WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
After a young school teacher and her boyfriend get into a car accident, an ambulance takes the injured man to an unknown hospital and he mysteriously disappears. The teacher then teams up with the guy in the other car, whose sister is also taken away by ambulance, to try and find out where their loved ones have gone.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
I really do love a good psychological thriller. Films that play with the mind, providing a rubix cube of a puzzle for the viewer, have a special place as a movie going experience. ROOM 6 is a film that had such potential; a great overall story, a wonderful leading lady, and a style that further enhanced the overall claustrophobia the movie embodies. So what went wrong? My sense is, far too many hands in the cookie jar, as certain elements are thrown in purely for shock and titillation. (Which is fine, Iíll watch a little nakedness, but shouldnít it make sense to the actual story?!) Things like people having twisted zombie-like faces out of nowhere, a scene of four nurses getting nasty and naked with some recently drawn blood samples (where did this scene come from?!) and a total EVIL DEAD rip off involving a flying priest, are just a few of the gimmicks this film uses purely to lure the audience in. Itís almost as if the filmmakers here felt that the thriller aspect was not enough, so they threw a piece of every genre in for good measure. Sometimes, a little singular simplicity can go a long way.
The performances help along the overpowering Grade-B elements of the film, with Brolley (super greasy in UNDERWORLD) taking the horror parts of the film to an all new level of cheese and OíConnell bringing (what else?!) the schmaltzy comedy to the piece. (Although I donít think it was intentional!) The only person looking good here is Taylor, who manages to legitimize every scene sheís in; she deserves so much better. Just throwing in some horror icons for pure stunt casting, like Kane Hodder and Ellie Cornell smells of a desperate attempt to cash in on a genre the film really has no place being in anyway. As the end of the movie rolled out, it was so clear to me what kind of film this should have been and itís a real shame the writers didnít understand what they had. The DVD box touts that ďsome doors should never be openedÖĒ, well I say open them up wide and let the sun come in; maybe then trusting the instincts of oneís own work will not be seen as a dirty little secret.
Commentary (with Writer/Director Mark Hurst and Writer/Producer Mark A. Altman): This one starts off with a lot of potential, with both guys being very honest about things, including their own work, which they admit has faults. But from the twelve minute mark on, there is a shift, as the two decide that their commentary is probably going to be nominated most uninteresting by fans. Itís a self fulfilling prophecy, as the two then delve into boring, safe banter about various elements of the film Ė most of which are covered in the featurette that follows. (And itís much better there!) A real shame, as the guys could have been runners up for my Jack Shoulder Honesty in Commentary Award! (Next time donít over analyze so much, you guys!)
Hospital From Hell (40:57): Not unlike the tons of other well produced mini-docs produced by the masters of every detail, Anchor Bay. This one has many goodies, like on set footage, matched with complete info on everything from the car crash scene to the lesbian gore fest, it literally manages to cover almost the entire film. (Coolest piece of info - Taylor was five months pregnant when she shot this film!) But for all of this oneís hard work, there is still a glaring oversight in not having any of the lead actors, namely Taylor, Brolley and OíConnell speak themselves. Itís almost as if they all wanted to distance themselves from this project; not a good sign. And while Anchor Bay may have tried to get interviews with them, they really should learn a lesson from the MOMMIE DEAREST DVD and have the participants who are talking - like Hurst and Altman - dish a little dirt by speculating why the leads aren't talking. It would have turned this good featurette into a brilliant one.
There is also a Theatrical Trailer and a copy of the Original Screenplay for DVD-ROM, as well as Trailers for MASTERS OF HORROR, DEMON HUNTER, IT WAITS and THE FALLEN ONES.
Regardless of what some moronic studio executives may say about chocking your film full of everything possible, sometimes one has to pick and choose. ROOM 6 is a very messy disaster, not really knowing what it wants to be; a horror film, a psychological thriller, or a dramatic morality tale about life and death. (The last one is a stretch!) And Anchor Bay has even managed to put together a very decent featurette on this turkey, one much better than it deserves. The only real victim here is Christine Taylor, whose work still remains consistently credible, even under the weight of a movie as bad as this. And while the film itself cannot be saved, someone should really open the damn door in ROOM 6 and let Taylor out so she can do work that will legitimize her, not the other way around.