I first heard about 205: Room of Fear (205: Zimmer der Angst) when I looked at a add for German Film Days in Stockholm. My initial response to hearing about it was that it sounded like a copy of Mikeal Håfström's 1408, a movie I am not very fond of. The concept of a haunted room is great for a short story or a episode in a horrorshow but is not enough to fill up an entire movie. However, I also heard it starred Jennifer Ulrich who was awesome in Dennis Gansel's underrated vampire thriller We are the Night and did a good job in Gansel's awesome drama film The Wave so it got me interested. Also in Sweden it's hard to catch a German film on in the cinema and even rarer to see a German horror film( for some reason Sweden only imports WW2 movies from Germany).
Much to my joy the theatre showed the film in 35mm and some promblems with the projector gave it a good old eerie feeling.
Now the opening credits were a treat in themself: They featured strange and surreal pools of black liquid combined with a tone that brought my mind to "lent Hill". That's alway proming. The 19-year old Katrin(Jennifer Ulrich) is moving into a student dorm, thrilled to be able to start over.
From the get go we know something is wrong with both room 205 and Katrin. All her knew schoolmates gives her strange looks when she mentions that she lives in room 205 and Katrin stocks up a large number of psychiatric medicins in her bathroom locker.
Katrin gets down with the hunk Christian(Daniel Roesner) after sharing ecstacy with him, which gives her a horrible badtrip. The medecinstudent Carmen(Inez Bjørg David) who lives next door takes care of Katrin and scolds her for mixing medicin with drugs. To make matter's worse when she wakes up someone has destroyed her stock of medicin and she understands that Christian already have a girlfriend, Katrin has now gotten a very bad reputation.
A former student who's name I can't remember played by Tino Mewes tells Katrin that the student that used to live in 205, Annika(Julia Dietze), went misng. The same evening, Christian dies in what might be an accident or a murder. Commioner Urban( very sympathicly played by André Hennicke) arrives to investigate. Katrin comes across the videodiary of Annika which seem to imply that she was killed by students at the dorm. Katrin does also start to belive that the ghost of Annika is back for revange...
205: Room of Fear has it's ups and downs. The muc and sound is really good. The popsongs used are creppy and as I said puts one in mind of the muc of "lent Hill". The script is uninspired. It's based on a danish film I haven't seen, and there are a bit to many clichés so that is minus. Thankfully the writer Eckhard Vollmar seem to have gotten really creative at the third act of the film because than it much more interesting. The direction is intense but I do have to question the flickering lights that gnals the approach of ghosts. It reminded me mo much of Uwe Boll. On the other hand it's used in a very clever way at the end of the film.
The acting is varied. Tino Mewes and Daniel Roesner are not terrible but not that good eighter.
The ones what shines are Jennifer Ulrich and André Hennicke. Jennifer Ulrich's acting is intense and breaks any language barrier. Ulrich brings her to life as a vulnerable victims who tries to make it through her ordeal and struggles to keep her own sanity. André Hennicke's Urban gives an unusual perspective of the audience itself. The films has the habit of leaving the the audience to figure out how much is real and how much is all in Katrins withering mind. Urban feels sorry for Katrin and wants to help her but must do his duty and catch the killer who might be Katrin. This struggle is acted out perfectly byHennicke who comes of as extrodinary sympathic.
One elephant I have to mention is that supringly little of the film took place in room 205, I estimate it to less than 15 minutes.
Overall the ups of the film outweights the downs and is overall enjoyable.
7 out of 10
205: Room of Fear, Starring: Jennifer Ulrich, André Hennicke, Inez Bjørg David, Marleen Lohse, Tino Mewes, Daniel Roesner, Julia Dietze, Florian Jahr, Lucy Ella von Scheele, Dennis Gansel Written by Eckhard Vollmar Directed by Rainer Matsutani
Trailer with English subs:
The beautiful opening credits: