Five childhood friends prepare for their yearly getaway. This year they choose Philadelphia as the sight of their excursion where two of them are kidnapped, raped, and sodomized while the other three spend the movie trying to find them. Bad idea.
The movie starts out with a group of five male friends, in high school, having a great big party. It takes place in the 80s, which you can tell by the big hair and outdated clothing. We even get a girl whipping a can of hair spray out of her purse to emphasize what it was like to live in the 80s. I could not tell you the name of the five friends, because I really was given no reason to care about any of them. There are the two dorks who don’t get laid and the three studs who do get laid. The main purpose of this scene is to let you know they are friends for life. See, they actually say that. They tell each other they are friends for life. Subtlety, your name is not Playroom.
We cut to their lives twenty years later. Amazingly, they look almost the exact same except one has less hair and most of them dress better. A couple of them have families now. A few are successful financially as well. And yet a couple of them are still losers after all these years. The good thing is they know they are still best friends for life. For the last twenty years, they have been getting together to attend a football game for their annual guy’s weekend out. This year they are heading to Philadelphia to watch the Eagles. We get some exposition from two of the wives and learn everything we need to know about the guys over the last twenty years. One is still a whore, one is a really nice guy who deserves a nice wife but can’t find one, one is still a dork and the other two are pretty much good family men.
But they aren’t. One thing that has remained true since high school is that they all still love the cocaine. When they get to Philadelphia, they snort numerous lines of coke, and then the whore and one of the “good” family men hook up with two girls in a night club and head off for a night of sex. What they get is not what they expected. They wake up the next day chained to a bed and then suffer the humiliation of being raped and sodomized by some men for the pleasure of a strange man who seems to know everything about them.
The problem with this setup is that no one really deserves what happens to them. That is also true with a movie like Hostel, or really any slasher or torture-porn flick. But this movie has garnered comparisons with SAW. Sure, the guy who puts them through the torture might be similar to Jigsaw for someone who had never actually watched a SAW film, but the people in SAW who are tortured are paying for their sins. The twist at the end of this movie, where everything that is happening suddenly makes sense is crap. Even when you see why they are being put through this, you really feel no one deserved this fate.
The movie was originally released in 2006 under the title Consequences and it is said to have received a round of applause when it was shown in the city of Philadelphia. That boggles my mind. Maybe they were cheering because the movie was over and they could finally escape the theater. The original title was said to be more accurate because everyone received dire consequences based on their prior actions. The movie was re-named Playroom, and maybe that is better because the consequences received were not worthy of the perceived crimes. This movie was just a playroom for a deranged screenplay and a director who seemingly was more interested in releasing a cheap exploitation flick than a solid story.
Avoid this movie at all costs.
This brings new meaning to the term bare boned. Usually that means you get scene selections and audio options. On this you get nothing. You put in the DVD and it starts to play. You hit the menu button and it simply starts it playing again. No scene selections, no audio options. It is shot in an ugly video format and presented in 4:3 letterbox with stereo sound. Stereo sound that sounds like it was recorded half on set and the other half in ADR, sometimes switching back and forth in the same scene and sometimes even in the same spoken sentence. This DVD was not made with the best of love in post production. Then again, why would it be?