Emotion from within human characters in art is largely contributed to sympathy from the viewer, and when that humanity is transcended into inhumanity through abnormality, it becomes somewhat moot. And while it is true that art is not merely seen through literal means, I feel it is more effective within a depiction of humanity and realism to be consistant with the subject.
Aside from that point, the central area of the painting, I feel, has somewhat of a vague dullness to it that strikes me as, for lack of a better term, rather boring. The center above the chair is marked by what appears to be a void of maroon red, placated with an uncomfortable, parsed texture that almost conceals the red-haired woman it covers. In the end, I suppose, what the artist chooses to emphasize is purely a matter of taste or style, and I can see how deluding contrast in this area to blend with the other black colors can lead your eye to the abundant subjects in the background, but in doing so I feel there leaves a lack of motion in an active environment.