Directed by Sami Cunningham [Other horror films: The Haunting of the Suicide House (2019)] & Brendan Rudnicki [Other horror films: The Unseen (2017), The Whitlow House (2018), The Abducted (2018), The Haunting of the Suicide House (2019), Into the Forest (2019), The Haunting of the Morgan Estate (2020), The Girl in Cabin 13: A Psychological Horror (2021), The Haunting of the Murder House (2022)]
Clocking in at just over an hour, The Devil in the Room doesn’t appear to have much going for it, on the surface. I think it does well with what it has, though, and ends up, if not a particularly memorable film, certainly a palatable one.
To me, the film seemed somewhat influenced by Insidious, which was a film I didn’t enjoy that much, but as this one is both shorter and a bit more focused, I think it went over better for me. The demon/devil thing was a bit shoddy-looking, but the vibe was appreciated, and it helped that the film dealt with grief in a pretty solid way.
Look, none of the performances were necessarily great, but for a lower-budget film, I do think that Skye Coyne did a good job as a woman who recently lost her sister to suicide. She had plenty of emotional material to deal with (and when just how guilty she feels she is comes fully to light, you can’t help but feel bad for her). Bryan Jager was a little shaky at first, and I don’t think his character got a great conclusion, but I ended up enjoying him, and Isaac Gonzalez Rossi did as well as I think his character could have allowed.
I will admit that toward the end, while I liked the excursion into the dream world (which felt like a low-rent version of Insidious’ The Further), the way that Coyne’s character confronts her demons isn’t too dissimilar from the conclusion to A Nightmare on Elm Street, which didn’t necessarily hurt the film, but it did make the ending to this one a little unsatisfying.
More than anything, though, I feel like I need to defend this. As of this writing, the movie has a 3.0/10 on IMDb (courtesy of 70 votes total), and this movie is definitely not deserving of that. It’s not a great movie, but given the limited budget, I thought they did a great job dealing with the emotional aspects of the story, and the jump scares, while rarely really effective, were still palatable in their usage.
The Devil in the Room isn’t likely to win any award, but for a lower-budget film, I definitely found it decent and, at only an hour, it’s not asking that much of the viewer, so if it sounds like it might be your thing, give it a try.
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