Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The 4th Floor

(Trailer) An annoying mess of a film that once again simply proves that Hollywood can make some truly crappy films. Director Josh Klausner gained his experience as a second director for Farrelly Brothers' comedies, and while he might have a hand for filming tastelessly funny scenes for the films of other directors, he makes a mess of this horror-cum-thriller. In the end, The 4th Floor is neither. Instead, it is a confusion of illogic that will leave you pulling you hair out by the roots in annoyance. Not to say that Krausener doesn't let the wrong film and filmmakers influence him, it just that his film is like sugared sparkling water in a champagne bottle: you might maybe think it is the real thing up until the first sip, but definitely not after that. Polanski, Kubrick and Hitchcock all are given the nod to in The 4th Floor, but the film itself never comes close to being an iota as good as its sources. The feeling of paranoia is similar to The Tenant (1976), while a shade of the hidden malfeasance as found in Rosemary's Baby (1968) peppers all the characters surrounding the film's heroine. The apartment has a rear view of half-told stories reminiscent of Rear Window (1954), while the moving eyehole of the apartment of the 4th floor spies as inertly as that of HAL in 2000: A Space Odyssey (1968). Great films, one and all, but this turkey comes nowhere near to being a smidgen as interesting. Juliette Lewis, a one-trick pony from Hollywood, plays Jane Emelin, an interior designer who is incapable of properly hammering in a nail. When her aunt dies from a nasty fall, she "inherits" the lease to a dream NYC apartment with the fabulous rent of $400. No wonder she wants to jettison her plans of moving in with her career-driven, cold-fish weatherman boyfriend Greg Harrison (played by a William Hurt as a somnambulist). The brownstone proves to be inhabited with nothing but wackos and weirdoes, including the busybody Martha Stewart (an old, ugly and well-cast Shelley Duvall) and the meek, lonely trench-coat wearing loser Albert Collins (Austin Pendleton). In no time flat, Jane has possibly witnessed a murder in an apartment next door and is being terrorised by a batty, secluded and unseen old lady living in the apartment below. Maggots start crawling from her drain, her apartment is overrun with mice and everything seems awfully scary. But, is it all really happening, or is Jane simply losing her marbles, as everyone else seems to think? Who gives a shit and why doesn't Jane just go and die? Full of red herrings and lacking a single likeable character, the main stars have no chemistry and the big final twist is not only seen miles away, but totally destroys the supposed motivation of the movie's psycho. At roughly 90 minutes in length, The 4th Floor lasts approximately an hour and a half too long

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