The Disappointments Room is a most accurate title for the second movie written by Wentworth Miller, aka Michael Scofield of “Prison Break.” The Disappointments Room may make Miller one-for-two on screenplays, but let’s not undersell his going from Park Chan-wook’s Stoker to D.J. Caruso’s latest.
Following a tragedy (a genre trope that could easily be dropped), a family—mom Dana (Kate Beckinsale, who is beginning to resemble Marcia Gay Harden), dad David (Mel Raido, doing a mean Mark Ruffalo) and son Lucas (Duncan Joiner)—moves to a giant, run-down house in the country. Naturally, the house is haunted by some ghosts, including the deceased patriarch Judge Blacker (Gerald McRaney). Or the mother, who has experienced some mental illness in the past, is really going crazy.
The Disappointments Room feels far too familiar, is pretty straightforward and yet makes little sense. The confusion was probably created in the editing room, as several scenes are joined by the most tenuous of connective celluloid tissue. Miller obviously strives for modern gothic, but ends up with either the most poorly motivated ghost of all time or another crazy mom.