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Hal MacDermot [Celluloid 06.16.08] movie review horror

Year: 2007
Release date: October, 2008 (TBD)
Director: Martin Barnewitz
Writer: Jannik Tai Mosholt
IMDB: link
Trailer: link
Review by: cyberhal
Rating: 7.1 out of 10

The Danish movie Room 205 is a fairly scary ride in which the visuals are stronger than the plot. A kind of Ring/Grudge inspired ghost story that builds and builds as the (excellent) slash violence begins to snowball. Although the action takes a tad too long to build, the trippy blown-out lighting and blurred camera shooting technique certainly held my eyeballs on the screen. When the blood hit the fan, so to speak, I yelled out loud, which is always a good sign (although a bit embarrassing because I was sitting in a coffee shop).

Katrine is a young student who leaves her home to go and live with strangers in a huge, foreboding college dorm in Copenhagen. Convincingly played by Neel Ronholt, Katrine is a sweet and friendly girl, which cannot be said for the room mates she moves in. Especially unfriendly is resident alpha girl, Sanne (Julie R. Olgaard), who's determined to rule the roost. One of my favorite lines was when Katrine dresses up in her party gear, and Sanne makes fun of her by saying she looks like a Christmas tree. Katrine sort of survives, but in the middle of a drunken party, she sleeps with Sanne's boyfriend. Sanne then tries her best to force Katrine out of the apartment by tricks such as stealing her food. Actually, at this point I'm wondering whether some kind of Shallow Grave thing is about to happen, as in a group of close friends who turn on each other with deadly results, but that's not really how it evolves.

I have to say that by this point, even I who loves artsy camera work, blues and blurs, and minimalist music chords, I needed some blood and/or scares. Luckily, cue the weird ghost girl who's escaped out of a mirror and is deeply p*ssed off with everyone living in the apartment. Cue the blood and the elevator. Now it's up to Katrine to get the girl back in the mirror before she wipes out everyone in the apartment.

The camera work in Room 205 is all about glass and mirrors, lights and reflection. The violence is mostly mixed up with the mirrors too, and it's a strong point. Weaker are some of the story elements, like how Katrine's friend, the geeky Rolf (Mikkel Arendt) became such an expert on how to exorcise ghosts who lived in mirrors. Or why with all the bodies piling up the police are happy to do nothing more than drag the corpses off in meat-wagons.

When I first heard of Room 205, I was thinking of Room 101, the place in George Orwell's book 1984, where people get to meet their biggest terror. Room 205 is not on that level of art, or fear, but it's certainly worth watching. I wasn't blown away, but I think it looks great, and like I said, it passed my yell-test.

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tabatha (13 years ago) Reply

bad. but not in the funny bad way, the painfully dull way. i rented it thinking it would be like 1408 and was extremely disappointed.

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