Today’s former wrestlers are faring much better in movies and television than ever before. Dwayne Johnson and John Cena are just two examples of grapplers breaking through the glass ceiling. The days of Hulk Hogan barely being able to play a wrestler seem to be long gone. Another former WWE Superstar who has done well for himself outside of the squared circle is Dave Bautista.
Bautista is best known for his role as Drax in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The character quickly became a fan favorite and is very quotable in a meme ready franchise. He has shown much wider range than just a dim witted heavy, however. His roles have covered the gamut from action to comedy. This can be seen in episode three of HBO’s horror anthology series Room 104.
Bautista plays a wrestler known as Raw Dog Avalanche. But the part requires him to show off his emotional range. While there is some physicality involved, Bautista’s performance goes much deeper. The role requires the former WWE champion to show a wide range of emotion. He does so expertly seamlessly weaving between calm, introspective, angry, and ultimately, pitiful. It is a strong performance.
The story will engage most audiences. Told through a mix of flashbacks and wrestling figures, the episode is more focused on psychological horror. It is a quiet story that may not please impatient viewer. There are few set pieces which adds to the intimate feel. The show is more about building a tense atmosphere than delivering sudden scares.
Room 104 is known by many people for its horror. ‘Avalanche’ presents viewers with a different yet still effective type of terror. Dave Bautista is great in his role. Just through the use of his voice and mannerisms, he is able to move the story in different directions. The episode comes to it natural conclusion, but some may still find it unsatisfying.