Directed by: Rolfe Kanefsky
Cast: Natasha Henstridge, Lukas Hassel, Lin Shaye
You ever watch one of those movies that leaves your eyes glued to the boob tube, yet you cannot for the life of you look away, and you sure as hell can’t figure out what’s actually happening? That’s the effect produced by The Black Room.
It’s a strangely erotic mix of Amityville Horror with a little Wishmaster and just a dash of End of Days thrown in there for kicks… and those are just the things we pick up on that make sense. There’s a whole lot at work here that makes little sense and does nothing to work toward assembling an easy to follow story. Everything feels confusing.
There’s some haunted business happening in the basement, a la the aforementioned, Amityville Horror. Paul seems to be getting his rocks off downstairs, his attitude mutating rapidly as something takes him over. The house seems to generally have a mind of its own… but so does this possessed version of Paul, who can make people do whatever he wants to see them do, a la the Wishmaster (no, no wishes are required in this film) and finally, that End of Days comparison? That comes with the hike in ego that Paul experiences, suddenly feeling nearly drunk with power, just as Gabriel Byrne’s character in the Schwarzenegger flick.
I’m not out to tell you that The Black Room is a total rip-off or an entirely unenjoyable affair, because I think there are a few daring moments that are worth seeing (without having them spoiled). And while we aren’t really dealing with any A-list celebs, we are dealing with a generally well-rounded group that includes a familiar face or so. No one is great, and no one fails entirely.
If you’re looking for a quick, twisted and erotic little tale about possession and the crumbling of man’s moral code, The Black Room will work well for you. There are a few fun practical gags and things certainly don’t slow as the climax approaches. But if you like a little meat on your horror bone, a little something deeper to contemplate, this may not be the movie for you. Unless you’ve got a lot of beer handy.