Pros: acting by Olga Kurylenko and Kevin Janssens; idea with a wishing room Cons: the director does not cope with the genre; there are moments that the writers left without explanation “The Room” / The Room
Genre thriller, fantasy
Directed by Christian Volkman
Starring Olga Kurylenko (Kate), Kevin Janssens (Matt), John Flanders (John Doe), Francis Chapman (Shane), Joshua Wilson (Shane as a child), etc.
Company Bidibul Productions, Les Films du Poisson, Versus Production
Year of release 2019
According to the plot of the film, the couple move to a country house, in which the couple plans their future. As they settle in, they notice an electrical problem and another room they didn’t know about before. On a sleepless night, Matt (Kevin Janssens) discovers that the room can materialize any desire – when the light goes out, the named object appears in it. So their home begins to fill with delicacies, works of art, jewelry and money. The couple has a lot of fun and enjoys the gifts, but when the euphoria wears off, Kate (Olga Kurylenko) remembers the most important desire for her – a child. While the woman asks for the baby in the room, Matt finds confirmation of his fears that the house could be dangerous for anyone who decides to use it.
The Wishing Room premiered at the Brussels Fantastic Film Festival. The film was later shown in South Korea, where it won the Best Film category at the Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival.
Perhaps, in the competition program, “The Wishing Room” really stood out for its plot, but in regular release you barely pay attention to the film. It is not intended for an American audience, and in Europe it was not promoted in the most lively way. Olga Kurylenko, who got the main role, may arouse our interest in the film.
It is worth noting that Kurylenko in the film “Room of Wishes” is pleasant to watch. She plays a simple, quite realistic and emotional character with whom you want to empathize. Together with Belgian actor Kevin Janssens, the actress plays a far from new story about the dream of moving into a house, which turns into a nightmare. However, both actors have the ability to harmoniously distribute emotions and avoid unnecessary dramatic stress.
The film was directed by Christian Volkman. He previously worked on the animated film Renaissance, which was about Paris in 2054. For this project, Volkman immersed himself in cyberpunk and noir, but for work on “The Wishing Room” he had to return to more mundane spaces. True, something still reminds us of the director’s hobbies – the strange appearance of the room, which hides thousands of tangled wires, similar to a homemade installation for a festival in the spirit of Burning Man.
The rest of the film’s details are not that striking, although it always seems that The Wishing Room could have been a little better if it had a Hollywood scope or a bigger budget. At the same time, there is no need to complain about the quality of the visual effects flashing in the film – they were performed modestly, but with dignity.
Another thing is disappointing about the film – it was created in order to keep the viewer in suspense, but Christian Volkman does not cope with this task. The director is good at staging drama, but Volkman doesn’t fully understand what to do with a thriller. There is no expressive music in the film, no muted tones, no scenes when one becomes truly worried about the main characters.
Closer to the denouement, the director finally rehabilitates himself and adds something that can save the overall atmosphere of the film. However, his actions were late – now all attention is focused on moments that need explanation (and after the session still continue to need explanation). The result is a kind of intrigue, the essence of which the viewer must explain to himself.
The picture has an interesting idea with thoughts that people should be careful about their desires. The film also has some nice acting that makes up for the plot problems. Therefore, “The Wishing Room” could have made a good horror film, but its creators fell a little short of the necessary accents.
I want to like the film, but as a thriller it really lacks tense moments