Room 203: Review

Room 203: Review

Kim (Francesca Xuereb) and Izzy (Viktoria Vinyarska) are best friends and they think they’ve found the perfect apartment to move in to together. Kim is studying in school while Izzy has set her sights on becoming an actress so despite their friendship, they live very different lives.

Then as Kim is hanging up a mirror on her bedroom wall, she starts to have trouble and where she put in the nail, a large hole has formed. Thinking nothing of it, the women carry on with their lives and just put it down to being an old building. However, soon Izzy starts exhibiting some strange behaviour and Kim is concerned that she may do something drastic.

Room 203 is a supernatural horror film directed by Ben Jagger from a script co written by John Poliquin and based on the novel by Nanami Kamon. Unusually for a western film that’s described as a J horror adaptation, Room 203 is not a remake.

Instead, it’s an original adaptation which firmly sets the scene in a rather typical horror film setting which audiences may expect. Fans of Nanami’s original novel may be rather delighted by the adaptation, but it’s hard to tell as everything that made it Japanese has been stripped out.

Nevertheless, Room 203’s heart is with its leading pair and that’s where its strength lies. Besides a bit of stilted fun towards the beginning, Xuereb and Vinyarska give good performances with the latter being able to go from ordinary young American woman to scary possessed maniac in the blink of an eye.

Also, the depiction of suicide is dealt with sensitively considering the subject matter and it doesn’t overwhelm the story or feel jarring when the more supernatural themes take over. It’s also refreshing to see a protagonist who sees something wrong and goes down a more grounded path rather than just assuming something more extraordinary.

However, once the final act kicks in then Room 203 becomes a little generic and although the thrills may excite some horror fans, other more astute viewers may have seen the reveal coming from a mile away. Saying that though, Room 203 manages to find its feet again and is able to tell a tale of female friendship amongst all the spooky encounters.

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