Saturday, October 8, 2011

Movie Appraisal: Dark Floors (2008)

Well, I just saw this movie, Dark Floors, and I... well, I can honestly say that it was certainly a movie... a short movie, sure, but a movie  nonetheless. As for everything else... hmmm... I hate saying that I went into watching this movie having a bad feeling about it, but... I kind of did.

Now, this certainly wasn't the worst movie of this type I have ever seen. SublimeThe I Inside, or Autopsy would be among the worst of this genre... this psychological horror-esque weird kind of genre that really isn't anything at all but generic kind of horror. Honestly, I'm probably more forgiving with The I Inside than the other two simply because it was kind of a different formula even if it wasn't very good.

And Dark Floors is kind of different, I guess... especially if you've never seen another horror movie in your life before. I tire of predicting the scares, the shots, the scream chords, the deaths, and in what order those deaths occur. I mean, yes, they certainly tried to make it suspenseful, and maybe they would have succeeded if not for me being the jaded and cynical viewer of horror that I am today. No, I have to disagree with myself. The suspense was... not great. It was kind of all over the place and I was lost.

No, I wasn't lost because it was SOOOOOOO DEEP, or because too much was happening. I was lost because the director obviously seemed to have no real idea what was going on. What was going on? I certainly don't have a clue. It seemed like there were monsters pursuing a bunch of people who got trapped in an elevator and were transported to a cross between Silent Hill  and "The Langoliers" (That's not a reference I make very often, so everybody should pat me on the back for that one.). Now, I like Silent Hill, and "The Langoliers" is pretty good. Hell, I even enjoyed the TV movie of it and not many can say that without being slapped upside the head. But I like my Stephen King and the novella was really good especially for him during that time period of his writing.

Anywho, that's kind of what I thought about the movie. It was a cross between Silent Hill with the corruption, the monsters, the zombies, the punishments... all of that stuff... and "The Langoliers" because of all of the time stuff. I had guessed it long before it was revealed and I was all like, Stephen King does know that you ripped off his idea, right?

This movie is such a generic horror movie. Oh, it certainly tries to be psychological, but... seriously? Come on. No, really, come on. This is not psychological. This is not scary. Suspenseful maybe if you like the characters, but... characters? Look, this is the most generic horror movie setting I have ever seen: a hospital. Wow, I've never seen that before. I'm shaking in my boots at being in a hospital. It's as if I've never seen one before. Stupid. Look, try something new. Look at The Other Side of the Tracks. Seriously. Look at that movie. No, it wasn't quite horrific, but it was extremely effective. It did something I have rarely seen, and it did it really well... well enough that I want to watch it all again. It surprised me and it wowed me. the directing was fantastic, but Dark Floors was just... generic. I cut copy-and-paste it with any other cheaper horror movie made today. Not that they're all bad, but this one was so obviously generic that it's basically my tagline for this movie.

Dark Floors: "So you want to see the most generic horror movie of all time? Well, here it is, you brats. I hope you enjoy it."

Oh, and the freaking little girl. Seriously? Haven't I ranted and raved about this enough? Little girls are not scary, not in any context. Maybe... MAYBE... in The Ring, but that was effective in many more ways than just a creepy little girl. It was a fully packed psychological horror movie without being in some fantasy realm or inside of somebody's mind. It was incredibly effective and beautiful. But the rule of thumb is still that little girls are not scary. If I can punt the scary symbol of the movie like a basketball, then that thing is not scary. Yes, I know, the girl wasn't the antagonist of this particular movie, but the director tried incredibly hard to make her into the creepy little girl trope and nobody could ever convince me otherwise. And it didn't work! She was not scary or creepy, she was just bad at acting (Sorry, little girl, but you're still young, you'll get there eventually... and I don't think it was your fault anyway. I really blame the director.). Okay, now that I have talked to the young actress of this movie who will never ever in a million years read this review, let's move on.

The acting in general is... not wonderful, which hurts this movie even further. Some of the characters get by on a singular one-dimensional characteristic, like the nurse being cute and innocent, or the mean and angry man (see also "The Langoliers") being both mean and angry, and acting as a general jerk to everybody around him. Then there's the big guy who also appears to be black... and of course, of course, he's the first one that "dies." Oh, and there's the crazy old and wise guy. He's crazy, old, and wise! And the main everyman man... who represents every man! These characters are so generic that they should have names like "Meany-pants", "Old Wise Guy", "Everyman", "Cute Nurse", "Creepy Little Girl", "Black Tough Guy Who Sacrifices Himself Early In The Movie". Ugh... the writing is bad, the characters are cheap, and... well... that's all I have to say about that.

Some good things I should mention are that the sounds are pretty good even if the acting isn't fantastic. They did do a really good job with ambient noise and music. I was impressed at points, even if the acting couldn't hold it up. Also, the make-up and scene effects were pretty decent too, even if I had trouble telling exactly what some people in make-up were supposed to be besides generic monster-things.

There were so many cheap little scares and it was so predictable. It was actually starting to bore me a lot. I actually had to stop the movie at one point because I was predicting everything that was going on and was starting to fall asleep from literal boredom.

Also, I suppose I should also mention that the band Lordi, who I'd never heard of before this film, were the ones not only playing the monsters, but were also the ones that really wanted to make their own horror film. The subtitle for this film is usually The Lordi Motion Picture. I guess if you like horror movies, you should make your very own. I guess that's a thing now. Oh, and this film is a Finnish film as well, but nowhere near as good as the last Finnish film that I saw: Sauna: Wash Your Sins.

I mean, I guess the movie was all right. I can't recommend it. In my obviously professional opinion, this is not a movie that is good enough to recommend. The tension in the movie can be pretty good at times though. I wasn't exactly impressed, but it was better than I would have expected.

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