The Killing Room

Director: Jonathan Liebesman
Screenwriters: Gus Krieger, Ann Peacock

Institute History

  • 2009 Sundance Film Festival


With the goal of earning some extra cash, four unwitting volunteers sign up for what they believe is just another paid research study. Instead, they embark upon the worst night of their lives, becoming pawns in a deadly, classified government program that was thought to have been terminated more than 20 years earlier. As a group, they are presented with a series of questions and a finite window of time by which each of them must submit a unique numerical answer. Presumably the subject who is furthest from the correct response will be “removed” from the experiment. They soon come to realize that, in this lethal psychological game, the correct answer is not always the right one. Behind the scenes, the mysterious and brooding Dr. Phillips (Peter Stormare) deviously pulls the strings as the most recent addition to his team, military psychologist Ms. Reilly (Chloë Sevigny), is emotionally torn by her first assignment.

Director Jonathan Liebesman takes the viewer on a dark and suspenseful ride into the depths of the human mind, meticulously revealing pieces of the puzzle along the way. The sterile and safe environment he initially creates quickly deteriorates into an unstable madhouse as average civilians must make seemingly impossible choices to survive.

— Adam Montgomery

Screening Details

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