Earlier this year director Kevin Hicks and writer Vickie Hicks gave us the supernatural radio thriller Dead Air. Now they’re back with The Forever Room, a psychological horror story. Dead Air was an enjoyable if low-key, film that had a few surprises for the viewer. Can they do it a second time? Or will The Forever Room join Hellbender and When I Consume You on the year’s list of indie horror disappointments?
Claire (Samantha Valletta, Dilettantes) is shackled in a basement prison. Her captor is her mother Helen (Vickie Hicks, Doppel). She assures her the situation is for her own good and makes an ominous comment about Claire not killing anyone recently. Claire has no idea what she’s talking about.
Claire also has visitors, or maybe they’re hallucinations Or even ghosts. A woman named Rebecca (Nicole Skelly, Paranormal Proof), a man named Ethan (Kevin Hicks, Behind the Door) and a young boy named Michael (Luca Iacovetti, Dead Air). She’s not sure why they’re there but they have a connection to something in her past, something she’s repressed and blocked from her memory.
With its limited sets and very small cast, The Forever Room would seem perfect for a low-budget thriller. Unfortunately, the script is so poorly written and obvious it doesn’t really matter. By the half-hour mark, I had most of it figured out and it didn’t take much longer to put the rest together.
The problem is the basic plot of The Forever Room has been done so many times before that it just screamed out to me after the first few incidents. And even if it hadn’t, the film’s own title and publicity are huge spoilers. Maybe a more skilled writer could have hidden it or managed to misdirect me, but that wasn’t the case here. While the cause was a bit different, once I figured out what was going on, the why fell into place fairly easily.