News flash for all you horror lovers out there, Relativity has officially finalized a deal to finance yet another haunted house movie: The Disappointments Room, starring Kate Beckinsale and directed by Disturbia helmer D.J. Caruso.
Inspired by a ‘true’ event – and you should take that with a pinch (no, the whole shaker) of salt – the film centers on a family’s encounter with the paranormal, inexplicable bumps in the night that inevitably go hand-in-hand with this genre, while they unravel the horrifying mysteries that come attached to their idyllic – and characteristically ancient – new home.
If there’s one thing Hollywood has taught us in recent years, it’s that you can never feel particularly safe in your own home. Yes, films like The Purge, The Strangers and Funny Games have turned the security of the family house into a prison of incomprehensible terror… well, the latter two certainly did – Funny Games had me checking the burglar alarm a couple of times.
Films like The Conjuring, Insidious and Paranormal Activity took this concept a step further by introducing the resident ghosts and ghouls into the equation, drawing on the success of haunted house tales like the terrifying Amityville Horror (original of course), The Changeling and Poltergeist.
And that is where we find ourselves with The Disappointments Room – in a world when the studio machine pumps out the same tired formula time and time again. It’s getting really hard to get excited for this kind of movie anymore. Saw and Insidious director James Wan usually adds a touch of class and gravitas to proceedings, but any other projects he hasn’t worked on (Sinister aside) just seem to lack that cutting edge in the fear department.
That being said, Caruso’s name is one that often finds itself attached to films that don’t take themselves too seriously. Disturbia, for example, was a fun yet thin rendition of Alfred Hitchcock’s classic Rear Window – one that updated the story for modern times and kept its viewers entertained for the duration at least. Coupled with Stoker writer Wentworth Miller on script detail, hopes have been raised somewhat for this latest addition to the haunted house genre.
We don’t want to slate this film before it’s even had a chance to spread its wings, so let us just hope The Disappointments Room is a breath of fresh air in a climate struggling for originality and new ideas.