Directed by Guy Maddin, “The Forbidden Room” is a 2015 comedy mystery that you probably haven’t heard of unless you either know me personally or have ventured way too far into the depths of cinematic limbo, and I’m not referring to the agility game.
The main attraction of the film is the hyper-stylized and overly exposured filming method and the ‘cult-classic’ feel that is expressed even in the minute-long trailer. This movie is popular among people known as “cinephiles” which at its core, simply refers to movie lovers. However, it essentially refers to a much deeper devotion, not only to movies as a whole, but to movies that are heavy with artistic design and based in theatrical individualism that sets them apart from any primitive genre. In short, cinephiles are pricks who use movie taste as leverage to gain a superior persona; that said, this movie is a complex masterwork of color and dramaturgy and you should definitely see it, but only once.
One of the ways you can tell that a movie is a cinephile’s paradise is that you don’t recognize any of the actors and it makes less than $1,000 opening weekend. "The Forbidden Room” only made a total of $696 opening weekend, making it the lowest profited film I have ever written about.
Now, I bet you are wondering what this movie is all about, since it took this long to even get to the storyline. Well, a mysterious woodsman appears on board of a submerged submarine that has been underwater for months and unable to rise for threat of blowing up. The woodsman then goes to tell the starving crew members of his journey and the tales the he heard and the people he encountered. I cannot begin to explain the plot line with more detail due to how complex it is with the “Inception”-style story-telling and vast amounts of characters and topics, but I can sum it all up in one sentence by stating that everything you see in the film is the product of an increasingly oxygen-deprived crew and the way their brain expresses thoughts when on the brink of death.
Earlier, I told you that you should definitely see this movie, but only once, and that was due to the fact that watching the full 2 hours and 10-minute-long production is both physically and mentally draining. I’m sure that 4 out of 5 doctors agree that it is unhealthy to expose yourself to it more than once. The story covers topics ranging from a man getting a little bit of the top of his brain surgically removed so that he will stop being plagued by bottoms to cultist islanders sacrificing a woman to a dream volcano to an evil group of poisonously sensual skeletons to a man named Marv (Louis Negin) who teaches you how to take a bath, so there is bound to be something for everyone.
That’s it. The end.