Sunday, July 22, 2012

Horror Film Review

Dark Floors (2008):  The Finns are a wacky bunch of folks (people from Finland, not Huckleberry's family).  This is a Finnish ghost/zombie/what-the-hell movie that I forgot I'd seen a few years ago.  There's a reason for this, I think.  Mental block.  Not because it's terrible, but rather because it made not one damn bit of sense and I refused to afford it further thought.  So now that I've seen it again, I must have it all figured out, right?  Quantum physics is easier to understand than this thing.

After a strange accident involving an MRI machine, Ben (Noah Huntley) decides to check autistic daughter Sarah (Skye Bennett) out of the hospital.  Against medical advice.  In the middle of the night.  They share an elevator with nurse Emily (Dominique McElligott), businessman Jon (William Hope), security guard Rick (Leon Herbert), and old homeless dude Tobias (Ronald Pickup) on the way out.  The car gets stuck, then the doors open to reveal a deserted hospital.  A dozen "Where is everybodys" and "We gotta get out of heres" later, they encounter dead bodies and subsequently monsters.  Tobias and Sarah seem to know something, but he's loopy and she just keeps asking for her red crayon.  Weird things happen that make us believe there's a temporal anomaly at work.  Other things lead us to believe there's a cross-dimensional event causing the weirdness.  Poltergeists pop up for reasons passing understanding, and then those dead bodies I previously mentioned reanimate and soon get up to no good.  Eventually, only Ben and Sarah are left running from monsters, zombies, and ghosts.  Into a parking garage where they're pursued by a wave of blackness that turns whatever it touches into ash.  Ben goes poof and Sarah faces down the chief monster (she's bathed in some kind of protective light...don't ask, 'cuz I don't know).  They have words, the bad guy makes as if to attack her, and then...and then...she's back in the MRI machine screaming.  This time, asking for her blue crayon.  Film ends.  Then you blink and go, "Huh?"  Or throw heavy objects at the TV.

Dark Floors, while Finnish, is in perfect English  so maybe there's a lost in translation deal.  Oh, yeah.  And the monsters?  They're played by members of the rock band Lordi.  The names of these actors?  Kita, Amen, Ox, Awa, and Lordi.  I'm not judging.  Just saying. 


Acting:  Huntley is very believable as the caring father.  McElligott is also quite good.  Even the red-shirt players like Herbert as the security guard aren't bad at all.  My only complaint would be Bennett as Sarah.  A little whiny and annoying. 
Story:  I think their reach exceeded their grasp.  They crammed too many horror conceits into one screenplay resulting in a confused mash-up. 
Direction:  Oddly, the film is put together well and flows right along.  It's easy to watch.  You just don't know what the hell is going on.
Production Values:  Made for around four million Euros, it certainly has the feel and look of a high-budget, even Hollywood, flick. 
Gore/FX:  Not a lot of blood or gore.  The Lordi guys are costumed well.  Zombies look properly zombie-like.  And the CGI for the ghosts and black wave is professionally done.  No complaints.
Scares:  A few shots may raise your blood pressure.  Nothing to put your clean underwear in jeopardy.
Ending:  A whole bunch of "what the hell."  If I'm honest, my first thought was of the TV show Dallas when Bobby walked out of the shower.  It felt like a cheat, but I can't explain why.
Verdict:  Should you see Dark Floors?  It's got enough going for it for me to say "yes."  Consider it a challenge.  If you can make sense of it, leave a comment on my blog.  I have no problem looking like an idiot. 

Rating:  3 out of 5

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