Monday, January 3, 2011

Room 205 - 2/5

Going into "Room 205" I had no idea what to expect. I picked it up solely because it was released through Ghost House Underground. Finally being able to get around to watching this Danish ghost story, I found myself, well to be honest, rather unimpressed. The film definitely tries hard to get itself going, but rarely finds solid footing to gather traction and eventually succumbs to its unoriginality.

Katrine (Ronhold) is the new girl at college. She is moving into a dorm of already well established (read: assholes) college students and is looking forward to moving on with her life. When the her new friends (read: assholes) begin to toy with her by scaring up a legend of a woman who was killed in room 205, she doesn't believe that the ghost haunts the dorm. Turns out their pranking isn't so much pranking as truth. Now the mirror that this trapped ghost was in is broken and she's free to roam the halls and kill the residents (read: assholes) at will. Can Katrine stop this pissy ghost before the murders are pinned on her?

"Room 205" is half 70s style atmospheric college horror flick and half inspired Asian ghost tale. Now that sounds like it might be a winning combination, but despite some valiant efforts from the cast and crew it rarely wins at combining anything. It's low energy slow build seems to take FOREVER to finally get going and with its rarely heartfelt characters guiding us to a very obvious conclusion, "Room 205" can't overcome its own unoriginality. It is filled with great ideas and some solid acting and directing, but it never meshes and the audience is consistently alienated from the story.

I do have to admit though, when it wanted to build atmosphere it could. Sometimes a bit too much. Barnewitz has a solid grasp of using subtlety and long shots to counter balance the modern style quick editing and shaky cams to try and blend the two styles together. Even the actors seem to be on game with this idea towards the film. Unfortunately, the foundation writing is just too uneventful and knock-off to build properly on.

"Room 205" carries some great execution and a rather ballsy idea for a film style, but its poor story and rather lackluster script just aren't enough for the rest of the film to get where it needs to be. With the ghost horror genre is already oversaturated, "Room 205" rarely stands out from the rest. 

Written By Matt Reifschneider

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