This short film is still fresh in my brain so let me not beat around the bush. Last week I did a post about black horror and there were some films that I had left out merely because I hadn’t seen it or I just forgot like Queen of the Damned which has the late but very talented Aaliyah as Queen Akasha in a lead role.
But this isn’t about QOTD (do watch it though) but instead, a short film around 27-28 minutes where we have a lead black character and for once, it’s not about his race. It isn’t even about his orientation or how he identifies himself.
I’m going to talk about The Quiet Room.
This movie has sat in my watchlist on Shudder for months and to be honest, I was so distracted by watching other films that were a bit higher on my list like giallo, other black horror films that I had seen through Horror Noire were featured on Shudder so The Quiet Room was on the back burner. However, lately, I’ve been in the mood to watch shorter films. Last year’s Host showed me that you don’t need to make or drag out a story if your script is pretty tight,
This script is pretty tight.
From the opening to the end, there is no dead air or empty space. It starts off pretty strong with our lead character Michael (Jamal Douglas) overdosing on pills and we follow his short journey into a hospital recovering. There, we meet other characters like Amy (Lisa Wilcox of ANOES 4 and 5 fame), a likeable nurse, Hunter (Kit Williamson), who becomes a love interest and fellow patients like Rachel (Barkley Harper) and Joe (Chris Salvatore) round out the cast that also includes Brian McCook aka Katya from Drag Race and Alaska Thunderfuck… also from Drag Race, both are unrecognizable but recognizable if that makes sense.
We are dealing with Michael’s trauma of past events, how he feels like death is always following him, how he thinks he has awakened this demon by his actions. This short felt like every person he had somehow encountered was meeting a demise which makes you wonder how long “death” or “Hattie” has been wanting him. I’m sure there’s a connection with that somewhere.
The special effects were good, not overdone but enough to be effective and emotional. The characters were likeable, you do care about the characters and want to see them make it out of these situations.
To me, this film was more about showcase mental health and how it affects those in the lgbtq+ community (and even in the black community where we are trying to break the stigma and cycles of generational trauma and self help) and it never came across to me as being about a black queer character. Those are facets of him, they make up who he is but it wasn’t a focus and I enjoyed that a lot. There are touches about relationships or friendships, taking chances, asking for help or receiving help from an outside source, love and re-finding love.
The Quiet Room stars Jamal Douglas, Kit Williamson, Lisa Wilcox and Alaska Thunderfuck and is directed by Sam Wineman. I’d give this short film a 4 out of 5, please check it out. It is easily accessible through Crypt TV on youtube or Shudder (under Horror Noire category).