Saturday, April 2, 2011

12. The 4th Floor

Title:        The 4th Floor
Year:        1999
Genre:      Psychological Thriller
Type:        A-Movie
Run Time: 90

Director: Josh Klausner

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Jane Emelin (Juliette Lewis) has never lived alone and decides to move into an apartment by herself. At first glance, the neighborhood is enchanting and the neighbors friendly, but things quickly become bizarre. Something evil lurks in the floorboards and the walls and no one believes her fears. Terrifying sounds, massive infestations of mice and roaches turn her happy home into a horrifying hell-hole. Now it's a matter of life or death to get out before it's too late.

Alternative Synopsis
Personal Thoughts

The 4th Floor is a 1999 psychological thriller, written and directed by Josh Klausner, starring Juliette Lewis, William Hurt, Shelley Duvall and Austin Pendleton. In 1999, the film was released in Germany, but didn't get released in the United States until 2000, when it went direct-to-video. - Wikipedia

"To each his own" is the phrase that comes to mind when I think about the 1999 film, The 4th Floor. Though it wasn't perfect, I still thought it was a pretty solid movie. But after reading some of the reviews out there on the internet, and seeing what others had to say about it, you'd think I was its lone supporter. Perhaps I am, which is fine with me. One thing I've learned over the years, is that the movie rating process is a rather subjective one. It goes without question that different people will have different likes and dislikes. Well one of my "likes" happens to be The 4th Floor.

The 4th Floor (with all of its Rear Window innuendos) is a chilling tale of a woman (eager to live alone), who decides to move into an old apartment (on the fifth floor) by herself. Her peaceful, tranquil world is shaken when she starts being tormented by the neighbor below (from the 4th floor). Very quickly, the situation begins spiraling out of control, escalating to the point of real physical danger, leaving Jane (the main protagonist) in a frantic state of not knowing who to turn to for help.

The 4th Floor (resembling films such as Hitchcock's Rear Window, and Roman Polanski's The Tenant) is one of those films that torments you psychologically, making you uneasy and uncomfortable throughout the movie. It does a really good job making suspects out of nearly everyone. I found myself calling out everyone and not trusting anyoneIt also does a good job captivating viewers, while still leaving them shrouded in mystery

I loved the films mood and atmosphere, and I thought the acting, for the most part, was solid. Juliette Lewis' performance felt authentic to me, though some of the choices her character makes are pretty dumb, which of course can't be held against her. 

The main problem people seem to have with this movie is the ending. The last 15 minutes or so, is generally regarded as the point in which the film begins to take a noise dive. It's not uncommon for these types of whodunit movies to lose the audience right at the end. Needless to say, I still found myself liking the film anyways.

I'm still trying to make sense of the ending, and when I say ending, I'm talking about the very end. I've seen The 4th Floor several times, and have also watched the director's commentary, but I'm still not completely sure I understand the ending. A part of me feels dissatisfied, and still wants to know what it all means. But perhaps being forced to use our imaginations and draw our own conclusions was the goal of the director. Often times, it's the unexplained, the questions left unanswered, that can stick with us the most, and can leave us talking about a film long after it's over.

I'm obviously one of the persons, still talking about it! 

Is The 4th Floor perfect, of course not. Does The 4th Floor have its share of plot holes, sure it does. Were there parts of the movie that could have used better writing, sure there were. Were there parts that were unrealistic, certainly (most movies tend to have a few of those "that was stupid" moments). 

But despite its flaws, I consider it to be a pretty solid movie, one that's good for a dark, rainy, cozy night, also good for the person with a crush on Juliette Lewis ... which is why I'm making it my next recommendation!

What I liked:

- Juliette Lewis
- The eerie, creepy presence/vibe of the 4th floor.
- The Rear Window similarities
- The Music (title theme)
- The acting

What I didn't like:

- Parts towards the end got a bit unrealistic
- The ending felt unresolved
My Ratings

How good was it:

How scary was it:       

How much did I enjoy it:
The 4th Floor Extras:

You May Also Like:

The Tenant


Anonymous said...

When I was watching The Sentinel it had traces of The Fourth know the one with Jeff Goldblum?!

The Mothman said...

Yeah, in many ways, the beginning of it did, before it turned spiritual/ghostly.

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