You should know that I watch terrible horror movies on purpose on the regular. This is because I like horror movies and most of them are garbage. Ask a math scientist why I then end up with mostly terrible horror movie experiences and she’ll tell you: “Numbers!”
This weekend I watched the 2016 Kate Beckinsale (SPOILERS) turd The Disappointments Room. This thing was written by Wentworth Miller (Prison Break) and directed by D.J. Caruso (xXx: Return of Xander Cage). Beckinsale plays Dana, an architect who has moved with her husband David (Mel Raido) and son Lucas (Duncan Joiner) into an old house in the country. I guess the first question is:
1. Is it actually a thing in real life that people suffer a horrible, tragic life event and decide that leaving their now-chaotic life for an unknown chaotic life is the answer? If your wife is in mourning and on medication, you keep everything familiar. Maybe move from one house to a new one in the same city. Don’t uproot all of your family, with your fragile-minded spouse, and move from New York City to the sticks. Come on.
2. If you do decide to move, I guess buying a home that was once a giant mansion of a wealthy family but is now in ruins is big fun for an architect. Dana gets to put the house together and then create plans to resurrect it to its former glory. While outside, Dana finds a window where there is not supposed to be a room. She goes up the endless circular staircase to the attic and finds a chifferobe in front of a wall where the mysterious room should exist. She opens the chifferobe and out fly bats.
3. How did bats get into that chifferobe? Did they open it with their tiny claws and decide it seemed like a good place to raise kids? Are they vampires that decided the script was too stupid, so they flew away, never to reveal themselves? I cannot say that I blame them in that case, actually.
4. Dana gets David to help her move the chifferobe (I’m sick of typing chifferobe) and there is a spooky door. Of course, it will not open. Dana decides to look through the keyhole, revealing the window and a room. As soon as she looks away to David, a girl’s face fills the keyhole view. Why do ghosts do that? Don’t they get paid to make people piss their pants?
5. I think at this point, the family goes into the town to get groceries and meets exposition woman #1. Why do Dana and David take offense to an older woman in a small town being surprised that Dana is an architect instead of her husband? SHE IS OLD AND LIKE MAYBE ONE GENERATION REMOVED FROM INCEST. GIVE HER A BREAK. SHE JUST GAVE YOUR KID ICE CREAM AND GAVE YOU A HELLUVA LOT OF EXPOSITION ABOUT PEOPLE TO FIX YOUR LEAKY ROOF. DAMN.
Honestly, this movie was so bad that I cannot even remember the order in which things happen, so these questions are just going to be in random order.
6. Dana finds some skeleton keys in a tin in the silverware drawer while she’s got a timer going for whatever she threw in the oven for dinner. She decides to see if she can get into that stupid ghost room with the keys. Did Caruso think that we wouldn’t know that somehow Dana would get into the room and think she was trapped there for hours, seeing a spoopy girl ghost and a dog ghost and a Gerald McRaney ghost, and then finally get out of the room to find that her timer was just then going off and she’d been gone only twenty minutes? BECAUSE WE FIGURED IT OUT THE FIFTIETH TIME YOU FOCUSED THE CAMERA ON THAT STUPID TIMER, DUMB DUMB.
7. Okay, the ghost dog. Does the ghost dog exist somehow? It isn’t a real dog, because I don’t think that the cat could have been murdered any other way. So if the ghost dog is real and killing actual things that the whole family has seen and interacted with—
8. Does that mean that ALL of the ghosts are real? Is Ghost McRaney actually chilling in that house, reliving the murder of his deformed child to teach new residents…how to…parent? I don’t know. This leads to more questions.
10. If so, does that mean Dana actually caved in the ghostly skull of Major Dad?
11. And does that mean that Major Ghost Dad is fine with her doing that, since he disappears and doesn’t stop the whole family from fleeing the house after David sees Dana hammering the pillow beside the head of a frightened Lucas?
12. AND DOES THAT MEAN THAT THE MOM AND DEFORMED KID ARE JUST MURDERED TO TEACH A TGIF TELEVISION BLOCK LESSON TO RICH PEOPLE WITH FRAGILE PSYCHES BUYING A FIXER UPPER WITH CHIP AND JOANNA?
13. WHAT IN THE HELL DID I JUST WATCH? All of the usual horror elements whipping around in the wind, but Caruso decided to only grab half of each trope. Dead child? Check. Hallucinating mother? Check. Old house with possible vengeful spirit? Check. The possibility of a ghost helping the living? Check. In the end, we got the beginning of some of those threads and the ends of others. Sort of.