CONTENT WARNING: SEXUAL ABUSE OF A CHILD IS SUGGESTED, BUT NOT CONFIRMED
I know I keep talking about it, but The Room is one of my favorite bad movies. Sure, it’s awful in just about every way you would judge a film, but the whole thing is so bad it wraps back around to being enjoyable. It’s a movie you want to watch with friends. #Horror, however, is bad in an exhausting way. It’s not fun, it’s not funny, and it’s a chore to get through.
First off, the opening credits are one of the worst things I’ve ever seen in film. Link provided, but there should be a photosensitivity warning due to quickly flashing screens. I need you to understand that this movie sucks from the very beginning.
The story is simple: middle school girls are the fucking worst and someone is killing a group of them. Could it be the mentally disturbed girl they kicked out of the slumber party early on? Oh, it is? Well then. The whole thing is supposed to show the horrible aftereffects of bullying, but it sucks at that. The girls are awful to each other in an incredibly cartoonish way, saying things causally that would–and should–end friendships forever. They’re all awful people, but they’re 12-years-old so you’re not really rooting for them to die like you might if they were closer to being adults (at least you probably shouldn’t). Instead you’re just stuck watching tiny sociopaths getting stabbed to death by their bully/bullying victim.
It’s baby’s first cautionary tale. The entire plot can be summed up as, “These kids today with their social media! Probably turning them into little killers!” Sure, unregulated internet consumption at a young age can create problems, but this is just… too much. Too obvious. Too dumb.
I want to give the movie credit on a few things, but I just can’t. The father of the murderer (before we know for sure she’s the killer) storms into the slumber party after his daughter has been kicked out, threatening the girls with legal action as well as physical threats for being bullies. Their actions have consequences, I’m with you so far. But then he shows his whole hypocritical ass when one girl points out that his daughter said the girl should kill herself, and the dad agrees. “It’s good advice,” he says without a hint of irony. I want to assume that this was intentional, showing that bullies sometimes don’t realize how awful they are… but I just keep coming back to thinking it’s shitty writing.
The actual interesting mystery of the movie is an afterthought. The main girl is new to the school and is invited more or less out of pity, but she’s got some sort of horrifying back story. She has a cut down the length of her arm from a suicide attempt. She casually tells the other girls that she’s definitely had sex. And she hallucinates sometimes, seeing paintings pulse as if breathing, and later seeing a pool get filled with blood. What the fuck is all that about? We never find out! Nothing is ever explained about any of that, and the movie more or less forgets about it once the murders really start up. So then what was the point? If she was meant to be an unreliable narrator, like when she finds dead bodies in a car near the road and has to question if she’s hallucinating, that effect is wasted when the film opened with those murders. By the way, those first murders make no sense because assuming the murderer girl killed them, no motive is ever given as to why they were targeted; and if they were killed by someone else, that’s completely unexplored.
Was there another version of the script where all this was important? Was there another version of the script that didn’t suck? Because right now, there’s no version of me that enjoyed watching this.
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