Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Film Review: Dark Floors (2008)

Dark Floors (Review)
Finland/2008
Format Viewed For Review: HBO Now
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No
*A 31 Days of Halloween Special Review

"It has a Silent Hill-vibe, especially conceptually, but it's missing character, psychology, and suspense."

A man and his daughter, along with four other people, emerge from an elevator and find themselves trapped in a hospital with several creatures...

Dark Floors is an interesting film. The plot follows Ben (Noah Huntley), his daughter Sarah (Skye Bennett), and four other people – a nurse, a security guard, a homeless man, and a haughty man. Anyway, after a failed exam, Ben tries to take his daughter home from the hospital. He goes down an elevator, which also malfunctions, and he ends up in a floor without people. The group soon find themselves pursued by several creatures, including a shrieking ghost and a Predator-clone gone wrong. They essentially continue to descend in order to reach the bottom floor/exit while often being attacked by a creature – rinse and repeat. In terms of plot and character, there isn't much here. The ending leaves a lot to be desired, too.

Dark Floors reminds me of films like Thirteen Ghosts. Why? Well, Thirteen Ghosts is a flawed film, but its great visuals make up for many of its shortcomings. Similarly, Dark Floors has some great visuals that keep you engaged and interested. However, it's not quite enough to make up for this film's other severe flaws. Like I said, this movie does not have much of a plot. It's characters are too thin for this to work as a psychological horror story a la Silent Hill. The visuals can be awesome at times, but there is also a severe lack of suspense. Nothing in this film made me shudder or even jump. I liked the other-dimensional monsters, but it would have been better with a bit of personality. In other words, everything feels hollow – it's all style, no substance.

The acting doesn't fare much better, either. Everyone delivers their lines without conviction. There is no emotion in anyone in this cast. The stilted dialogue didn't help. William Hope was decent, but he didn't get much time to shine. The film looked and sounded good, though. The setting wasn't unique, but I liked it. The special effects, which were often used to create some surreal scenes, were also good. This is one of those horror films that benefited from a fairly large budget. The film is written by Pekka Lehtosaari and directed by Pete Riski. The writing and direction both left a lot to be desired. In terms of writing, character-development is practically nonexistent, the plot is sloppy, and it all runs out of steam before it reaches its disappointing ending. The direction captures the visual presentation very well, but it fails to conjure any suspense. What's a horror movie without suspense?

Overall, Dark Floors is a mediocre horror film. It starts off promising, it has some great visuals, but it never goes anywhere. It has a Silent Hill-vibe, especially conceptually, but it's missing character, psychology, and suspense. It's not a bad time killer, but it's not something worth wasting your time if you cherish your 80 minutes.

Score: 4/10
Parental Guide: Some violence and blood.

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