A young woman wakes up in a mysterious room with no recollection how she got there…or what her name is…
Often, when a film strives to be a mystery, the question to be asked is how strong is the story. Will it carry itself through the film or run out of steam before the end and resort to last minute twists and surprises to keep the film going.
Doom Room thankfully is the former. A woman, knowing in the credits as Jane Doe, is assailed by mysterious figures as she tries to work out why she is trapped into the room. The opening credits suggest she was taken by a couple, but is there more to it than meets they eye?
Characters appear and disappearing in the room, a girl with no eyes, an apparent innocent girl, a couple, a man who can’t talk, a period dressed character who taunts her constantly about sex and so on.
The writers, Carl Krishner and Jon Keeyes at first keep the audience on edge, as the scenes seem very disjointed, but without giving anything away, as the film progresses, it does all make sense, right down to an ending that not only works, but is quietly devastating.
Jon Keeyes also directs the film and does get good performances from his small cast. Johanna Stanton plays the main character, ‘Jane’, and is very good in the role, as she struggles to put everything together. The supporting cast, including Nicholas Ball as a figure who appears to be wanting to help her, Hayden Tweedie who plays a young girl and Matthew Tompkins and horror scream queen Debbie Rochon play a mysterious couple, all are very good too.
Where I think the film goes wrong slightly is that doesn’t, I feel, know where it belongs. We get some S&M moments, which make you think the film may be heading into ‘Fifty Shades’ territory. Also, while there are some tense moments, if it were to be considered a horror film, it’s certainly never scary sadly. If I had to file it somewhere, I’d probably say a mystery drama.
But while as a horror it didn’t work for me, on the mystery aspect it did. When the final reveals begin, they actually work well into the story, you never feel cheated. And the ending, which works well I think, isn’t a last minute shock, but again one developed out of the story.
Aside from some shots we see near the beginning and repeated later, the whole film is set in the one room, which does make me think the story could actually work well as a stage production. I have to say though I wasn’t a fan of the music, which I did think annoying at times.
Doom Room may have the opening and hallmarks of a so-called ‘torture porn’ type of film and it may put some of you off. But stay with it and I think you will find yourself drawn into a compelling little film.
I know I was.
Rating: *** out of 5