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Red Room, The (Short, 2009)

The Red RoomReviewed by Morgan Elektra

Starring Mikos Zavros, Nathan Russell, Russia Hardy

Written and directed by JT Mollner

A NoRemake Pictures production

15 Minutes


How far would you go to be able to properly say good-bye to a lost loved one? In “The Red Room” Nicholas Rowe (Zavros) is willing to pay a large sum of money to Dr. Hadley Prince (Russell) in order to spend some final “quality” time with his lost beloved.

That, in a tiny nutshell, is the whole story. Short and sweet – or short and kind of nasty, if I’m being honest. While it’s pretty clear what Nicholas is after from the beginning, the concept is nicely unsettling – unless you’re into that kind of thing – but I can’t help wishing the film had been as brief as this description. The acting from both Zavros and Russell is decent, if not inspired (all Hardy has to do is lie there, of course). However, despite its brief runtime the story feels slightly too dragged out and awkward. This works somewhat for Zavros’ uneasy and slightly excitable Nicholas, but not so much for the viewer.

The opening scene of Nicholas and Dr. Prince meeting in a parking lot at night does a good job of setting up the story, and the ending is well shot and wonderfully cringe-inducing… but the intervening scene between the two men in Dr. Prince’s apartment feels like filler – a blatant attempt to stretch the very basic premise. Had it been merged with the parking lot scene and pared down a few minutes, the film would have felt… pardon the pun… nice and tight.

Mollner has obvious talent and a willingness to push the envelope that makes me interested in seeing him stretch his genre legs. Hopefully next time out he will use a finer, firmer hand in the editing department and deliver that visceral punch he almost had here.

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2 1/2 out of 5

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