Tuesday, December 29, 2009
100 Feet 2008
Director: Eric Red
Writer: Eric Red
Starring Famke Jansen, Bobby Cannavale, Ed Westwick, Michael Pare, John Fallon and Patricia Charbonneau
Eric Red is one of the best horror filmmakers that came out of the 80's and 90's and he has been silent since that werewolf film Bad Moon in 1997. It is great to finally see him tackle the horror genre again. And the subject he tackles is very powerful and gripping. The film tackles the themes of domestic abuse, self defense and preservation. The film combines a film like Poltergiest with The Burning Bed. It is a solidly gripping film that starts out slowly but as the story progresses, the viewer knows something is not quite right and it is not long till the spirit of the vengeful ghost begins to wreak havoc and with each attack it gets more brutal and violent. The mood of the film really makes it work, the entire ordeal has a sense of desperation to it. The cast is excellent too, the film really hinges on the portrayal of Jansen as the battered and coping wife, and she does an exemplary job in the role. The film is dark and dismal but, it is peppered throughout with bits of dark humor that alleviate the tenseness somewhat.
The plot basics are this, Marnie Watson (Jansen) is granted a early parole from the conviction of killing her husband. The only catch is that she has to wear an ankle bracelet that will not let her move more than 100 feet from her home, the same home that she killed her abusive husband (Pare) in self defense. She is kept under tabs by her husband's ex partner in the police (Cannavale), who still has resentment and anger towards her. She begins to adjust to her life as a prisoner in her own home, when strange things begin to happen. Soon, she is being attacked by an unseen able force and she soon realizes it is the ghost of her husband back for revenge. Marnie now has to find a way to survive and cope with this and try to find a way to exorcise his ghost from the house before he kills her or anyone who enters the house and is friendly with Marnie.
This is one of the best ghost stories I have seen on film in a long time. Red's direction is tense throughout, he sets it up so, that the viewer knows something is not right and soon those hunches are paid off. The scenes of the spectral attacks are executed flawlessly. The script is very taut and stress filled too. The story really makes you feel much empathy for Marnie and the struggles she has to endure in the film. There is good use of flashbacks to show you what has transgressed that has led her to this dilemma. The cast is uniformly excellent too. Jansen really holds the narrative together and is very believable as the battered but surviving wife who is trying to keep her sanity intact. Pare is great as the vengeful spirit and with never speaking a word he speaks volumes with his performance, Cannavale is great as the cop who at first doesn't; swallow any of her story, but soon comes to her aid and tries to help her. The SFX and effects in the film are amazing. My personal favorite is when the ghost goes crazy after watching Marnie have sex with the delivery boy and he gives him such a massive beat down that his spirit gets soaked in blood. The score by John Frizzell is melancholic and eerie and it sets the mood of the film accurately well. This is definitely one of my favorite ghost stories now and I highly recommend it.
This one gets 5 out of 5