The Killing Room: Was that really Nick Cannon?
I was pretty pumped walking into the theater for The Killing Room. The title automatically caught my attention, then when I scanned the description I knew I had to see it. A psychological thriller about a sick confidential government experiment… my kind of flick. But, in the back of my mind, I knew there was the chance that this horror kind of movie could leave me feeling like most in the genre do: disappointed.
I was lucky enough to be there for the world premiere and the director and most of the cast was there. Director Jonathan Liebesman made a brief statement before the film where he thanked those that worked on the film. He immediately mentioned Nick Cannon and thanked him for taking care of his mother on the set when he forgot about her. A loud voice responded from the back of the theater “Gotchu Baby!” At this point I became extremely skeptical. The simple fact that this former Nickelodeon child star, turned crappy MTV show host was starring in one of my most highly anticipated films of Sundance made me a little bit sad before the film had even begun.
Nevertheless, I remained seated and kept an open mind. And goddamn was I wrong! Nick Cannon killed it in The Killing Room. His performance was fantastic! Overall, it was a great thriller with everything a great horror movie needs. Concept and execution melded perfectly together to make one tense movie. There were plenty of cheap jumps with no scary music to warn you and lots of impossible to control ‘run, bitch, run!’ moments. But conceptually, The Killing Room was unique and timely with a plot and twists that really make you think about society. This is what separates The Killing Room from the Saws and the Hostels. Each of these films trap characters completely out of their element to make the horrors that they encounter inescapable, but The Killing Room offers more than shock value and cheap scares. There are underlying concepts about America, the government, and the issues of our time all masked by that good old fashioned notion that these characters are going to die, we just aren’t sure how or quite when.
But back to Cannon. He played a quite, poor guy with no family. He had a great deal of extremely tense scenes where we see his low-key character transform into the stand out performance of the film. He showed deep agony in his facial expressions and acted his multi-dimensional role with intensity. By the middle of the film, I forgot who he was. And isn’t that the best test of a well known actor? He fell into his bizarre character and really made the film all it could be. I have new found respect for Cannon and hope for the genre after this ultra-tense movie.
Tags: Ben Hamburger