and character relationships are all numbingly routine.

In The Disappointments Room, Dana (Kate Beckinsale) and David (Mel Raido) and their son Lucas (Duncan Joiner) move from the big city to an old country house to get away from memories of a recent tragedy. As Dana, an architect, begins to explore the house, she discovers a strange little room that locks from the outside.

She also begins seeing strange things around the house and grounds, such as an old man and a black dog. She also begins having nightmares and visions that are so real she can't tell them apart from reality. Is the house haunted, or does Dana need to reconcile her past to come to terms with her present?

Director D.J. Caruso (Taking Lives, Disturbia, I Am Number Four) unsuccessfully mirrors The Shining with a few shots, and uses the old "it was all a dream" trick a few too many times. Even the lore behind the titular room — a place wealthy people hid their socially unacceptable offspring — isn't really explored beyond a few gruesome photos of deformed children.

Beckinsale does her best as the suffering mother, and she has a drunk ranting scene that must have been fun to play, but eventually, the movie offers nowhere for her to go with this anguish. The David character is written as a sympathetic house-husband, but the English actor Mel Raido plays him with an irritating, high-pitched Brooklyn accent that makes him seem insensitive. The Disappointments Room comes across as a movie with very little thought or enthusiasm put into it, and only disappointment at the end.

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