The Disappointments Room

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
The Disappointments Room Movie Poster Image
Violent haunted-house movie lives up to its title.
  • R
  • 2016
  • 100 minutes

Parents say

age 18+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 4 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Not many positive take-aways here other than the idea that parents should love their children, no matter how "embarrassing" or "disappointing" they are.

Positive Role Models & Representations

No real role models.


A woman inadvertently kills a baby by falling asleep and smothering it. A man fatally bashes a girl in the head. A woman bashes an elderly man in the head; lots of blood. Dog attacks a boy; blood shown. Mangled, bloody cat corpse. Photos of children with deformities. Reference to a possible suicide attempt. Blood-covered hands and crotch. Body hanging from a tree. Smashing dishes at dinner. Scary bats. Reference to guns and shooting.


Flirting (a carpenter puts the moves on the main character, but she immediately rebuffs him). Affection between a husband and wife; brief kissing.


A few uses of "f--k," plus "s--t," "hell," "goddamn," and "honest to God."


Krispy Kreme donut stand in one scene. Father and son play in Wolverine and Hulk costumes.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

The main character sneaks vodka and gets very drunk in one scene, ultimately throwing a huge tantrum. She also smokes cigarettes in more than one scene (she sneaks outside to smoke). Reference to an unseen character "who drinks." Prescription pills in medicine cabinet. Bottles of beer seen in background. Wine at dinner.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Disappointments Room is a haunted-house movie about a family with a tragic past. Scenes of bloody violence include characters being bashed and covered in blood, children dying (a baby is tragically, accidentally killed) and in danger, a mangled cat corpse, a dog attacking a boy, and other shocking images. In one sequence, the main character gets really drunk and throws a tantrum, smashing plates. There are other references to drinking and smoking, and prescription drugs are shown. Language isn't frequent but includes a few uses of "f--k," "s--t," and "goddamn." Sex isn't really an issue, aside from a little flirting and some affectionate moments between a husband and wife. The title refers to secret rooms in which wealthy people once put their socially unacceptable offspring.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bymeydiana.rizki October 18, 2020

I loved this much

i enjoy any work done by W. Miller. i follow all his projects and i find them just amazing. everyone of us can understand diffrently the point of a movie or a s... Continue reading
Adult Written byMolly E. February 18, 2017


Vile, for anyone who loves cats don't watch! It shows you a dead cat on screen
Teen, 16 years old Written bytriggerwarnings July 25, 2020

A few noteworthy trigger warnings

Something i think should be mentioned is the multiple times suicide is shown as well as self harm, child abuse(physical + emotional + abandonment), murder or sa... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byMonica M Anderson August 15, 2017


Boring don't bother if you want to be scared

What's the story?

In THE DISAPPOINTMENTS ROOM, Dana (Kate Beckinsale) and David (Mel Raido) and their son, Lucas (Duncan Joiner), move from the big city to an old country house to get away from memories of a recent tragedy. As Dana, an architect, starts exploring the house, she discovers a strange little room that locks from the outside. She also starts seeing strange things around the house and its grounds, such as an old man and a black dog. And she begins having nightmares and visions that are so real she can't tell them from reality. Is the house haunted, or does Dana need to reconcile her past to come to terms with her present?

Is it any good?

Even though it stars an accomplished actress and has an intriguing design, this haunted-house movie doesn't have much to offer. The Disappointments Room's scares, mysteries, and character relationships are all numbingly routine. Director D.J. Caruso unsuccessfully mirrors The Shining with a few shots and uses the old "it was all a dream" trick a few too many times. Even the legend behind the title -- a "disappointments room" is supposedly a place where rich people once hid their socially unacceptable offspring -- isn't really explored beyond a few gruesome photos of deformed children.

Beckinsale does her best as the suffering mother, and Dana's drunk ranting scene looks like it must have been fun to play, but ultimately the movie doesn't give her anywhere to go with her anguish. David is written sympathetically, but English actor Raido plays him with an irritating, high-pitched Brooklyn accent that makes him seem insensitive. Bottom line? The Disappointments Room comes across as a movie with very little thought or enthusiasm put into it and only disappointment at the end.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about The Disappointments Room's violence. How much of it is directed toward children? At animals? How much of it is shown in dreams or nightmares or visions? How does that affect the story? What's the impact of media violence on kids?

  • What makes this a horror movie? How scary is it? What's the appeal of horror movies?

  • What drives the main character to drink in the movie? Are there realistic consequences? Why does that matter?

  • What do you think of the idea of a "disappointments room"? Does such a thing seem real? How could you find out more about the topic?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love scares

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

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