Friday, August 07, 2009

Honourable mentions: Room 6

dvdThis was a 2006 horror directed by Michael Hurst and whilst most of what I read about it mentioned demons, there were many a comment on imdb that mentioned a lesbian vampire scene. Of course, that was enough to have me watching the film and I think there was enough within to warrant an honourable mention.

That said the main of the film is demonic in nature and to be candidly honest it won’t spoil the twist to say that it is, all in all, a less gritty and much less atmospheric Jacob’s Ladder with a female protagonist. Of course the joy of Jacob’s Ladder (which is a fine film in my opinion) is discovering what is going on. In this it was fairly damned obvious from early on.

It starts with Amy (Christine Taylor) on an operating table, freaking out because she is paralysed but awake. She manages to get movement in her finger and desperately searches out a scalpel that she manages to flick and cause to fall to the floor. Nurse Holiday (Mary Pat Gleason, who was in the wonderful series the Middleman) looks down at her and confesses that they know she is awake. Amy bolts awake, it was a nightmare.

creepy MelissaIn bed with her is boyfriend Nick (Shane Brolly) and it seems hospital nightmares are the norm for Amy. As they get ready for work he tries to propose but her lift arrives and she shoots off to work – they’ll talk later. She is a school teacher and is concerned with the horrible pictures that Melissa (Chloe Moretz) draws. The monsters come in her dreams, she says. Melissa’s mother shows up and is pure white trash. Now it is scenes like this that make the film stumble over its own feet. As aggressive a parent as she is, there isn’t a teacher who would let a parent smoke in the classroom – certainly not without comment. It didn’t ring true.

Lucas and AmyBe that as it may, Nick picks her up and they argue as she hasn’t answered his proposal. Like a moron he leans over to kiss her (whilst driving) and they are in a crash. She seems okay but his leg is clearly broken. The driver of the truck they hit, Lucas (Jerry O’Connell), is fine but his sister is hurt. Little tip here for the filmmakers, we never see the sister, we never hear her name… nothing says he is a bad guy more than an incomplete background! Of course Amy doesn’t know this. All she knows is that Melissa appears in the crowd of onlookers and an ambulance takes Nick away, won’t let her ride along and doesn’t tell her the hospital name.

a demonDespite her fear of them she searches the local hospitals, eventually teaming up with Lucas, but does not find her man. In the meantime Nick is admitted to the ‘sinister’ St Rosemary’s hospital, which is not on the hospital lists. Amy is seeing demons (ala Jacob’s Ladder) who keep warning her off, and her own reflection is covered in blood… So where are the vampires? Let us talk nurses…

feeding each otherWe have already met nurse Holiday in Amy’s nightmares, but the other nurses in St Rosemary’s are a sexy bunch and yet there is something odd about them, they are officious, normally inattentive and like to take blood samples… a lot. Nick manages to hobble out of bed and sees them in a supply cupboard stripping off, getting it on and then spraying blood into each others mouths – though they are not brilliant shots.

feasting on a patientLater, when Amy investigates St Rosemary’s (which burnt down 60 years before) she discovers amongst tales of Satanism and sacrifice tales of blood drinking in order to preserve eternal youth – sounds pretty vampiric to me. Nick has managed to steal a torch and actually catches them feasting on another patient but all in all these are somewhat ineffectual vampires as he is able to get his leg out of traction and hobble out of the door (that is nearer them than him) and lock them in without them catching him!

Chasing Amy... wait, wasn't that a different film?If they are ineffectual then Amy is really stupid. Having been accosted by demons left, right and centre, discovered Lucas is a demon too and then found and entered the destroyed hospital (that only appears when lightning strikes), she sees the nurses (whose pictures, from 60 years before, she has already seen) trapped where Nick locked them. He is in theatre and they will take her to him if she lets them out. Yeah right… Okay, so 'dense gal' falls for it and gets chased down the corridor for her troubles.

That’s the vampire side. Despite the low story quality (it’s been done before and much, much better) this was okay, though far from brilliant and not scary. A solid performance from Christine Taylor helped. Jerry O’Connell, from Sliders, was as professional you would expect. I disliked Shane Brolly’s performance in Underworld and hoped he would be better in this. He mumbled a lot and I wasn’t sold, sorry. Don’t search it out (especially for vampires, though they are the best bit, as they are not in it much) but if it’s on TV and nothing else is on there are worse films. The imdb page is here.

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