Mark & Jill are a young couple struggling to make ends meet. Mark is a failing stand-up comedian (the movie opens showing part of his routine & it is terrible) & Jill is working hard to support him. The pair are in love but need to find somewhere cheap to live so check out a room with the elderly couple, Henry & Josephine Baker.
The couple appear welcoming & friendly but Mark feels uncomfortable living with them. However, the price & Jill’s needs see the duo take the room even if the sounds of a baby crying confuses Mark.
It’s not long before Henry & Mark’s relationship begins to fall apart, Henry treats Mark like a child & Mark acts like a stroppy teenager as they fall out over unwashed dishes, chores & late night cooking. The film is uncomfortable to watch but not for the reasons you’d think.
It’s uncomfortable to watch because it’s so poorly edited that the passage of time never actually makes sense. The film doesn’t try to hide its payoff as it constantly jumps between the two couples living together & Jill being tied up in the basement.
From the first few minutes you know that the Bakers are bad people even before you’ve even seen them on camera. It takes any & all mystery out of the events that then occur for the majority of the movie.
What makes it even worse to watch is just how bad the acting is. Michael Lieber as Mark is the worst of the bunch with over-reactions & behaviour that is part cringe-worthy & part hilarious. It’s one of those roles that you have to see to believe, no description can do it justice.
The story drags on towards it’s obvious & inevitable conclusion as Mark is dispatched after discovering the ‘baby’ isn’t actually a baby. The couple then kidnap Jill & hold her hostage in the basement. Why? So, they can use her to give them a child. Who saw that coming!?
You may think these last 20 minutes up the ante, throw in some exciting violence & gore but you’ll be sorely disappointed. The body parts look fake, the blood watery & the ‘rape’ scenes defy logic. The movie tries to be ‘artsy’ with its music & shots but falls woefully short because it is so boring.
A Room to Die For is just one big mess of tired ideas that offer nothing worth getting excited by.
A Room to Die For