Th!nkFilm // 2007 // 97 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Appellate Judge Tom Becker (Retired) // January 18th, 2008
Someone is watching your every move.
Snotty literary agent David Lamont (Marc Blucas, Buffy the Vampire Slayer) moves into New York City triplex of his dreams. It's a huge place with a rooftop pool, and there's a sexy and accommodating neighbor just a few floors down.
Unfortunately, it seems someone doesn't want David to get too comfortable in his new digs. A police detective shows up to tell David that some guy is claiming that he's actually the owner of the apartment and that David is there illegally. David can see the guy on the security video, and he does look a little...off.
Now, David is looking over his shoulder when he comes and goes. He's unnerved by the rattle of steam pipes and creaking floors. And someone seems to have access to David's apartment, leaving pictures around that look like a murder was committed there. Worse, this person is creeping around while David is home, videotaping him sleeping and projecting the tapes on David's humongous TV.
Does this crackpot who claims David stole the place from his dad have access to the apartment? Or is David being stalked by one of the fledgling writers he has so blithely dismissed? Or could it be another agent or someone else in the business that David has screwed over? Or could it be his best friend, whose own career has suffered because of David's callousness?
The Killing Floor is two-thirds of a good movie, suspenseful and agreeably preposterous. The big, good-looking, successful David is more damsel-in-distress than menaced leading man, rendered helpless and hysterical by forces unknown. While it's hard to feel but so much sympathy for him -- he is an arrogant jerk, after all -- it's easy to empathize, especially at first. Who hasn't been creeped out by things that go bump in the night?
But the threats become much more pronounced, and David's sense of security, the smugness that is his soul, is slowly chipped away. The detective he's in touch with (John Bedford Lloyd, The Hoax) assures him that everything is under control, but David's feeling vulnerable. Who can he trust?
Unfortunately, late in the game, the story takes a couple of outlandish turns, and the insidious creepiness gives way to more conventional chase sequences and bloodletting, culminating in a ridiculous bit of business involving pigs. Then it goes all Wild Things on us.
No, we don't get a make-out session between a couple of TV actresses. What we do get is a long sequence in which all the events we've just seen are explained to us from the POV of another character, with certain scenes repeated to emphasize a clue that we would have missed or shown from another perspective so that we could see what was actually going on. I wasn't crazy about this screenwriting shorthand when I saw it used in Wild Things -- or the dozen or so movies I've seen it used in since -- and I'm not crazy about here, especially since the denouement is so dependent on luck, chance, and coincidence, neglects to account for the role of one of the major characters, and still leaves some major plot holes. For instance, when people just disappear, aren't there other people who go looking for them?
Th!nkFilm gives us a pretty thin package. The Anamorphic transfer is decent, though the film looks a bit softy in a few spots and grainy in the dark scenes, of which there are many. Both the stereo and surround audio options are fine, with dialogue, music, and ambient noise coming through clearly. The only extras are a trailer for The Killing Floor that, typically, gives away too much, and trailers for other Th!nkFilm releases.
The Killing Floor is a competently made thriller that seems like it's going to exceed expectations just at the point that it lowers the bar. It ends up being a pretty routine affair.
Review content copyright © 2008 Tom Becker; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2015 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
* 1.85:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 97 Minutes
Release Year: 2007
MPAA Rating: Rated R