There aren't too many movies these days that feature common household objects being forcibly inserted into various bodily openings for the sake of entertainment. It's certainly an interesting cinematic device if nothing else, one that doesn't appear too often in films released throughout these wonderfully dysfunctional 50 states. Anyone who is looking to crash the Hollywood party with something shocking and unique should consider the power of what I like to call "the insanely uncomfortable insertion scene." It's the next big thing in Stateside horror! Someone call Eli Roth post-haste!
If you're curious to see how such material plays out on-screen, feel free to investigate Japanese director Daisuke Yamanouchi's icky psychological head game Red Room for yourselves. Do keep in mind, however, that the film is quite sickening and often completely depraved, so much so that a few key scenes have actually left a lingering sense of shame in yours truly. I've seen more than my fair share of disturbing films, dear readers, but Red Room somehow managed to slip past my defenses and bury itself deep beneath my pasty skin. Now I'm having vivid nightmares about black hairdryers, wobbly desk chairs, and a Japanese version of my lovely wife doing unspeakable things to my groin.
Needless to say, it ain't too pretty.
Red Room tells the unfortunate story of four sad individuals — a couple on the brink of divorce, a high school senior with a big secret, and a shameless well-to-do twenty-something — who decided to play something called "King's Game," a friendly competition that pits desperate people against one another for a 10 million yen prize. What fun!
The rules are simple: the contestants gather in a sparsely-decorated red room and introduce themselves to a collection of video cameras. After everyone has settled in, each player draws a card, one of which has a picture of a crown printed crudely upon it. Whoever holds this card calls the shots. And in this game, it's always good to be the king.
This is where it gets interesting. The king devises a scenario for the other contestants to enact, be it a kissing game or something a bit more sinister in design. Then he or she selects two numbers between one and three, with each integer respectively representing one of the other cardholders. Once the players have been determined, they must follow through with the task at-hand or be disqualified from the game. Whoever is left standing, of course, wins the prize. Believe me when I say it's not as cheerful and easy-going as I've initially made it out to be.