The Woman in the Room (1983) - Frank Darabont

DIRECTOR

FRANK DARABONT

The Woman in The Room is a short horror film from 1983. It’s directed by Frank Darabont. Darabont is a long time fan of Stephen King’s work, and he has been an important part of bringing his word to the big screen. This was the start of his film career, and the beginning of Stephen King’s Dollar Babies, films that King gives students the permission to make, for one dollar. 

John is a public defender that’s going through a rough time in his life. His mother is ill and staying at the hospital after an operation leaves her bedridden. She doesn’t appear to be pulling through, but the doctors are keeping her conscious. He contacts his brother Jeff and tries to get him to visit her, but Jeff is reluctant. John is alone in deciding whether he should euthanize her and the decision is agonizing. 

The pacing is very slow. The dialog and sound are horrible, but its a student film from 1983, so it gets a pass. It’s not a horror movie that relies on jump scares. Instead, it sets a dark and depressing tone. Long-drawn out dread. Sitting though the ending is torture. Aside from the cheapness of the short, the camera work was great. I liked the characters, and I found the subject interesting. The development of John's character is decent. It’s a quick and concise feature that sets the bar for future Dollar Babies.