May 20, 2008

Red Room (1999)

Don't ever let it be said that I shy away from the more extreme side of cinema, the nastier the better is how I generally like it. I'm always eager to seek out something that will surprise me, and push the limits of what I can expect to see on the screen. I'm not necessarily talking about gore, shit, anyone can throw some blood and guts about, it's how they are used that has the effect. More importantly seeing something that will make me squirm in my seat and have me thinking to myself that I can't believe they did that. Red Room was a movie that had one or two moments that fell into that category.

In Red Room four contestants are gathered together in the room of the title in order to play a game show, called The Forbidden King Game, in which the winner walks away with 10 million Yen (you work out for that is worth because I can't be arsed to, suffice to say it is motivation enough). The rules are simple enough; each player draws a card, the player that picks the king card gets to order two other contestants to perform a task. The idea being that the task set is too extreme for one, or both, to complete, forcing them to quit. This continues until there is only one left.

The games start off innocently, or should I say painlessly enough, with one pair being asked to kiss for five minutes and another having to spin around the other on an office chair for the same duration. Harmless enough, but they soon progress to far darker territories, and far more painful tests on endurance.

Inbetween the games we do learn about the contestants and their motivation and reasons behind their participation which does add a little more to the very basic plot.

A fairly low budget affair, being shot entirely in the one (or technically two) rooms, Red Room was a fairly decent affair. It plods along a little to start with, having me get a little impatient to tell the truth. However, it was worth the wait because it does sink into some pretty depraved areas. Which is just as well because the sole male actor of the four was seriously getting on my nerves to start with. Although as the movie progresses the change in all four characters comes across very well.

Red Room is not a spectacular movie, being as it uses a limited amount of special effects. Sure, there is a little blood here and there, and only one real scene that could be considered gory, but don't let that fool you as this movie will have even the most hardened extreme movie fans squirming away in their seats in some places.

Where Red Room really failed me though is with its use of sound, or should I say sound effects. Some of them were just plain distracting as they were too loud in the mix and almost added an unintentional comedy effect to proceedings.

Overall though I did enjoy Red Room and, although there are far better movies of this style out there, I would recommend it if you are looking for a little sick fix.

Rating 2.5(out of 4)

1 comment:

the jaded viewer said...

Kudos to you dude for watching Red Room. I first saw this via a horror convention trade and it had no subs.

The Japanese have alot of these underground flicks....more underground than we Americans or Brits will ever get use to.

- the jaded viewer