Asides from Nollywood comedies, if there’s a type of movie that I simply can’t sit through – and for completely different reasons than the comedies – it’s scary movies. The ironic thing about this, however, is that the scary movies are more often than not the ones with the more compelling stories.
For me the test of a true thriller – in all my gutlessness – is what percentage of the movie I watched on mute. Even if you disagree for other genres, you can’t deny it for thrillers that the music is more than 50% of a thriller. The score, not the creepy faces popping out of corners, brings about the fear factor, and in this movie they nailed the music from ‘go’.
Secret room is a gripping nollywood thriller about a couple who go back to an old abandoned house to “uncover the secret that was locked away by the lady’s father in a far away land”. Whilst normal people would take the fact that it is hidden in a far away land and ‘locked up’ as a hint that the owner doesn’t want it found, this couple venture to discover the unknown. And as is expected by the end they (or one of the party) discover more than they bargained for.
O.C. Ukeje is playing this two sided role again for the second time since ‘Awakening‘ and even though the roles are not exactly the same, he is able to still bring the same conviction to his character both as a good guy and a bad guy. Lilian Esoro, an actress I’m only seeing for the first time was very convincing in her role although she did have momentary lapses especially in the scenes with Linda. Linda Ejiofor, however, was barely in the movie and in the few scenes in which she was present her natural flow was without a question.
The story behind secret room did give me quite a little bit of false hope in retrospect. Somewhere in there I thought that the conflict would be tied into something larger than the usual. That is to say that in all the scenes with the white man’s diary and talk of the civil war, I assumed the conflict in the end would be a little less superficial than it turned out to be. Alongside that, by the end the purpose of the ‘lady in the shadows’ was left without resolution.
There were moments post the discovery-scene where the flashing lights and blackouts were causing too much of a confusion such that it was hard to decipher who was fighting whom, who was alive or who was dead. Regardless of the lapses in the story and production, secret room was still a well told thriller.