turns out you are never too young for summer camp horror. At least Elvira and
her sixth-grader friends will be spared the gore of the Sleepaway Camp and Friday the
13th franchises, but they will still get plenty scared in Emelie
Lindblom’s family-appropriate tale of terror, Room 213 (trailer
which screens during the 2017 TIFF Kids International Film Festival.
Elvira and her roommates Meja and Bea had different digs, but plumbing issues
forced them to move to the long-unused #213. Of course, there is a darned good
reason why their room is traditionally shuttered, but the current crop of
counselors doesn’t know or is just hoping for the best. Soon each girl has an
item of great personal significance stolen. They immediately suspect each
other, but a series of spooky incidents leads them to look for more
supernatural explanations—like a ghost.
would fit the bill perfectly. There is indeed a history of sightings of the
red-haired camper who died under mysterious circumstances. However, there are
also boys at the camp, so there will be other causes of jealousy and angst.
They will only be at Camp Something-with-Several-Umlauts for one week, but what
the three girls see will haunt them all their lives, or so the Mary Roberts Rinehart-esque
opening narration tells us.
a children’s film with absolutely, positively no violence, Room 213 is impressively eerie. It is worth noting the Swedish
title is Rum 213, as in “red rum,” so
there you have it. Although younger viewers will easily identify with the
sensitive Elvira, grown-ups will find it compelling to watch the youngsters
dealing with paranormal encounters in a very realistic way. Elvira’s stormy BFF
relationships with Meja and Bea also rings true for girls their age.
Lungren shines as the somewhat shy middle class Elvira, showing tremendous
presence in nearly every scene. She also develops completely believable rapport
with Ella Fogelström as the mean-ish rich girl Meja and Elena Hovsepyan as more
economically disadvantaged Bea.
While Martin Jern and Emil Larsson’s adaptation
of Ingelin Angerborn’s YA novel is rather short on answers, it ends up in a
pretty cool place. Without question, it is way more satisfying than some of the
midnight movies on tap for next week. Recommended for viewers of all ages who
enjoy a good ghost story, Room 213 screens
up north (Toronto) this Saturday (4/22) and Sunday (4/23), as part of TIFF Kids.
Labels: Family films, Ghost movies, Scandinavian Cinema, TIFF Kids '17