High-flying publisher David (Mark Blucas, WE WERE SOLDIERS) moves into a luxurious New York penthouse apartment. From the offset it's clear he's not a very nice person: he fucks up his best friend's job prospects, ignores the real estate agent while being shown around his new abode and treats his assistant Rebecca (Shiri Appleby, HAVOC) like dirt.
While jogging one morning David keeps noticing a fellow runner, in a red hooded top. Convinced the jogger's following him, David gives chase but ends up bumping into Audrey (Reiko Aylesworth, ALIEN VS PREDATOR 2). He takes her back to his apartment and discovers she is his neighbour. He invites her to his housewarming party, and she hastily accepts.
At the party, David proves to be his usual arrogant self with most, but makes a special effort with Audrey who he's clearly attracted to. Just as he's getting in with her, his drunken friend Garrett (Derek Cecil, HAECKEL'S TALE) shows up, berating David for stealing his job. He's evicted from the party, but not before mumbling in a sinister fashion "it should've been my job, this should've been my place" ...
The following morning a new problem presents itself to David. A detective wakes him up, explaining that a guy outside called Jared (Jeffrey Carlson, HITCH) insists the apartment belongs to his late father, and that David is squatting there.
The detective sides with the sharply dressed David, and moves Jared along. But David's problems are only just beginning. Jared keeps turning up outside the apartment hoping to provoke David, an aspiring author starts sending letters to him implying he gatecrashed his housewarming party, and - most troublingly - someone sends David photographs of a murder scene.
David takes the photos to the detective, and tells him he's convinced there's been a murder committed in his apartment (even though the corpse in the photos is lying on red bathroom tiles, and David's are white). The detective can find no record of such a crime in the apartment.
David initially thinks the photos are part of a prank by Garrett, but when he hammers his bathroom tiles off one night to reveal the red tiles beneath, he starts getting seriously freaked.
But who is tormenting him, and why? The angry friend? The mysterious neighbour-turned-lover? The disgruntled author? The peeved Jared? The undervalued assistant?
The problem with THE KILLING FLOOR is that, in keeping with good whodunnit tradition, it's lead character is a cad - hence the build-up of people likely to want to victimise him. But David is so thoroughly unlikeable, that you can't help not caring for him. So, for all the histrionic music and off-kilter camera angles, there is minimal tension here.
The film looks good, like an episode of CSI for example. The performances are decent enough, yet not resonate enough to become involving. Gideon Raff's direction is workmanlike. He's directing TERROR TRAIN at present.
The plot is intriguing (although I was a little disappointed this didn't turn out to be about a floor that ate people ...), and that's the one thing that keeps you watching.
Unfortunately, the denouement isn't enough to compensate for the preceding 90 minutes.
Watchable, but unremarkable in every sense.
Revolver sent a screener disc of this that came without menus or chapter selections, let alone extras. If their other two recent releases are anything to go by - WRESTLE MANIAC and ARE YOU SCARED? - the retail disc will have 12 chapters, forced trailers for those two titles and no extras.
Review by Stuart Willis
|Released by Revolver|
|Region 2 - PAL|
|see main review|