The Lost Room review by Jettie Vanderveen

Though never known for their critically acclaimed features, the Sci-Fi Channel recently produced a shocker, the Lost Room mini-series, on DVD. With its interesting details, fresh cast, and superb music, it’s hard to imagine this mini-series as something that was on the Sci-Fi Channel prime-time line-up squeezed between Battlestar Galactica and old Twilight Zone episodes.

The Lost Room is about Detective Joe Miller who comes into possession of a key that can open any door and take him directly to “Motel room #10”. From there, he can open the door again after he’s inside the room and exit anywhere he wants. This key is one of about a hundred “objects” in the world that all have a mysterious tie together. Some of the objects have powers that are useful (a pencil that spits out pennies when it’s tapped on a table, the key) and other objects are not (a watch that hard boils an egg when set in the wrist band, an umbrella that makes you look familiar to everybody, a radio that makes you three inches taller when tuned to the right station). Joe’s daughter goes into the room and is lost after the door is closed on her. She doesn’t have the key, so she can’t get back, and the room is “reset” so she’s not there anymore. It’s now Joe’s mission to figure out how the objects work and how they can help him to get his daughter back.

The writing for this series was pretty good. I was lucky enough to watch it (all 280 minutes of it) all in one sitting though. I don’t know how long my interest would have stayed with it, though, had I only been able to see one episode a week. I won’t give you any spoilers, but the ending was the most disappointing thing. Only one story line was finished (and even that’s negotiable!), while the others were all left to the wind. Up until then, there was enough story to keep you involved in and enough mystery to keep you wondering.

The acting was very good. Nothing Oscar worthy, but definitely better than expected. Peter Krause plays the lead as Joe Miller, and does a wonderful job becoming the “concerned father”, “upset cop”, and “good guy with attitude” all at once. I also liked how many of the other actors were recognizable from other projects. Roger Bart from Desperate Housewives (I’m a huge fan!) and Julianna Margulies from Snakes on a Plane, and E.R.. Everybody did a great job in their parts and I was very happy to see such a group effort. I do have a personal vendetta against Elle Fanning (not quite as bad as Dakota… but aspiring to be) but she had a small part, so it wasn’t too distracting.

The music is what stood out the most. We must all take one brief moment here to acknowledge one of the best scores I’ve heard (for a made-for TV series) in a very long time. Cheers to you, Robert J. Kral, cheers to you. David Connell also did a marvelous job as director of cinematography. True to the Sci-Fi Channel ways, he utilizes some pretty impressive camera shots. Interesting angles, pans, and cuts piece this series together so nicely.

So, despite all its efforts to end on a bad note and leave you with a sour taste in your mouth, this miniseries can’t fail to impress. With it’s innovative camera work, fresh new story, and music to die for, the Lost Room shows us what a real sci-fi series is supposed to be.

8 out of 10 Jackasses
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