Red Room 2 | Varied Celluloid

Red Room 2

Posted by Josh Samford On January - 5 - 2010
The Plot: The King Game is simple. Four contestants are placed in one room with a cage in the corner. Each contestant draws a card, with the winner getting to choose what two other contestants do inside of the cage for an allotted period of time. If you back out, give up or die – you lose your chance at 10 million yen. The game stays the same, but the contestants are always different. This time out we’ve got the forty year old divorced ex-police officer who needs the money to alleviate the considerable gambling debt hovering over his head. He is ill tempered and a serious degenerate with nothing left to lose. Then you’ve got the 32 year old ex-housewife who has fallen under the rule of a cult leader who has ordered her onto the show. She is willing to martyr herself for her religion, which could make her more dangerous than the others. Next is a young man of 28 years old, who claims to simply want to play the game. For no real reason at all. He almost seems bored to even be going through with all of this. Is he insane or is he hiding something? Last but not least there is the young 20 year old girl who has already played the game three times and won each of them. She is a King Game Professional! With her introduction, the stakes are raised another 10 million yen. So, with 20 million yen riding on the game and a seasoned pro in there as well look for these contestants to push each other harder than ever before. With more horrid behavior and devastating consequences based on their incredible greed, this game could be the nastiest yet.

The Review: If you’re at all familiar with the site, you may notice that I’m a fan of extreme cinema. I, like many horror fans out there, have a fascination with those who lead sordid lives and do horrible things. It’s part of human nature to be curious about death or the macabre. We all have it in us, even though some act on their curiosity more than others. In my opinion though, in the realm of horror cinema, there’s definitely a seedy underbelly where only certain fans really dare to tread. Not surprising – many of the films from this underbelly, if I were to make a list they would probably make up 60%, come from the land of the rising sun. The original Red Room was something I had heard about long before seeing, as a friend recommended it to me as some of the most extreme filmmaking he had ever seen. After having watched it, I didn’t really think it was quite up there with the Guinea Pig series but it definitely left its mark. How many movies can you list off the top of your head that offer rape via broken light bulb? Still, after that first movie I meant to jump on the sequel almost immediately but you would be surprised how distracted you can get when it comes to watching highly disturbed cinema. Not only does one have to be in the mood for high debauchery such as this, but the circumstances have to be right as well. You never know just WHAT is going to pop up on screen so an empty house is always better. I don’t care how good of a friend you might have, if he’s not used to seeing some pretty foul stuff – you don’t want him walking in on Red Room 2 out of context. Well, really, what does context even matter in terms of Red Room 2? The movie literally starts with a girl and guy in the cage, with the guy masturbating in front of the girl who he has licking a light bulb. Apparently a fetish of his. Anyway, you’re literally one minute into the movie and witnessing a man ejaculating on an unwilling participant. A suitable introduction for the Red Room series.

The series is about as basic as you can possibly get really. Take four people, put them in a room and make them do really awful things to one another. This review could almost just be a list of the foul things that you’ll see enacted on other human beings, since that’s essentially the only reason any of us go into a movie like Red Room 2. I won’t deny it, it’s the same reason I sought it out as well. You don’t go into this expecting atmosphere or creepy scares, that’s for sure. Going back to the first flick however, I always kinda found myself impressed with the fact that despite it not even being necessary for what these filmmakers were looking to achieve – there were some decent ideas at work. Although this time out the ideas aren’t as original, it’s pretty much reworking a lot of the basic ideas the first one pioneered. I still like the concept though and especially the conflict between the four characters. I might even say that this group is slightly more interesting than the first time out. The movie is told out of chronological order, with us getting to see a horrible act happen inside the cage and then a follow up sequence that was shot right before the game started. So, in one scene we might see a rape going on but as soon as that is over we might see the cult follower having a conversation with the silent young man who just doesn’t care. It’s a back and forth bit that actually works for the movie and gives us in the audience a chance to regroup between all of these scenes of thoroughly messed up stuff going on.

The shot on video aesthetic adds an extra layer of seediness to the movie. In this day and age where we polish up every single little thing that our eyes take in for consumption, I actually am glad to watch something that no matter how great or cleaned up (and it does look great) the image may be: It still just looks cheap. That actually works in this environment though, because if ever a movie didn’t need much polish it would be this one. Actually, if this thing were on some grey market VHS tape like back in the day, I can imagine just how much creepier it would have been. Not to put down on the DVD or its properties, thank goodness we have companies like Unearthed out there to release these movies because otherwise we would all just be left guessing at what the plot really is all about. Still, these movies were made for tape trading and it’s unfortunate that the scene has all but died out. All of this talk about video quality and lack of polish, I don’t want anyone to get the wrong idea. There actually is some style to be found in Red Room 2 believe it or not. Any movie taking place in a Red Room just HAS to have some kind of artistic thought process going on behind it. The movie cuts back and forth between traditional set-up shots, like over the shoulder views and such, and shots that are supposed to resemble security cameras along the walls. One would assume, that if this were a TV show that these cameras would be how the viewing audience were to see the program. However, during this second film it seems less likely that this is actually on television in the world of the movie. I think if there was any single contestant who had won it three times, that Kyoko would have immediately been recognized as a celebrity.

A list of a few of the crazy things you’ll be seeing in Red Room 2: facials, closeups of ejaculate, fisting, nose torture, vomit, the eating of vomit, rape and all sorts of other fun stuff. That’s not even really spoiling anything. You know that this movie is going to feature as many repulsive moments as you could possibly shake a stick at. Sitting through these things and having been witness to them is the actual reward of the movie. My opinion on it is this – It’s an extreme exploitation movie made for generally one purpose: an endurance test. No, it’s nowhere near the most disturbing movie ever made but if you’re looking for a really crazy flick to have on your shelf that will mess with all of your friends, it’s hard to go wrong with Red Room 2. A better sequel, in my opinion, but it is about as stripped down as you could possibly get. I give it a three out of five. It’s really solid for what it is with at least a cohesive narrative. The acting is pretty bad by conventional standards and the FX can be a bit hokey, but it’s low budget splatter/disturbing fun. Definitely netflix this one if nothing else.



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Varied Celluloid is a film website intent on delivering views on movies from all genres. Started in 2003, the website has been steadfast in its goal and features a database of over 500 lengthy reviews. If you would like to contact us about writing for the website or sending screeners, please visit the about page located here.

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