Film Review: Doom Room


The John Keeyes-directed 'Doom Room', which co-stars "scream queen' Debbie Rochon, is an ambitious low-budget film that tries to combine elements of surrealism, psychological horror, torture porn and erotic thriller. While the script by Keeyes and Carl Kirshner reflects ambition, it is only partially successful.

Rochon plays a woman with amnesia who wakes up in a dark locked room full of odd props. Flashbacks to a fetish-themed Gothic nightclub and a parade of hallucinatory visitors to the room plague her. The story tries to combine elements of the 'Saw' films, the 'Cube' films and more interestingly plays like 'Waiting for Godot' and 'No Exit.'

The characters populating the hallucinations run the gamut from a religious fanatic to a middle-aged man that can barely speak. The line between which characters are captors and others fellow prisoners becomes blurry.

Although sexuality drives the narrative, it avoids becoming overtly pornographic. The film also puts spiritual trauma squarely over physical horror, which is a welcome departure from too many more recent low-budget chillers.

Keeyes structures the film like a stage play and at times that seems like that medium would have fit it more appropriately. The twist ending is slightly predictable but still effective.

Johanna Stanton tries admirably as the heroine -- she is no Meryl Streep but she rises to the occasion. Rochon also turns in a creepy/erotic performance.

The decent supporting cast includes Nicholas Ball ('Red Dwarf'), Matthew Hopkins ('Prison Break') and Hayden Tweedie.

Viewers seeking a more cerebral approach to horror may enjoy this film despite its occasionally obvious influences.

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