This review was originally published on 8/19/22.

Questioning our limits as humans outside the influence of consumer-driven society has proven infinitely interesting, especially over the last half-century. Who are we at our core? The Immaculate Room hopes to answer this question. Our phones, media and culture as a whole is a cradling influence that shapes us a great deal. What happens to humanity when everything is stripped away? Let’s dive in and talk about The Immaculate Room.

The Immaculate Room follows a young couple (Kate Bosworth and Emile Hirsch) picked to spend 50 days in “The Immaculate Room.” Trapped together in a single room with no outside stimuli, the period proves to be the ultimate test. The final goal? M-O-N-E-Y. If either one cracks and decides to leave early, the prize money decreases. Will their relationship survive almost two months in the pristine white room with only themselves as company? Ashley Greene costars in the movie. Mukunda Michael Dewil directs the film from his own script.

Emile Hirsh comforts Kate Bosworth in The Immaculate Room

The Immaculate Room is a work that makes sense emerging out of COVID-era Hollywood. This movie is small. We’re talking teenie. With the exception of roughly 10 minutes of screen time, the action fully revolves around Kate and Michael alone in the room. The story begins as they enter and there are only fleeting moments as ending credits roll showing them in the real world. 

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This leaves The Immaculate Room feeling more like a stage play than a movie. It’s clear the audience should feel like they’re sitting next to our characters. We’re supposed to feel the boredom, disorientation and stress of being trapped inside this windowless, white room. Unfortunately, despite the film’s best intentions, the plan backfires.

The Immaculate Room is billed as a drama and thriller. However, the film’s chosen structure doesn’t lead to many thrills. It’s hard to get caught up in the action. The dragging scenes in the room don’t lead to claustrophobic tension. It leads to boredom. The movie drags and as the final credits roll, it feels like you’ve spent 50 days with the characters, and that’s not necessarily a good thing.

Michael and Kate are two challenging people. That’s a nice way to put it. Chances are, most of us know people like them. He’s a vegan artist trying to run from a wealthy family. Meanwhile, she’s a girl from “the wrong side of the tracks” running from her past. It’s clear they aren’t good for each other and the toxcitiy in the relationship bleeds through. It’s hard to like them apart, let alone as a couple.

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As such, the unflinching intimacy of the film’s structure is a challenge. There would be more drama and emotional stakes if we could find something to root for in these characters and that sadly is a struggle. 

Ashley Greene, Emile Hirsh and Kate Bosworth explore their wild side in The Immaculate Room.

With that said, the actors each do their darndest to take you through the character arcs. They go through some stuff. Unfortunately, though, they’re stymied by the script. We don’t meet these people until they enter the room, so there isn’t a chance to learn who they are.

We don’t see them when things are good; as a result, there aren’t any emotional stakes when things begin to go bad. In such a simply structured narrative, the characters carry added weight. It’s up to them to carve out the emotional power of the story; unfortunately, the performers aren’t able to build on what isn’t there.

There’s plenty of potential ground to cover in the “thriller” genre, especially when Ashley Greene enters the narrative toward the end of the second act. It is an intriguing change of pace and my mind reeled at the directions this twist could have taken the narrative. Greene plays an actress brought in as Michael’s “treat.” In the world of the film, the contestants are able to cash in prize money for something to keep them entertained.

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As the second act comes to a close, Michael requests a treat and receives this girl, who is conveniently sans clothing. There’s a lot of narrative potential between Greene and Bosworth. What becomes even more aggravating is the performers almost get there! In a film with a pace best described as “meandering,” that portion of the second act is tight, tense and nerve-wracking. There are tantalizing hints of where this complex relationship could go, both positive and negative. However, the script ignores all of this and takes a far left turn into something more trippy. 

The following sequence is certainly visually compelling. Heck, the cinematography, graphics and lighting result in a stunning few minutes of film. In what certainly was intended by the filmmaker, as the characters come out of a drug-induced haze, it’s difficult to tell what is going on. It’s disorienting, frustrating and everyone is still in that stinking room. Nothing has changed. 

In the grand scheme of things, The Immaculate Room is frustrating because the potential of the narrative is there. However, the story seems to think it’s a lot edgier than it is. This theme isn’t new. Literature, stage plays and other films have explored this subject in various forms.

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The Immaculate Room doesn’t do anything other movies haven’t explored in far more intriguing ways. These actors do everything they can, but it’s hard to remain invested when we’re getting bored in an empty room alongside challenging and unlikable characters. Unless you’re a ride-or-die fan of someone in this cast, this one is better saved for streaming.

The Immaculate Room opens in theaters and on OnDemand on August 19, 2022. 

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