Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Yucky Movies of October: 100 Feet

14) 100 Feet

...okay, NOW we're gettin' somewhere. 100 Feet is a well-made, smoothly-paced ghost story with a few good squirm-inducing moments. I knew I was in for a treat when I learned that this film I hadn't really been aware of was the return of Eric Red, the writer behind The Hitcher, Near Dark, Body Parts, and Blue Steel. On the whole I feel fairly rewarded.

Famke Janssen, an actress I've always been impressed by, is excellent as Marnie, a battered wife who finally killed her police officer ex-husband and is now on a year of house arrest after her time in prison. The officer supervising this, played by Bobby Cannavale, was the husband's partner and, as such, inclined to be less than sympathetic to what's happening with her. They're both excellent actors and do marvels with the material, especially Janssen.

While under house arrest, where she can only venture 100 feet away from the base station (leaving both the house's foyer and basement out of range), she quickly find out that along with the limitations of not being able to get her own groceries, she can't get away from the still-abusive ghost of her angry husband. Marnie gets to be strong and fight back, but she also gets to show fear and pain. All this without ever dipping into any easy Lifetime TV movie territory, which is where I'd feared it might go.

A good ghost-jump (he's well and simply-designed... he reminded me of the one in Carnival of Souls) introduces him but they're light on the spring-loaded cats and Poltergeist-style stuff. A nail-biting sequence with an in-sink-erator and what the ghost does to Ed Westwick (Marnie's grocery boy fling) make this worth at least a rental. Seriously, between "Invisible Man" headbutts and one unfortunately-placed mantelpiece, that is one NASTY fight. The shocking beating and good gore effects kinda make it the showpiece of the film.

The ending builds from there and while it does peter out a bit in hokey special effects at the very end, on the whole it's an intelligent, well acted, keeps a fine pace, and doesn't rely on a bunch of jump scares to get any points across. By very end I mean "very end" - if the last 5 minutes went differently this might be a ghost story classic. A little wispy and light in places, it's a nice quality chiller.

I find myself recommending this one.

No comments:

Post a Comment