Scream Horror Magazine

THE SLEEPING ROOM: Film Review

Posted on: February 11th, 2015

Synopsis:
Blue, a Brighton-based escort with a trouble past, finds herself wrapped up in a chilling murder mystery after visiting a client that is restoring an old Victorian home.

From the writer of Panic Button comes THE SLEEPING ROOM, a Victorian revenge thriller from John Shackleton. Replacing jump scares with long drawn out scenes with the aim to build tension in his audience, Shackleton has crafted an intriguing ghost story that is supported by a moody atmosphere and a haunting musical score.

When I sat down to watch the film I was hoping that Shackleton would deliver some effective Gothic scares based on my understanding of what the plot was. However, I found myself bitterly disappointed that the film is essentially just a continuous string of moody atmospheric scenes pieced together by a couple of poorly executed jump scares and somewhat forced performances from the cast.

Speaking of the cast Leila Mimmack plays the lead and does her best to carry the film but fails to deliver anything beyond the standard of her earlier television roles. Same goes for Joseph Beattie whose performance as the isolated professional seeking solace in the services of Mimmack’s call girl is equally as flat. However, no one is as bad as Christopher Adamson. His performance as a cockney pimp is severely overacted and incredibly annoying.

Despite my feelings about this film, Shackleton does shows great premise. There are moments where the film looks great. There are some really interesting shots and he employs techniques that do well to set a scene up. Sadly though, the result of the film is incredibly monotonous feeling more so like several episodes of some sunday night drama played back-to-back.

Overall, I was disappointed with this film as it seems like a wasted opportunity for Shackleton. He had a firm foundation to make his feature debut an incredibly creepy experience thanks to an interesting concept devised by Alex Chandon (Cradle of Fear) and Ross Jameson but the end product is anything but.

Words by Jon Dickinson

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