SHOULD I? STATUS: Meeehhhhh-commend
Available on HBO On Demand
THE QUICK AND DIRTY DEETS
HONEST SUBTITLE: Metal Band Makes a Movie
- High on CGI, Mystery, Suspense/Tension
- Low on Plot, Originality, Explanation
- Scares: 6/10
- Low-to-moderate jump scares, gore, follow through
So, Dark Floors didn’t wow me in the slightest through the first 15 minutes. It seemed both moderately predictable, in the “Dad trying to protect daughter” sort of plot schema (think Liam Neeson; think Silent Hill), and poorly researched. For instance, in one scene, Sarah (the daughter) has to undergo an MRI. Anyone who’s watched any sort of medical TV, let alone been in a hospital, knows what an MRI machine is and looks like, not to mention how it works and what it does. Whelp, in Dark Floors, everyone refers to this machine as some kind of new-fangled, unnamed technology which spontaneously bursts into flames.
When I found out in my research that Dark Floors had been put on by a Finnish metal band, of course this all made more sense. Some parts of the plot exposition suck because, well, the people who made this movie aren’t in the business of regularly making movies.
However, I was intrigued enough by the action which began around 15 minutes in that I decided I did want to review the film, which is why you find me here this morning.
First, the movie is beautifully shot. The metal band clearly had enough in the budget to hire a great director. You can feel tension rise in certain scenes solely as a result of the camera movement and focus, and I really admired that in Dark Floors. I also really enjoyed how the creative director or set co-ordinator, whoever, chose to illustrate the hospital setting’s degeneration into a creepy, haunted alternate universe through efficient, but not heavy-handed, alterations to the existing set.
The movie is essentially a bottle episode, too, which I found interesting. A bottle episode – that’d be an episode of a TV show where everything is shot on one set. Although technically the group of 6 move from floor to floor in the hospital, honestly, I’d be very surprised if it wasn’t the same set every time. I mean, the point of hospital floors is they’re all the same, right?
In these ways, Dark Floors succeeds, even rather surprisingly. However, it falls short when it comes to plot explanation; there’s simply little to no reasoning why Sarah is being pursued by these Viking ghosts. Also, why are the ghosts Vikings? Well, because they’re really the band members in their band costumes, duh! Dark Floors leaves us with an ending that threatens to be ripped straight from Silent Hill but then, in the last instant, isn’t – however, it makes absolutely no sense, either way.
I’ve really got to be honest here, guys. If you want to watch a good movie about a group of people stuck in an alternate reality trying to save a little girl, skip this and watch Silent Hill (it’s one of my favorite horror movies of all time). However, if, like me, you need something to vaguely entertain you while you gorge on a Hawaiian pizza and Monster-and-vodkas on a Sunday afternoon – well, this’ll do it.