Across the Hall
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Visually, this film is a real treat. The movie takes place in an aging hotel, which becomes a character in itself. The lighting, shadows, use of color and weather all contribute towards making this a fun film noir to soak in. Another treat is the film's score, which combines big band (Starlight Serenade by the Alan Moorhouse Orchestra) and contemporary music. Much of the movie's score is original music by composer Aaron Kaplan, and psychedelic folk rock group Calico Haunts.
While I was unfamiliar with lead actor Mike Vogel, I was already a fan of Danny Pino's work portraying druglord Armadillo Quintero on The Shield. Pino does a convincing job in Across the Hall playing Terry, the vengeful lover. Brad Greenquist, whose career has primarily been in television, adds to the peculiar vibe of the film as the hotel's quirky porter.
This was a tense thriller that pulled me in from the very first scene, and the excellent opening title sequence. It's not a breakthrough film, but if you're a fan of neo-noir in the vein of 21 Grams or Seven, you will probably enjoy it.
That said ... There's a story about this story, and it's worth knowing before you watch this movie. Alex Merkin, the director, had an idea ... a sort of noir / 'locked room' hybrid, and it is one hell of a great plot. If James M. Cain, Jim Thompson, or especially Cornell Woolrich had written this story back in the day, Fox or RKO would have snapped it up (and Otto Preminger would have directed) -- "Across the Hall" would have made Noir and Hollywood history. The story really is that good. (The role cell phones play in the movie ... really the only modern element ... could easily have been replaced with another plot device -- car keys, notes, whatever -- and probably should have been, to keep this great plot truly timeless.)
I think Alex Merkin knew what he had with this story back in 2006, when he and screenwriter Julien Schwab developed the story into a 16-minute short, also called "Across the Hall." Virtually every line and scene in this 16-minute masterpiece also appears in the 'long' version, released in 2009. And the 'long' version, which is the subject of this review -- and also is written by Schwab and directed by Merkin -- doesn't just expand on its 16-minute predecessor, it improves on it in every way.
This isn't 'neo-noir,' as with a modern film that borrows elements from that genre.Read more ›
The central plot of the movie involves "June"-that would be Brittany--checking into a seedy, run-down hotel (somewhere in the Hollywood area it seems), and her paranoid husband Terry, who is continuously convinced she must be cheating on him. He has FOLLOWED her to this hotel and he checks into the room ACROSS THE HALL, from which he can observe anyone who goes into or out of the room. Oh yeah--and he's got a gun, and he's been drinking pretty hard....
Well, cellphones make quite a showing in the film. Terry calls his friend Julian to give him the bad news that his wife really IS cheating on him because after all there she is, in that seedy hotel waiting for someone. Julian is alarmed that Terry is going to do something rash--especially when he finds out about the gun...Terry don't do anything rash man--wait--I'm coming over--just wait for me....
The tension, which is maintained almost from beginning to end of this film, is broken ONLY by the BELLBOY--This guy has to be seen to be believed. I think he should have gotten an Oscar for best minor-supporting role. He's the only one in the whole hotel who takes his job seriously. You'd think he was the manager of Trump Towers. Unfortunately at this place, you can now pay "by the hour" as one option. Still he dresses in one of those formal old bellboy outfits from...the 30's? 20's?Read more ›
Brittany was great, and I'd say Across the Hall was a good movie for her to end with, sadly. Overall it was good, it just takes some time to get into the atmosphere of pearl-snaps and foreign cell phone/beepers. RIP Murphy.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It was okay. I really wanted to see more of Brittany Murphy's work but this film wasn't really about her work. Read morePublished 6 days ago by Freedom
Fast shipping. A great movievto v watch on a rainy day. Brittany Murphey is so talented. Too bad it took so long to noticePublished 7 months ago by Catnip454
Great Product! Worked properly. Quality as expected and advertised.Published 12 months ago by DCPeters
Loved the way they jumped around to tell the story, very intriguing. Great twist at the end. Well acted.Published 13 months ago by honeycleo
This film definitely had my heart racing! The story is great, and the thrills and heart-stopping moments are all there! GOOD movie!Published 14 months ago by Amanda & Seth
I'm a huge Brittany Murphy fan and the dvd was just amazing. No complaints here.Published 19 months ago by Chattie
A Strange movie about a man out to kill a friend for making love to his wife so june ( Brittnay Murphy ) if in the middle of this love affair . Read morePublished on February 2, 2014 by dale l naylor
arrived promptly and was a good suspenseful movie really enjoyed this we really like brittany murphy as an actress great buyPublished on January 4, 2014 by D. Ternet