Blood Capsule #27


I bought Playroom for one reason and one reason only.  It was directed by Manny Coto, the auteur behind a sentimental favorite of mine.  The sentimental favorite?  Dr. (motherfucking) Giggles...bow down.  Playroom is a different animal altogether.  Christopher McDonald plays Chris, an archeologist who returns to the site of his family's brutal murder.  The encampment itself is a tomb, an aporetic catacomb that boards a mummy of sorts.  The ancient occultist isn't swathed in bandages, but "mummy" sounds more fearsome than "petrified corpse."  You'll just have to indulge me.  Anyway, Chris takes a cue from Jack Torrance and slowly succumbs to the grapnels of insanity.

The first hour of Playroom pretends to be a pokerfaced thriller.  To be honest, it's a chore to swallow, save for the breathtaking scenery (the film was shot on location in Serbia, which stands in for Yugoslavia).  The third act shifts gears.  Suddenly, I was watching a dinky b-movie headlined by an animatronic zombie, a villain with an armory of wisecracks on retainer.  If I didn't know any better, I'd swear that his dialogue was written by Freddy Krueger.  It's jaw-droppingly laughable.  Playroom is a dishonorable failure, but holy shit, it's entertaining.  Of course, it doesn't approach the august grandeur of Dr. Giggles.  That, my friend, would be impossible.

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