The Room [2019]

The only thing more dangerous than a man who can’t get what he wants, is a man who can get whatever he wants.


Not to be confused with one of the worst films of all time with the same name, The Room, directed by Christian Volckman, follows Matt and Kate as they embark on the exciting new venture of HOMEOWNING. Matt is some sort of artist which seems pretty irrelevant tbh and they talk about how he’s gonna make a shit-tonne of money one day so she can stay at home. Which she kinda does anyway… Anyways, back to the plot! They move into a massive, old manor and as they are decorating realise that they have a strange room in there that appears to give you everything you wish. So they go on a bit of a bender before realising that the thing they truly wish for is the one thing they can’t have… a baby. Before long they realise that nothing created in ‘The Room’ can survive outside; that there is some sort of mystic power that exists only in the house. Matt, meanwhile, seeks to find answers from someone called John Doe, the previous occupant of the house who reportedly murdered his parents who tells him that in order to live, his parents had to die (suggesting that anything made in the room has to kill its creators in order to live) like some sort of ultimate sacrifice.

Kate wishes for a baby and starts to care for it like her own, calling it Shane. Over time we see the child grow older, completely cut off from the world. They tell Shane that he cannot go outside because it’s not safe to do so. Tensions grow stronger over time and in one moment of rage, Shane manages to get outside and ages rapidly and painfully.

Soon the kid learns about the room and intentionally ages himself into the body of man (whilst still having the mind of a child). He fights Matt and knocks both parents out before taking on the guise of Matt, pretending that the child had in fact died in combat. Then ensues a long scene of the real Matt trying to find Kate, and both of them running through a labyrinth of houses being chased by Shane, all within The Room. Eventually, they manage to beat the kiddo and make it out alive.

Or do they?

I found this film fairly enjoyable. I thought it was a pretty decent film and a good premise, quite tense, helped by the growing tensions of these three characters locked away in a small space.

I enjoyed that once Matt and Kate had worn out the novelty of the room and the capitalist desires they initially had, that they turned to more wholesome desires. Just goes to show how quickly that sort of meaninglessness can burn.

There’s one scene where Shane(?) is trying to get into the door – Matt has removed the key and locked it away – and he breaks down the panels next to the door and crawls through tree roots, which it turns out are intertwined throughout the house. Something about that scene, and the look of the door to the room, how Matt initially finds it and the key itself really reminded me of this 2010 horror/thriller ‘Don’t be afraid of the dark’ starring Katie Holmes. In fact, in that film, Katie and her family move into an old manor. There’s vines and shrubbery everywhere. They tear down a wall hiding THE SCARY DOOR to a room not with wishes, but instead spooky toothfairies… so quite a different film but it had very much the same feel to it, aka secret door thriller. There’s something about that old adage, ‘curiosity killed the cat’, in these types of films. You see the characters punished for their curiosity by opening the door that obviously shouldn’t be opened… it’s literally the oldest story in the book, you know the one where Eve was told not to eat the apple and she did, and then Adam and Eve were banished from heaven… or when Pandora opens the box she’s told not to open and unleashes all the evils unto the world. It’s a strange trope to keep repeating in horror or thriller films because humans are curious by nature, and our curiosity literally invented the wheel and other cool shit, so to repeatedly punish ourselves through these films is pretty humorous to me.

I liked the twist at the end, though I gotta say I saw it coming and I wish it was a little more subtle than it played out. Lots of directors are following in Christopher Nolan’s shoes, post-Inception, which really set the/a bar in terms of how thrillers should be. It feels like in the last 10 years I’ve seen a lot of thrillers which hamfisted their way through endings with a OR IS IT moment, which could have been way. more. subtle. I really enjoy the ones that get it right, because they get me thinking a lot more, or reading into moments questioning what I think I saw a lot more. This was not one of those films… it was more like IS IT? YES IT IS. No questions. TBH I completely forgot I watched this film within about four days of having watched it, so even though overall I enjoyed it, and I enjoyed it whilst I was watching it, it became pretty forgettable.

Overall, enjoyable film but pretty formulaic. I read someone review this as an act of genius, but perhaps they were watching a different film, because that’s not the impression I got. Still worth a watch, but take it with a pinch of salt!

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Guardians of the Galaxy [2014]

“You said it yourself, bitch! We’re the Guardians of the Galaxy.”


So, my partner had never seen this film before, so I decided that had to be remedied, forthwith, though I have seen this before in the cinema. On second watching though, it is still as charming and had me laughing just as gleefully as the first time.

The film follows the escapades of the ‘Guardians’: Peter Quill, grifter extraordinaire and the heart of the group with a penchant for 70s and 80s rock ‘n’ pop tunes; Gamora, adopted/kidnapped daughter of the most evil dick in the universe Thanos and one of the most badass bitches in the universe; Rocket Raccoon, the genetically modified brains and engineer of the gang; Drax the Destroyer, the brawn whose childlike, literal manner is really quite touching; and lastly but not leastly Groot, who has the most limited vocab of the bunch but always manages to get his point made and is equal parts wrathful and sweetness. Special mentions to both Nebula (Gamora’s estranged sis) and The Collector (played by Benicio Del Toro) who was just plain creepy and weird; also did anyone notice Nathan Fillion (Firefly) and Rob Zombie in this film(?!) I just read their names in the cast list and I am SHOOK.

I digress.

On paper, this modicum of misfits really shouldn’t work but in reality they fit together like a puzzle, and both as characters and as actors there’s a chemistry on screen that you cannot deny.

This movie is just pure fun, and in terms of the Marvel universe, it was a welcome change from the previous timelines of MCU films which took a darker turn. It feels like the perfect blend of entertainment, action and humour, and I suspect its existence set the bar extremely high for subsequent Marvel films to come.

The soundtrack is an absolute joy and I loved it. I actually bought the soundtrack on tape the first time I saw the film so that I could enjoy it long after. Tape sparks this really reminiscent thing in me about my own childhood and making my own mixtapes. I remember painstakingly recording my favourite songs off of the radio (which is what you had to do if you didn’t have the album yourself in the days before on-demand streaming music). For those who don’t know, you would have to sit and wait for it to play out as it recorded so not something you could make idly like you can with a Tidal or Spotify playlist… It’s so funny to me that that specific aspect of the movie would only speak to older generations, because newer ones wouldn’t understand how precious that is and how much work would have gone into making a gift like that. That Peter’s mum would have made it, ridden with cancer as she was, speaks to a really profound love for Peter and was such a simple yet touching aspect which enveloped the movie with love. The soundtrack is perfectly woven into the movie, so that every song showcased has a significant purpose.

SPOILER & CN – ableism: There’s one moment in the movie which made me feel quite uncomfortable which is where Rocket makes Peter talk an amputee into getting his prosthetic leg from him (for a price) and laughs gleefully about how the amputee must have looked without it. I wondered how disabled people would have interpreted that moment… there’s an obvious shift in the Guardians on-screen about this making them feel uncomfortable and it seems to be a symbol that though Rocket is advanced, he is still an animal at heart… I think if that was the intention, it could have been done a different way that was not ableist and didn’t poke fun at disabled people… USA’s president Mr Trump has got that basic shit covered, so I hear. This is the one bit that dates the movie for me, because its existence is a sign of society acceptance (at the time) of subtle digs at disabled people like it’s just ‘innocuous fun’. I very much believe that would not have made it to screen by today’s standards.

Anyways, despite this I enjoyed the film a lot. It was a really fun (re-)watch, the casting was perfection, the action was so good and CGI really gorgeous (particularly the massive floating skull in space and the interlocking ships). I loved that the characters were complicated and had space to grow and change as the story progressed. It’s still a solid top ten MCU film of all time for me. Thumbs up!

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