ROOM 9 (DVD Review)
Review by Josey, the Sudden Cat🙀
For reasons probably known only to writer-director Thomas Walton, most of Room 9 is shot and edited like the opening title sequence of Seven. Shaky video, jagged cuts and intentionally distorted images may have been cutting-edge 25 years ago. But here, it’s a parlor trick that serves no discernible purpose, save for maybe trying to mask a murky narrative, lethargic pacing, amateurish performances and an overall inability to frame an interesting shot.
The film begins with a prologue showing the brutal murders of a couple at the hands of a half-dozen zealots operating under the tutelage of their loony patriarch. Fast forwarding 40 years, those same guys - along with a few hapless twenty-somethings - are being abducted, tortured and murdered by an unseen - but not unheard - man with revenge on his mind. On occasion, a dedicated detective pops in-and-out of the story to provide commentary at a murder scene, though we never actually see him doing anything resembling police work.
|What Would Jason Do?|
But not-only is Room 9 criminally padded-out with meandering scenes and banal dialogue, its technical aspects are just a few steps removed from a home movie, like some of the no-budget garbage that used to take up video shelf space in the ‘80s, made by would-be auteurs armed with one camera, one mike and a handful of buddies willing to work for free beer.
Viewers able to make it to the final act are rewarded with a climax that not-only reveals the ridiculous reason the first couple was murdered in the prologue, but a truly WTF confrontation between the red herring killer and an obligatory ‘final girl’ (who doesn’t even appear in the film until then). Even with seriously tempered expectations, Room 9 is a vapid excuse for a horror film, despite post-production efforts to jazz it up.