Trying to capture the low-budget and B-movie style of lesser known 90’s horror. The Black Room’s tone is campy, silly and over the top. It doesn’t always get it right but there is a lot of fun to be had here.
Written and directed by Rolfe Kanefsky, that 90’s vibe is immediately felt. We see Miss Black’s (Lin Shaye) niece being attacked by an unseen force. It tries to drag the young woman through a door in the basement but her Aunt saves her. Taking her place in the black room.
Some time later, married couple Jennifer (Natasha Henstridge) and Paul (Lukas Hassel) move into the same house. A perfect house, if it wasn’t for the room in the basement. What inhabits it? A succubus of all things that was unleashed many years earlier. It has been waiting for a human host to return to the house so it could inhabit their body. Then have sex and make a human/demon baby to rule the world.
It really is as silly as it sounds and credit to the cast, they play up to that silliness. In particular Lukas Hassel. He is the eventual unlucky host of the demon and his ‘demonic’ behaviour is part bad puns, cheesy sleaziness and hilariously over the top killing.
He’s great fun to watch but not alone as Species legend Henstridge shows she has plenty left in her acting tank. Dominique Swan is also great, Lin Shaye doesn’t have much to do but she does it well as per usual and metal fans should be keeping their eyes open for a cameo by Ministry frontman Al Jorgensen.
The cast can’t be faulted nor can the effects, some of which look great. Such as the demon penis that is used to impale one woman or what we see when we finally go into the black room.
Where the film stumbles is with the ‘sexy’ side of things. It tries hard to make certain scenes feel sexy rather than sleazy but they rarely work. It’s far too silly to take seriously and the sight of a demon possessed man having sex with the wall while red blood hands and arms caress him will just make you laugh.
From the opening credits that could have been part of a Goosebumps episode it was pretty clear that this wasn’t a movie that was going to take itself seriously. Its no classic but it is entertaining which makes it a worthwhile watch.
The Black Room