Stone Bell Creations // 2010 // 93 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Appellate Judge Daryl Loomis // December 17th, 2010
It's only fair to warn you, you're going to feel some pain.
While peeping around the neighborhood, young Eddie Roberts spied the brutal murder of a woman in her home. He moved away, but never forgot what he saw. It changed him into a monster and now, fifteen years later, he's come back to town to take care of some unfinished business.
I wish I could call The Fun Room a fun movie. Independent horror can turn out some surprising gems, and I was impressed with director Jim DeVault's previous feature, The Sisters Four. It wasn't great by any measure, but it was a cheap thriller that worked well within its limitations and I enjoyed watching it. Not so much with The Fun Room. DeVault's ability to effectively use his budget is intact, but lost is any sense of enjoyment.
The film is virtually plotless, it starts with a rough scene of sexual violence and never lets up the mayhem. We learn nothing about Eddie Roberts (Kristopher Bryon Storey), why he kills or why he's back. The only reason he gives is that it's fun, which isn't nearly enough to sustain a full length film. For the other characters, we know just enough about the leads for the story to make sense, but there's nothing here that rightly could be called character. Heather (Stacy Wall), daughter of the victim Eddie saw murdered, is a writer of some kind and appears to work for a magazine. Ryan (Eddie Allen) is her boyfriend and a cop, which plays into the story, so there's some story development for you. All you need to know about how this one plays out is that she's the main victim and her boyfriend has been assigned to her case. There are a few minutes of exposition thrown in to get us through the time between killings, but there's little to remember.
All there is to take from The Fun Room is an exercise in sexual torture. Eddie brutalizes women with acid at his nicest and does things involving rebar at his worst. All this is done to random women who happen upon Eddie in front of Heather who is bound because he had a crush on her as a kid. Not an effective valentine, if you ask me. The action is unpleasant and mean, with no point beyond the exhibition of sexual horror.
We received a screener copy of The Fun Room, so the product is subject to change. As it stands, the image transfer looks like your average minuscule budget video production. It's rough looking, but it's no worse than I expected it to look. The audio is tinny and badly balanced, nearly inaudible in some places, but obscenely loud in others; I hope that gets fixed on the finished release. We even get a couple of extras on the screener. A brief conversation between the director and music composer Gary Boren shows some of the spirit these guys have for the project. A ten minute blooper reel is as pointless as it sounds.
Jim DeVault continues to show potential as a director, but the story is too thin and the action too unpleasant for there to be much fun in The Fun Room.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Stone Bell Creations
* 1.85:1 Non-Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 93 Minutes
Release Year: 2010
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Blooper Reel