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Across the Hall (2009)

Mike Vogel , Danny Pino , Alex Merkin  |  R |  DVD
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Mike Vogel, Danny Pino, Brittany Murphy, Brad Greenquist, Arie Verveen
  • Directors: Alex Merkin
  • Writers: Alex Merkin, Jesse Mittelstadt, Julien Schwab
  • Producers: Alan Pao, Ari Palitz, Bret Saxon, Christian Swegal
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Image Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: January 19, 2010
  • Run Time: 93 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002TZS5MY
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #177,108 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Across the Hall" on IMDb

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

In this tense, stylish noir thriller, Terry (Danny Pino, TV's Cold Case) follows his fiancee, June (Brittany Murphy, The Ramen Girl, 8 Mile), to a seedy hotel where she's meeting another man. Drunk and distraught, Terry calls best friend Julian (Mike Vogel, Cloverfield) and reveals that he's holed up across the hall from the lovers with a stolen gun and murder on his mind. A chilling cat-and-mouse game ensues, forcing Julian to risk his own life to keep his friend from doing the unthinkable.

Stills from Across the Hall (Click for larger image)

At first glance, Across the Hall has the look of one of those "stylish thrillers" with little substance below its glossy veneer. But there's more to this story, which director Alex Merkin and screenwriter Jesse Mittelstadt expanded from its original incarnation as a 2005 short film. Danny Pino costars as Terry, an insecure, short-fused guy who's convinced that his girlfriend, June (Brittany Murphy), is cheating on him--so convinced, in fact, that he has followed her to a funky hotel (one of those spooky places with few other guests and an oddball porter oozing portentous nuttiness) and booked the room across the hall from hers, where he stares through the peephole, armed with a gun and very bad intent. Jesse calls his best bud Julian (Mike Vogel) and confesses what he's up to, which sets in motion a series of plot twists, some fairly predictable (viewers good at such things will certainly see them coming) and some not at all. The action jumps around in terms of both time frame and point of view, but Merkin, who was also the editor, makes it all work. And while the film has its share of timeworn tricks and devices (including cell phones ringing in all the wrong places and the old "did he take the elevator or the stairs?" bit), not to mention a couple of overly convenient plot developments, Merkin handily maintains a kind of noirish tension throughout its tidy, 90-minute running time. Stylish indeed--but good, too. --Sam Graham

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Suspenseful Neo-Noir Film February 11, 2010
By Compay
Considering this film was released in only a handful of theaters, I was surprised at how entertaining it was. I was impressed most with the work of Alex Merkin, who makes his film debut with Across the Hall.

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.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Format:Amazon Instant Video
First, I have to point out that this is the last movie starring Brittany Murphy that was released in her lifetime. She was excellent in this excellent movie, and I hope she knew it. Another reviewer here on Amazon has stated that she is in only '15 minutes' of the movie. That's completely untrue. She is one of the three main actors in this film -- she played a major role, and did it very well. Her appearance is not just some kind of cameo.

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.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Across the Hall April 2, 2010
The tense stand-off between a young man, his unfaithful fiancée, and his best friend. Terry's fiancée, June, is having an affair. After following June to a run-down hotel on the far side of town, Terry quietly rents a room across the hall. With a bottle of whiskey and a loaded gun, he calls his best friend, Julian, and spills his guts. Realizing that it's only a matter of time before Terry goes off, Julian begs his friend to remain calm long enough for him to get to the hotel and diffuse the situation. Mike Vogel and Danny Pino were great in this movie and it is a great thriller with enough twists and turns to keep the viewer intrigued to the end. Brittany Murphy's she is just a bit player that lasted maybe 15 minutes of the movie, but does do a good job. All in all, I liked this movie keeps you guessing. Check it out.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Film Noir June 22, 2010
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
This film is an overlooked gem which did not make it big in the theatre. Brittany Murphy has the lead female role. Danny Pino is her boyfriend (or husband) Terry. Mike Vogel is Terry's best friend Julian, and Brad Greenquist has a scene-stealing role as the hotel bellboy.

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?
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Across The Halll
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 more
Published 8 months ago by dale l naylor
5.0 out of 5 stars very suspenseful
arrived promptly and was a good suspenseful movie really enjoyed this we really like brittany murphy as an actress great buy
Published 9 months ago by D. Ternet
1.0 out of 5 stars Across the Mall
Across the Hall (2009) is about a dull man seeking revenge on a cheating Brittany Murphy in a deficient attempt at film noir. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Bartok Kinski
3.0 out of 5 stars a bit cheesy
The plot had potential. The way the events went down was sort of dramatic which is what i feel the director was going for. I just think the delivery of said drama was weak.
Published 13 months ago by Brandi M. Fisher
5.0 out of 5 stars loved it
nice twist in the middle...really good movie, great acting. Recommend for a nice movie night. What more can I say?
Published 14 months ago by D. Boysen
5.0 out of 5 stars The Hotel Hasn't Been Renovated, It's Original.
Intriguing, yes. Across the Hall is being called a Film Noir these days, which is fair. It does have some familiar qualities, specifically the singular setting of an old hotel... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Jeremy Shingles
5.0 out of 5 stars SO GOOD!
First of all, I am a huge fan of non-linear storytelling which is very heavily used in this film. The performances of all the actors are so good that it's really all you need. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Alex Recore
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb writing, acting and directing
Some movies have excellent writing, some have excellent acting, some have excellent directing, but only the best movies have all three. This movie has all three. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Michael K. Eidson
5.0 out of 5 stars Across The Hall
Ok this move was a great movie, I am so glad I have it in my Collection! As I could not imagine it without it! I LOVE BRITTANY MURPHY!
Published 15 months ago by Anthony
4.0 out of 5 stars Decent flick!
Not a bad suspense movie. Go ahead and watch this movie about cheatin hearts, you wont be disappointed. Great character portrayal within the roles.
Published 17 months ago by Gerry C.
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