Friday, April 15, 2011
The Baby's Room -- AKA La Habitacion del Nino (2006)
The Baby's Room is part of a series of films that came out of Spain a couple of years back (6 Films to Keep You Awake). I've heard a lot about them but haven't checked any of them out. But now I can thanks to the magic of NetFlix instant watch. Booyah!
Our film begins with a young family moving into an old home (read: fixer upper). Much to the chagrin of a speculative mother in-law, the husband reassures her that the house is in fine working order and all that it needs is some good ol' fashion TLC. As they continue to unpack, they come across a baby monitor and decide to set it up in the nursery. That night, they start hearing muffled noises at first which then gives way to someone speaking to them on the other end. Freaking out, they rush to the infant's room but find nothing.
Thinking nothing of it, they go about the new day, on to work and back home again. But just as it occurred the night before, the conversationalist entity begins again and mom and dad seriously freak.
Determined to get a glimpse of this intruder, the father invests in a video baby monitor and sets it up. Sure enough, the father awakes that night and finds himself staring at the sight of a man who's hovering over the crib.
It's relayed to him and the wife by the locals that they didn't move to the best of neighborhoods so they think that it's a burglar who's looking to rob them. Onwards to another restless night and Daddy goes off the deep end as he hears the unwanted house guest heading downstairs. He grabs a kitchen knife and lunges at the figure from around a nearby corner. But instead of coming face to face with the man, he sees his wife and the blade misses her by only a few inches. Fearing for her life and the life of her child, she decides to leave.
The next day, by chance, the father readjusts the camera and as he does so, he begins to see through the camera a parallel world. There he sees the figure which exists in a time separate from his own but in the same place. The house, you see, was the site of something ghastly that happened years ago. But at who's hands do you ask? The startling conclusion was a great twist that you don't see coming. One of the most original haunted house flicks I've ever seen and certainly one of the best to have come out in recent years.
I do have one major gripe. Mainly, the soundtrack. Have you ever watched a film in which the soundtrack almost takes you out of the experience entirely? It's like the composer checked out the 'Horror Score for Dummies' book at the bookstore. It could have been more subtle but instead, it was really grating and much too over the top. Like every instance needed some sort of loud, crescendo to highlight a scene. Instead of relying on the tension and atmosphere (which was expertly built) to drive the film, the score was just pounded over your head.
But as it stands, it's a really original film that will creep you the hell out. That's hard to do with most haunted house films nowadays. I think that baby monitors and cameras should be employed more often as plot devices. It certainly added another level of freaky-ness.
Cortez the Killer