Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The Loft (2014)

Number Rolled: 2
Movie Name/Year: The Loft (2014)
Tagline: The right place to do wrong.
Genre: Mystery, Romance, Thriller
Length: 102 minutes
Rating: R
Production Companies: Open Road Films, De Vijver Media, Woestijnvis, Anonymous Content
Producer: Hilde De Laere, Matt DeRoss, Steve Golin, Paul Green, Barbara Kelly, Adam Shulman, Wesley Strick, Wim Tack, Wouter Vandenhaute, Erik Watté
Director: Erik Van Looy
Writer: Bart de Pauw, Wesley Strick
Actors: Karl Urban, James Marsden, Wentworth Miller, Eric Stonestreet, Matthias Schoenaerts, Isabel Lucas, Rachael Taylor, Rhona Mitra, Valerie Cruz, Kali Rocha, Elaine Cassidy, Margarita Levieva, Kristin Lehman, Robert Wisdom, Ric Reitz, Graham Beckel, Kathy Deitch
Stunt Doubles: Stanton Barrett, John Bernecker, Felipe Savahge

Blurb from Netflix: Five married men rent a secret luxury loft to carry on discreet affairs, but a murder soon reveals other secrets they’re concealing from each other.

Selina’s Point of View:
For a lot of this film I was kind of out of it. I figured I pretty much knew what direction things were going. The Loft threw me off. It took a left turn that I never saw coming.

I seriously underestimated this film.

When the film first came out, I was intrigued by the trailer. At the time, Trust the Dice was only doing a Top 10 instead of a Top 20, that’s the only reason The Loft didn’t make the list. Still, I expected something a little more cookie cutter than what I got.

I’m really surprised that I wound up liking this film.

I didn’t find any of the characters relatable – or even likable. I hated every moment of each of their existences. Still, they were portrayed very well by some incredibly talented actors. It should have made a difference, but it didn’t. Each character in the film made me want to throw something at their head.

With the twist and the interesting out-of-order storytelling, though, I wound up able to care about their story anyway. I wanted to know what became of them – if only because I wanted to see them suffer a little bit.

As a psychological thriller, this film was the best I’ve seen in years. There were no supplemental jump scares to try to up the thrill-factor… there wasn’t even any real danger involved. The creators still managed to make my chest a little tight with anticipation. 

The mystery was really at the core of the thrill factor, and that is a huge deal.

There are not enough movies out there trusting the psychological factor to work without gore and jumps. Those films that do trust it, never seem to go quite far enough to succeed. The Loft was perfect where its genre was concerned.

I am curious about the original, however.

The Loft originally came out as a Belgian film in 2008. It seems to have a higher rating on IMDb, as well. It might be worth checking out.

Cat’s Point of View:
We’ve been looking forward to watching this movie for a while. Now that it’s finally come up, I can say with confidence that it was worth the wait.

This isn’t your average who-done-it murder mystery. It has some predictable qualities to it, but other aspects jumped right out of left field and caught me by surprise. I especially enjoyed the framework used for the story – particularly how the opening sets a grim tone that foreshadows events and builds up an undercurrent of suspense as you watch it all unfold.

I loved all the twists and turns the story took, as well as its infusion of both cringe and comedy. The characters were well-crafted and felt like they had some real substance. There were a few couples that had me wishing I knew more about their backstory leading up to the events in the film.

I also appreciated the symbolism in a few scene flashes that were purposefully out of focus at first but over the course of events became clearer.

Though, it was the cast that sold me and kept me at the edge of my seat. Karl Urban (Riddick, Almost Human, Pete's Dragon) was in a slightly different role than I’m used to seeing him in. I liked the smooth-operator look on him. 

Eric Stonestreet (Bad Teacher, Identity Thief, The Secret Life of Pets) had me cringing the most, I think; along with trying not to laugh at entirely inappropriate moments because of his character.

James Marsden (Into the Grizzly Maze, Wander Over Yonder, Westworld) was irritatingly likeable in his role. Considering the whole premise revolves around a condo that a group of guys keep for extra-marital trysts, I didn’t want to really LIKE any of these guys.

I found a comparison of the wives to the other women central to the story. While some might boil it down to that whole ‘blondes have more fun’ nonsense, I think there’s more to it. I also admit that I wanted to reach through the screen and smack Rhona Mitra’s (The Number 23, The Last Ship, The Strain) character for being obnoxious.

All told, I thoroughly enjoyed this movie, and I would watch it again in a heartbeat. In fact, I will likely do so again soon just to see if there were any tidbits that I missed the first time through.

Speech Available: English
Subtitles Available: English

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 13%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 37%
Metascore - 24/100
Metacritic User Score – 3.3/10
IMDB Score – 6.3/10

Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating4/5
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating4/5

Movie Trailer:

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