Directed by: Stephen Gaffney
Written by: Stephen Gaffney and Erica Keegan
Starring: Amy Kelly, Sohaila Lindheim, Saoirse Doyle, John D’Alessandro, Eddie Jackson, Brian Fortune, Rodrigo Ternevoy
Indie Film Review by: Hannah Sayer
Stephen Gaffney’s Red Room follows a group of violent men taking advantage of, and committing horrific acts of violence against young women for others pleasure in a voyeuristic and disturbing set up. In this extreme horror film, which relies heavily on shocking acts of violence, the majority of the film follows a predictable sequence of events, until an exciting revenge twist flips everything that has come before it.
Set in Dublin, Red Room opens with a woman walking home at night through a deserted car park, as she remarks to the person on the other end of the phone that she’ll be home in ten minutes. From these opening moments, the viewer catches on to this woman’s vulnerability and that something sinister is about to happen. She answers a ringing phone which she finds on the ground and is then kidnapped and put into the back of a van. When she wakes up, she is tied up in an isolated room with three other women. What follows is a brutally violent and intense film as the three women, Kyra, Alison and Lily, attempt to escape from their captors before it is their turn to enter the “Red Room”.
The film has a great deal going on in its feature length run time and at times it feels as if the narrative is trying to do too many things within the genre. Without giving too much away, the scope of the film becomes grander as it is slowly revealed what the “Red Room” entails, and that it involves many more people than just those in this deserted house. Some of the more intense and therefore more successfully frightening scenes are those which take place between the women in the isolated room. The visual look of the film is one of its stronger aspects, particularly the vivid use of colour. This is evocative in scenes when blues and reds are used to bring out both isolation and danger in the characters situations.
ABOVE: the official movie trailer for Red Room.
With strong performances from Amy Kelly, Sohaila Lindheim and Saoirse Doyle as the three women trying to escape from their captors, Red Room relies too heavily on shocking moments of violence for the film to get away with being great all round. However, the shocking and disturbing nature of the film is really what it is about and Red Room successfully achieves what it sets out to do. Red Room will certainly appeal to many fans of extreme horror, but it is not one for the faint hearted.
Red Room will be screening at Belfast Horror Con on 27th October. The official movie trailer can be found below.