Room (film) questions; Open Spoilers

I finally saw the movie and loved it; Brie Larson was magnificent.

However, was I the only one who thought that the setup was a tad unrealistic. She is in a Shed, how the hell did she not escape in what; 7 years? There is a skylight on top, with kitchen utensils and furniture; she could not break through?

I have read book and from memory she says that the skylight is polycarbonate not glass; but still she has seven years, and its resistant to breaking, not impervious… she could have broken through the USS Missouri’s side armour in 7 years.

Try her luck with combinations? Sneak a look? Seduce him (he is shown sleeping next to her) tie him up and torture him for the codes?

All the real kidnapping and imprisonment cases I have read about had the victims either inside the house and restrained (Ariel Castro’s MO), or suffering from Stockholm Syndrome and making few attempts to escape (Natascha Kampusch went on several trips with her kidnapper, Jaycee Dugard had access to the internet). which 'Ma did not have.

Excellent story, but this part was a tad unrealistic I thought.

I also found it unrealistic, but I think we had to assume that either the writer had more ideas about how the shed was made impregnable than was shown in the film, that the writer would simply have tweaked the specifics so that it was impregnable if shown how it wasn’t, or shown that she was too scared to put in the man hours necessary to pick through hard, dense materials with basic implements.

I thought we were supposed to take away from it that she was simply too scared to make half-assed attempts at escape because at least one of her attempts (and I’m not sure if we’re supposed to believe it was the only one) ended very badly for her and wound up with a lasting injury.

I found myself a little surprised that the guy didn’t keep some sort of baby monitor in the shed. I feel like if I were in her situation, I would have been afraid of talking so openly about the escape plan. I would have thought the guy would have broken routine occasionally to keep her on her toes.

To my dismay, I dreamed about the film last night. My dreaming brain also thinks it should have been possible to get out that skylight in 7 years, since the man’s schedule appeared to be constant/regular enough that he never saw Jack.

But I didn’t find that a flaw in the film. I don’t think the film was about that.

I think the skylight was high enough up that she couldn’t reach it even if she stood on the table. And the table wasn’t very sturdy anyhow. Plus I doubt she could have gotten out of the skylight. Yes, I think she could have systematically tried every combination and eventually hit on the right one, but perhaps it would have locked out after too many unsuccessful attempts?

In the book, standing on a chair (and maybe the table?) they couldn’t reach the skylight. Ma and Jack would stand under it and yell to try to attract a passerby, but that never worked. I’d guess the walls were reinforced.

I think I would’ve tried to come up with something to put on the keypad to try and see which numbers he pushed. It might take a while to find the right sequence, but when you have nothing but time, you might as well keep trying.


BTW, at the end when she and Jack return to the shed, there’s a bulldozer/backhoe there. I assumed the authorities were going to demolish it? I wonder if it would it have helped to let her demolish it?

Another thing about the OP; does she even know she is in a shed? Perhaps she was unconscious when he brought her there and she never saw it from the outside?

Yes, she tells Jack they’re in a shed, and he tells the police officer.

Did’nt look that high. And the sides of the shed?

I’m not sure the skylight could actually be that high, given the dimensions of the shed.

Though they did really wonderful tricks with camera angles in the beginning (according to an article, they actually shot it the Room scenes in a 10 x 10 room) that gave some space and dimension. I was shocked when they went back and you could see just how small 10 x 10 is. The roof of such a small building would be fairly low.

The skylight seemed very far away to me, as the viewer. But I think that was deliberate, because we were seeing things from the boy’s perspective.

Right. The shots in the Room were taken in such a way to make it seem like there was space in there. I don’t know how such things are achieved, but it was a stark contrast to later, after Jack saw the world, and he went back to the Room and it was shot normally and looked so much smaller.

Also, striking anything at that angle, you are not going to have much power, especially with plastic utensils.

I would imagine, after Jack was born, that was one more thing holding her back - she would have to leave her baby to attempt escape.

I thought she was trying very patiently to wait until he was old enough to understand what was going on (to some extent) so that they could work on the escape together. Ultimately, she lost patience and forced it sooner than Jack was ready for it.

No, the reason she attempted to escape is that the captor revealed that he lost his job. So he could no longer afford to support them, even given how little he was spending on them. She was afraid of what he might do. Kill the boy, so he was no longer spending money on him? Kill both her and the boy?

Tied him up to the bed when he was asleep and then tortured him for the code? Or is that just me wanting him to suffer.
Incidentally, where the hell did he go in the time between Jack’s escape and the police arriving at hos place; he could have killed Ma in the meantime.

I’m guessing he fled the state. I originally worried he was going back to kill her, too, but once he’d left the kid behind, he had to have assumed it was only a matter of time that people would put two and two together and come after him. So he must have figured his best bet was to run.

Almost all of these questions were addressed in the novel, which I read a couple years ago. Spoilers (sort of) ahead:
The combination lock: she did try that many times, but I think it would lock out after a few tries. Personally, I thought she should have put a light dusting of flour on the keys, and then saw which ones were disturbed after Nick left.

Escape attempts: They did mention in the film how she tried to knock Nick out with the toilet lid. They also practiced shouting at the vent. Two other attempts at escape/rescue not mentioned in the film: Ma would flash the lamp on and off after dark in hopes it would be visible through the skylight. She also had tried burrowing through the cork floor, but hit some sort of metal chickenwire. Nick eventually found this attempt and laughed at her, and told her the whole room was surrounded in metal and then cinderblock (or something like that).

Something they left out of the film–which I think was a shame, and would have explained her emotional state even more–Jack was not her first child by her captor.

I remember that. … I think they decided the movie was depressing enough already.

They did show the flicking of lights. As for other escape attempts, the floor is understandable, but the rest? She could have tried the walls, its a shed after all, cannot be too thick anyway, the frame of the skylight if she cannot break it glass, she can remove it. She had all day and tools like knives. She could have escaped, she was not restrained indoors like Castro’s victims nor suffering from Stockholm syndrome like Dugard.

Still a powerful story.