Emma Donoghue’s 2010 novel “Room,” which pwned the New York Times bestseller list, told the story of a mother and son held captive in a shed-turned-hovel called Room. The book seemed inspired by the infamous Fritzl case, in which a father imprisoned, assaulted, raped, and impregnated his daughter, who he then locked away with one of her children. In Donoghue’s novel, Jack is that child and the narrator. In the movie — if the trailer is any indication — he’s adorable.
But that doesn’t mean the film is going to be.
Donoghue stayed on as the film’s screenwriter, translating her work from Jack’s first-person point-of-view to the third-person perspective required for film. What starts off as a sweet story of survival and perseverance quickly takes a dark turn, as the two try to escape, offering Jack his first taste of the outside world. Room could end up being more thriller than sap story. We fear greatly for Jack and Ma’s safety while they’re in Room and the intensity cranks up tenfold upon their escape attempt.
Room is likely to sneak up on plenty of suburban parents with its depraved villain (Old Nick) and terrifying buildup to a (seemingly) happy(-ish) ending.