It takes guts to put the word “disappointment” in a movie title, but in the case of D.J. Caruso’s would-be supernatural thriller, it just represents truth-in-advertising. Filmed in 2014, the picture’s release was delayed by the Relativity Media bankruptcy imbroglio, but it’s now escaped the legal system to theatres to snare a few unsuspecting victims before it makes a quick exit to cable and VOD.

The opening finds NYC couple Dana (Kate Beckinsale) and David (Mel Raido), along with their cute-as-a-button son Lucas (Duncan Joiner), fleeing the Big Apple after a family tragedy to live in a run-down mansion in rural North Carolina. Dana, an architect, will fix up the place while David conducts his business by computer and takes care of Lucas. Shortly after arriving they hire handsome local handyman Ben (Lucas Till) to fix a hole in the roof.

Dana, it will eventually be revealed, is still suffering from grief-induced trauma as the result of the death of her second child, a girl, in infancy. Her condition is not helped by the discovery in the house’s turret of a secret room behind a cabinet where Dana feels some ghostly presences, notably stern Judge Blacker (Gerald McRaney), who built the place back in the nineteenth century, his wife (Jennifer Leigh Mann) and their deformed daughter Laura (Ella Jones), whom they kept hidden from the world there out of embarrassment at her appearance. The hidden cell, Dana learns from kooky local historian Miz Judy (Marcia de Rousse), is a “disappointments room,” where such unwanted children were kept until they died.

Judge Blacker proves a malignant presence who, along with his ravenous black dog, threatens not only Dana’s sanity but little Lucas and anyone else who might trespass on his secrets. Even the stray cat that Lucas adopts isn’t safe. It’s clear where all this is heading, though to be sure Caruso and co-writer Wentworth Miller try to spice things up with hallucinations and bad dreams that are nothing more than standard-issue red herrings that allow Caruso to stage some pathetically ineffectual jolt moments.

Overall the pickings are pretty slim, even for the most devoted genre fan. Beckinsale tries to look worried and distraught as the troubled heroine, but the character is so thinly drawn that it’s difficult to muster much concern for her. One is likely to be more anxious over what might happen to Lucas and his cat, simply because children and animals are cute and one deplores any plot that puts kids gratuitously in jeopardy. Raido, on the other hand, is simply boring, and Till gets little to do except to look boyishly hot. (He’s also the subject of one plot twist that’s left hanging, so to speak, at the end.) McRaney strives to appear threatening but fails miserably, even when he’s clutching a blood-soaked hammer, and Michael Landes and Michaela Conlin (of “Bones”) look properly abashed to be appearing in an embarrassingly inept dinner scene in which a drunken Dana explodes in a paroxysm of despair over her dead child. On the technical side Tom Southwell’s production design manages to create a moody run-down-estate atmosphere, which Rogier Stoffers captures reasonably well in his widescreen images.

But all the craft efforts are for naught. When the circumstances surrounding the death of Dana’s baby daughter are finally revealed—via one of the many flashback montages Caruso tosses into the mix in order to make the plot reasonably coherent—David’s reaction is to call the incident a “horrible accident.” A viewer unlucky enough to plunk down cash to see “The Disappointments Room” might think that’s a cogent description of the movie, too.