By Scott Tibbs, March 13, 2014
Some time ago, I watched the 1995 abomination "Animal Room" via Netflix. This movie was completely nonsensical, did not have a single likable character (including the allegedly sympathetic protagonist) and had perhaps the worst and most unsatisfying ending of any movie I have ever seen. I do not recall ever being more offended by a movie, including political propaganda films like "Avatar" or anti-Christian propaganda like "The Mist."
We start out with our "protagonist" (Arnold Mosk) being set upon and beaten by a group of thugs. He is rescued by a childhood friend, and Mosk's reaction to his friend's repeated attempts to reconnect and rebuild their friendship establishes Mosk as a completely unlikable character. Mosk shows no concern for anyone but himself, berating his one and only friend (Gary) because the two had drifted apart in high school. Never mind his one friend literally took a beating for him at the opening of the movie and was doing his best to be a true friend.
Then we move on to the premise of the movie, which is stupid and nonsensical. The troublesome students (consisting of the gang of thugs that set upon Mosk at the start of this wretched movie) are locked in the "animal room" basement to study by themselves. In a teachers' meeting, some are concerned about the safety issues presented by this arrangement. One of the other teachers replies that he would rather have their blood on his hands than his blood on theirs.
The entire premise is laughable. Something like this could work in a post-apocalyptic setting, but if this were done in the real world there would be lawsuits and maybe even criminal prosecutions. There is no way this would be allowed. If the gang of thugs is truly that dangerous, they would be expelled. The target of their terror (Mosk) certainly would not be locked up with them, especially since Mosk is not dangerous. He is a stoner, not a thug.
The most offensive part of the movie is after the thugs gang up on Mosk in the school bathroom. The gang leader and Mosk are in the principal's office, and the thoroughly corrupt principal warns them to stay away from each other. This is absurd. Mosk is not actively seeking conflict - he is being ganged up on and beaten. Treating the victim and the gang leader as the same established the principal as an evil character. In the real world, the principal would be fired from his job and maybe even criminally prosecuted for negligence.
The ending was completely unsatisfying and made the entire movie a complete waste of time. Mosk has intentionally got himself shot by bringing a gun to school, and his only friend is seeking payback against the gang leader. Generally, the antagonist in a movie is punished in some way. Even though Mosk is a completely unlikable, unsympathetic jerk, the gang leader deserves something. Gary has the gang leader dead to rights, and does not kill him. The gang leader was a truly evil character who needed to die, and by not having him at least get maimed the movie's ending is depressing.
There is no point in even grading this movie, but the grade is an obvious F. Grade it however you want - zero stars, zero out of ten, or a failing grade, but this pile of cinematic trash does not deserve even one more person watching it.