A woman known only as Jane Doe awakens in a dark room with no recollection of how she got there or who she is. While attempting to figure out what is going on, she slowly succumbs to the fear of isolation and begins to experience strange, gory, highly erotic events that send her over the edge.
Originally released in 2013 as Nightmare Box, director Jon Keeyes brings us, presumably, a slightly updated version of his initial tale of raw human trepidation of being kidnapped and abused against your consent. Led by an impressive performance by Johanna Stanton, the film can definitely be described as unique, with its incredibly eerie and twisted set design (being set entirely in one small claustrophobic room decorated with creepy sexualised décor), and the fact that it pushes the boundaries of what could be classed as torture porn (similar to Hostel). From the moment we meet our leading lady, the audience is whisked into a rollercoaster of a narrative that, for some, will be off-putting but is worth sticking with until the well-executed final act.
Throughout the film, Jane encounters a rather quirky set of supporting characters who at first seem very random but all play a significant part in the later parts of the story. From the shy and timid girl Innocence (Hayden Tweedie) to the sex puppet queen known as Wife (Debbie Rochon, Bloody Ballet), these bonkers and at times extremely theatrical characters add to the wackiness.
Doom Room also succeeds in the directing department, as the film looks superb for a low budget production. It’s skilfully lit, enhancing the confined space, and competently shot, allowing the tension to continue to grow. However, with all the positives for the film, it unfortunately suffers with some glaring problems which will alienate many viewers.
The sound design is woeful at times, making it seem like a lot of the film has been dubbed over (which is a possibility). A lot of the audio cuts in and out, which is especially jarring during some later scenes when the twists and reveals occur. Coupled with the fact that during the first two thirds of the movie you are trying to wrap you head around what’s really happened while wincing at the grotesque sexual torture scenes, you are left with a lopsided film that will appeal to a very niche audience. That being said, the finale is definitely the best segment of the film, as Stanton truly reaches her peak and allows the conclusion to really pack a punch.
DOOM ROOM / CERT: UNRATED / DIRECTOR & SCREENPLAY: JON KEEYES / STARRING: JOHANNA STANTON, NICHOLAS BALL, CLAIRE JARED, CARL KIRSHNER / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW