Friday, April 2, 2021

The Oak Room Review: A Stylish And Engaging Night of Stories

RJ Mitte	...	Steve Peter Outerbridge	Peter Outerbridge	...	Paul Ari Millen	Ari Millen	...	Michael Nicholas Campbell	Nicholas Campbell	...	Gordon Martin Roach	Martin Roach	...	Richard David Ferry	David Ferry	...	Kenneth Amos Crawley	Amos Crawley	...	Thomas Coward Avery Esteves	Avery Esteves	...	Young Michael Coal Campbell	Coal Campbell	...	Young Gordon

Release date: April 2, 2021
Running time: 89 minutes
Directed by: Cody Calahan
Written by: Peter Genoway
Starring: RJ Mitte, Peter Outerbridge, Ari Millen, Martin Roach, Nicholas Campbell, and David Ferry

During a raging snowstorm, a drifter returns home to the blue-collar bar located in the remote town where he was born. When he offers to settle an old debt with a grizzled bartender by telling him a story, the night's events quickly spin into a dark tale of mistaken identities, double-crosses and shocking violence.

Ira Levy	...	executive producer Mark Myers	...	executive producer Jeff Maher	...	co-producer Chad Archibald	...	producer Nat Abraham	...	executive producer Michael McGuigan	...	executive producer Ari Millen	...	producer Cody Calahan	...	producer Christopher Giroux	...	associate producer
The Oak Room is not what I expected.  I expected a horror thriller, and it starts off fulfilling that.  It has a mysterious, tense opening that had me wondering what would happen next and had me on the edge of my seat.  It introduces you to the two main characters, the drifter and the bar tender and their dynamic is a lot of fun to watch.  RJ Mitte and Peter Outerbridge must carry a lot of this film with their dramatic performances, as the majority of their scenes involve little else than their own charisma and characters.  And thankfully they succeed, though everyone in this small cast does a great job on screen.  The film uses mostly dialogue and some reenactments of past events, but overall your enjoyment of the film will depend on how engaged you are to the characters.

The Oak Room is a testament to storytelling and to the power of words.  The movie mostly consists of stories told by the characters, and the skill with which they do it will have you hanging on their every word.  It is an interesting way to tell a movie, and I love the idea of going back to storytelling's roots for a film.  This was done recently in the wonderful Shudder film Scare Me, and the Oak Room has less humor and more style, but weaves an equally interesting tale.  This is helped along by stories that are engaging and delivery by the actors that will keep your attention despite the less flashy medium.  And the tales relayed by the characters do also feel like the kinds of stories that would be told at a bar on a cold winter's night, with little details accidentally left out and added later to keep the suspense high.  And the film helps to tell these stories by having a few sequences where the audience can experience them, as well as some dramatic music to set the stage.  

And although I loved the little details and how The Oak Room's story developed, the film also leaves some mystery at the end.  I don't feel like the story actually wrapped up, though it did have a surprising conclusion.  In the end, I was left wondering if there were pieces that were omitted or if I just missed some small details in the story.  I didn't have a full understanding of what occurred, but I still very much enjoyed the ride.  Even with an unsatisfying conclusion, the journey of The Oak Room and the experience of hearing the story will keep you enthralled.  I loved how different this film felt and how it still managed to connect with the audience.  

The Oak Room will capture your attention with its evolving tales, great performances, and dark style; so grab a drink and settle in for an engaging, unconventional night. 

Watch it.

Directed by  Cody Calahan	Writing Credits   Peter Genoway	...	(written by)
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The Oak Room is available digitally and on demand on April 2, 2021. 

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