Anchor Bay Entertainment
Cast: Christine Taylor, Shane Brolly, Jerry O'Connell
Extras: Commentary Track, Featurette, Trailer, Screenplay
From the people who brought you "House Of The Dead 2" comes another descent into the annals of horror. Okay, so that's not exactly the most persuasive endorsement. "Room 6," the latest offering from CFQ Films, an offshoot of Cinefantastique Magazine, is pretty standard direct-to-DVD schlock. Filmed on the cheap with a less than thrilling cast, this tiresome little shocker is now available from Anchor Bay Entertainment.
Amy (Christine Taylor) is a school teacher who has been having nightmares in which she finds herself in an operating room about to go into surgery – fully awake. Her boyfriend, Nick (Shane Brolly, whose name is misspelled on the DVD cover), has just popped the question, but Amy is having a hard time making up her mind. Some cryptic remarks from one of her students, a particularly disturbed little girl named Melissa (Chloe Moretz), only add to her problems.
After a terrible car accident, Nick is left seriously injured and taken to St. Rosemary's Hospital. There is something very odd about this place, but Nick can't seem to put his finger on it. Why are the other patients so terrified of the pretty, young nurses? And why hasn't Amy been by to visit him?
As it turns out, Amy has no idea where to find Nick because St. Rosemary's doesn't exist anymore! Enter the handsome and friendly Lucas (Jerry O'Connell), whose sister was injured in the same car accident and has similarly disappeared. He tries to comfort Amy through this difficult time, but a series of demonic visions have her in a constant state of hysteria.
Somewhere in all of this is a subplot involving satanic rituals and blood ceremonies, but none of it really makes any sense. What we have here is basically a half-hour anthology show episode that has been stretched out to feature length. The writing by director Mike Hurst and producer Mark Altman is all over the place and never truly comes together to form one cohesive story. They have essentially taken ideas and tricks from other horror movies and rehashed them, and the result is about as fresh as yesterday's leftovers.
The movie as a whole simply fails to rise above mediocre status. Christine Taylor and Jerry O'Connell give earnest performances, but neither has the star quality to make their characters sing. There are a few scares here and there, but none of them are especially memorable, and the climax goes on forever.
Anchor Bay's presentation fares none much better. The 1.77:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer is slightly murky in places with some noticeable grain. Colors are somewhat dull, and the picture comes off a little flat.
Audio is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0 channel English tracks. Dialogue is a little harsh, and the overall sound is just a tad soft for my ears. I had to turn the volume up much higher than usual, which only made the harshness more evident.
Special features include a commentary track with Mike Hurst and Mark Altman. It's interesting enough, and they even poke some fun at Leonard Nimoy every now and then, but it's really nothing sensational. They frequently bring up some mumbo jumbo about the spiritual meanings of the film, but I don't buy it.
The 40-minute featurette, "Hospital From Hell," is one of those clever little promos that attempt to make the movie look and sound a lot better than it really is. I have to say it almost succeeds, but after the first 20 minutes it loses a lot of steam.
The theatrical trailer (that's right — a theatrical trailer for a film that was never released theatrically) is included, as are some sneak peeks at a few more horror DVDs from Anchor Bay.
A DVD-ROM feature allows access to Hurst and Altman's screenplay. Reading through it, I found it to be rather sloppily written. It's not hard to see why the final product was such a letdown.
"Room 6" is an instantly forgettable movie that would be of interest to only the most thorough of horror fans. It's the kind of film you might watch in an insomniac trance at three in the morning when nothing better is on, but it's not worth spilling your hard-earned cash for. Incidentally, the tagline for this movie is, "Some doors should never be opened…" The aptness is delectably ironic.