In the mid-to-late 19th century, the disappointments room was a tragic reality for some as there simply weren’t many resources for the mentally or physically disabled. These rooms were typically created by families of note or wealth who utilized a secluded part of a house where physically or mentally handicapped children led out their lives in isolation, thereby sparing the family from being politically or socially ostracized.
The film was inspired by the case of the Dumas family, who bought an older home in Rhode Island that had once belonged to a prominent judge in the community. The family discovered a room in the attic that had a metal floor, drain in the center and a padlock on the outside of the door. A local explained that the room was a “disappointments room” where unwanted children were kept, whether because of the shame attached to having a disfigured or ill family member or if the child was a danger to themselves or the community. As for the child kept in the room in the Dumas’ home, they later discovered that she was named Ruth, and though she had no birth record on file, she was included only on the judge’s epitaph.
Writer/actor Wentworth Miller wrote the 2013 movie STOKER, catching the eye of producer Geyer Kosinski. “Wentworth told me about this movie just when he started to do research on it. I asked him to let me read the script once he had a draft because I knew he had talent,” says Kosinski. “D.J. made the movie DISTURBIA (2007), which tonally was incredibly chilling and haunting, and I thought Wentworth’s script would be something right in his wheelhouse.”
The film’s twists and turns leave viewers questioning what is reality and what is merely in Dana’s head. “One of the ways in which D.J. excels as a director is how he puts pieces of the puzzle together in ways where the audience is not quite sure what is happening,” says producer Vincent Newman. “As the movie progresses, its subtlety becomes more intense until you realize everything has escalated.”
This escalation in emotion and terror is Caruso’s ultimate goal: “We go to these movies because, as Hitchcock always said, we love to be scared,” he remarks. “We love to scream, and so we project ourselves into the movie, asking, ‘If this was me, what would I do?’ Knowing that the audience is discovering this room and what is going on there as Dana unpeels the mystery makes it very interesting and, at times, horrifying.”
Dana (Kate Beckinsale), David (Mel Raido) and their young son Lucas (Duncan Joiner) have left the hustle and bustle of city life for a fresh start in the country after a family tragedy. They move into a stately old manor in desperate need of restoration – the perfect project for Dana, an architect, to dive into while moving on from her painful past. The local townspeople are thrilled at the prospect of new faces in the small community and are quick to offer their services, including the local handyman, the handsome and flirtatious Ben (Lucas Till).
But the house is no idyllic retreat in the countryside for Dana and her family. Shortly after moving in, she begins to be haunted by terrifying and deeply unsettling visions and dreams. During her exploration of the home, her sharp eye notices a window in the attic, leading her to discover a secret room with a metal floor, a window that will not open and a door that only locks from the outside.
Upon unlocking the room, Dana soon senses that something about the house is deeply amiss and becomes subjected to psychological and physical horrors. Dana’s research leads her to discover the home’s previous tenants – a prominent judge, Ernest Blacker (Gerald McRaney), his wife (Jennifer Leigh Mann) and their young daughter (Ella Jones) who lived in the home in the late nineteenth century. To Dana’s horror, she comes to understand that their daughter’s physical impairment caused the socially prominent Blackers to use the room in the attic – their “disappointments room” – to hide away their daughter and her condition from the rest of the world.
The more Dana delves into the Blacker family’s history, the more she experiences bone-chilling encounters with the terrifying Judge Blacker out for revenge, soon becoming confused by what is real and what is only in her imagination. She must battle back against the evil entity trapped within the house – and her own personal demons after the accident that took the life of her baby daughter – in order to protect herself and her family.
Inspired by true events, The Disappointments Room is directed by D.J. Caruso (Disturbia) from a script by Wentworth Miller (Stoker). Geyer Kosinski, Vincent Newman and Tucker Tooley produced the film. Rogier Stoffers is the director of photographer; Tom Southwell is the production designer; Marian Toy is the costume designer and Vince Filippone is the film’s editor.
BASED ON TRUE EVENTS, KATE BECKINSALE STARS IN THE
TERRIFYING HORROR MYSTERY ARRIVING ON
DIGITAL HD DECEMBER 13 AND ON DVD DECEMBER 20
DVD Special Features Include:
• Unwanted: Inside The Disappointments Room
DVD Specifications Street Date:
December 20, 2016
Prebook Date: November 16, 2016
Widescreen 16:9 (2.39:1) Audio:
English Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English / Spanish
Total Run Time: Approximately 85 minutes
U.S. Rating R Closed Captioned: Yes