Warning: SPOILERS for Shudder’s The Room are in play. If you haven’t seen the film yet and want to avoid key plot details, come back once you’ve finished the movie.
The Shudder original film The Room has an ending that leaves the audience on a cliffhanger that will have them talking for sure. After the tale of a young couple buying a house with a magical, wish-fulfilling room makes its way to the conclusion of its story, we’re left with a revelation that has actress Olga Kurylenko wide eyed with shock. Knowing the context of that moment leaves viewers in a similar state, and when Kurylenko read the script to the film, she saw that potential as the ultimate selling point to Renaissance director Christian Volckman’s twisty live-action debut.
I was able to speak with Olga Kurylenko recently during a conversation in promotion of The Room, which hit home video this week, after an exclusive streaming run on the horror service Shudder. In between parsing out the message of true happiness versus the more manufactured, material kind of joy, and how sometimes people can be their own worst enemies in isolation, we eventually got down to the subject of yet another bonkers ending the internet is sure to catch onto.
Before we even get into the details of the big finish of The Room, Ms. Kurylenko’s reaction to that very shocking moment is pretty spoiler free. And what’s even better is the fact that she even got to watch the film with an audience of close friends, drinking in their reactions to her character, Kate, and the chilling news she gets at the end. Recalling those reactions, as well as her own to the film's script, Olga Kurylenko described the uniqueness of the finale thusly:
From what I hear from people, no one really expects it. Which is good, because often people say, ‘In the beginning I knew where it was going. I knew what was going to happen.’ It seems that with [The Room], people have ideas, but they aren’t what they expect. So it’s nice to surprise. I watched it with people, and they asked me all sorts of questions, going into completely different directions. They were like, ‘Oh, this is gonna happen,’ and I’d say ‘Nope!’ This was what I felt when I read the script. I thought, ‘Wow, it’s got this original brain to it.’ Which is different … I was like, right away, I told the producers, ‘I want to do this immediately.’
If that’s enough to sell you on seeing one of this year’s original additions to the Shudder streaming library, then you can safely leave this story and come back after you see The Room for yourself. However, if you’re intrigued as to what could have possible happened that’s surprised audiences in the final moments of this particular narrative, we’re about to dive in. This is the last call for spoilers, if you’re trying to avoid them.
So The Room basically ends with Olga Kurylenko’s Kate finding out that she’s pregnant. It’s about a month since she and her husband Matt (Kevin Janssens) survived their move into a fixer upper that included that magic, wish-fulfilling room we mentioned earlier. It’s because of The Room that Matt and Kate were able to have their previous child, Shane, in the first place. The big reason for that particular wrinkle is, after a period of lavish and outlandish wishes between the couple, Kate ultimately wished their first son into existence.
Shane's "birth" kicks off a whole section of The Room's narrative, as we learn Matt kind of resents his son's existence, as he believes wishing for a baby from The Room is very much over the line. Through a couple of incidents, the child ages at an accelerated rate, as anything that’s made in The Room won’t survive in the outside room. By the time the twisted third act kicks in, Shane’s a young man and motivated to do two very Freudian things: he wants to kill Matt, so he can have Kate all to himself. With attempted murder and sexual assault taking place in quick succession, the couple escape Shane's evil clutches, eventually tricking him into leaving the house.
The end result of The Room not only sees Shane aging into an old man, and eventually disintegrating into a pile of ash, but it has us questioning who the actual father of this new baby is. Is Kate's new potential child a product of her sleeping with Matt before the film’s dramatic conclusion, or did Shane’s actions somehow result in Kate becoming pregnant with his child? In discussing that ending directly with Olga Kurylenko, there’s one certainty at play: there’s no definitive answer at this moment. But there's definitely some interesting potential, as Kurylenko pondered this point with me as follows:
It’s kind of scary, it’s like, ‘Whoa. What’s gonna happen.’ Look, I would love to know myself. … There’s so many ways of going with it. And, of course, the interesting way of going with it is that the child is from Shane and The Room. Because obviously we see the light sparkle a little bit, which is a sign that The Room is working or present. So it sounds like a hit that it’s probably Shane’s child, not Matt’s. And that’s terrifying. What could happen then?
Should Christian Volckman want to pursue a sequel, or even an anthology in The Room’s universe, there are plenty of opportunities that are present from the way the first film ends. A new family could move into the house and deal with their own adventures in wish fulfillment gone horribly wrong, and the ramifications could examine a totally different scenario. If we’re being completely honest though, the priceless look of horrified surprise on Olga Kurylenko’s face at the end of The Room makes for the best case to continue with the narrative that’s already on the track.
The powers of a magical, wish-fulfilling room contained in a child’s body and mind is another time worn theme of sci-fi greatness. With an approach as ingenious as the one used in this current film’s examination of what happens when you get what you’ve always wanted, we could see another entertaining project that spins an old favorite in a new light. For now though, you can see Shudder’s original film The Room, which is currently available for streaming on its extremely horror/thriller friendly platform. Or if you’re not a subscriber, you can rent or own the film on Digital HD or DVD, as it has been released into the world this past week.