It’s not often that a movie twist surprises me anymore. Usually, I can guess the plot long before it begins to become clear, which sometimes makes movies really tedious to watch, but I keep going because of rare gems that sometimes surface.
The last movie I can recall throwing me off the scent was Cabin in the Woods, and before that probably Sixth Sense.
This movie, however, did just that.
Scenes reminiscent of
The premise seems pretty simple: an ex-cop takes a job as a superintendent at a large New York City apartment block. People start to go missing and he tries to find out whodunnit.
It’s got all the fixings for a good old horror film: weird kids, a creepy building, strange goings on, odd superintendent, murder…what more could you ask for?
Val Kilmer skilfully plays the role of aforementioned super, Walter, looking really creepy with his blackened teeth and stringy hair.
They really did a good job on his look and he plays the role well. He didn’t get as much screen time as I thought he should but more on that later.
The main character, Phil Lodge, (Patrick John Flueger) is a likable guy. An ex-cop who gave up his career to look after his kids after the unfortunate death of his wife, he’s relatable, haunted and determined to find out what’s going on in the building. From the start, he’s convinced that it’s Walter (of course) and sets out to try and get him fired and/or arrested. Plagued by nightmares of the missing residents he’s finding it hard to sleep and his behaviour becomes increasingly erratic, but he doggedly pursues the truth.
His daughters, Rose (Mattea Conforti), and Violet (Taylor Richardson) play the stereotypical roles of sweet, innocent little girl and angsty, angry teenager respectively. Conforti does a great job of being cute and just the right amount of creepy. Often wandering off and saying things that don’t seem like what a normal 7-year-old would say.
She’s obviously her father’s pride and joy and really plays that up.
Violet, on the other hand, is clearly still hurting from the loss of her mother, and has a hostility towards her father for making them move, and making them live in the basement of a creepy building. Who can blame her though? Richardson is great in this role and she’s definitely one to watch in the future.
Phil soon gets frisky with beautiful resident Beverly (Louisa Krause), much to the dismay of Violet who clearly thinks it’s too soon and things rapidly go downhill from there.
At this point, I don’t want to say too much more about the plot, because this is where it starts to twist and turn. Needless to say, I wasn’t expecting the outcome, so you’ll just have to watch it yourself to find out.
The only critique I have of the film, in general, is that it felt rushed. It felt like we didn’t see enough of Walter, and we didn’t get enough story in the beginning to build rapport with some of the characters. I feel like they could have done a lot more to either lead you on a red herring or give you hints about who the murder is.
However, this film is all action from the get-go, has some wonderfully creepy scenes and the atmosphere is pretty great. From the write-ups I wasn’t expecting much, nor was I expecting a supernatural horror but I was glad it wasn’t just the run of the mill slasher pic.
I recommend this film for a good enjoyable night in with some popcorn and cutie to snuggle with.
Gorephile. Singer. "Lady".