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3 out of 5 stars
Dark Floors
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on January 5, 2010
Format: DVD
Dark Floors is a rare horror film that may entice some viewers but may have them leaving the viewing experience with mixed feelings. This films starts off on the right foot, setting up a dark tone from the start and placing the audience in the midst of what initially appears to be a great horror film. The opening scenes are promising; a little girl with a disability is being tested at a hospital for possible treatments. Always armed with a paper and crayon, the little girl seems to be drawing events before they occur. This leaves the audience to believe that either she is psychic or she can see the dead. A plot twist that could add to the overall "horror" of the film.

However, the story becomes more complicated when it's revealed to the audience that somehow time has frozen. This causes a ripple effect on the characters within the film by leaving their past, future, and present selves to all be capable of interacting with one another. The actors experience encounters with themselves in many instances, including shooting themselves and talking to themselves over the hospital's intercom. All of these events are gradually explained, all while the cast is busy fighting off various monsters that all seem to be after the young girl, for an undisclosed reason that is never fully revealed to the viewer, making the overall plot very difficult to follow and/or comprehend. The film, at one point, even has a "Silent Hill" type moment where the cast is somehow placed in a different dimension where they cannot interact with the people they see until returning to the alternate world in which they are trapped. This never truly adds to the film, in fact it only contributes to a higher level of confusion overall for the audience in an already difficult to understand plot.

The film has a nice line up of scares in store for the viewers which range from "jump" moments placed at appropriate times, or just overall well done scary moments that include dark hallways, elevators, and an overall dark ambiance that is portrayed. The lighting and acting is quite good and contributes quite nicely to the feel of the film. However, no amount of environmental set ups can save Dark Floors from being a hard to understand horror movie. The film's ending makes you wonder why everything has been occurring the entire time and it makes the viewer believe that the events that just occurred in the film are going to repeat all over again. This made me ask myself, "How many times has this already occurred", a question that is never answered either. The final encounter between the disabled girl and the lead monster (lead singer of Lordi) makes even less sense. One would assume that with that encounter occurring that the story could end there, however, the entire situation seems to comes back into play again. I am a Metal fan, however, I do not like the band "Lordi" since their musical style does not fit into my spectrum of taste, but the band did a great job in this movie despite the overall terrible and almost non-existing plot. I purchased this movie simply because I'm a fan of horror films, however, I could not fully recommend this film to anyone due to the horrendous storyline. If you're looking for some good scares, a great ambiance and environment, but do not mind trying to figure out a story, then this film may be a good choice. Had the story been more clear and precise in explaining itself then I could say that this was a good film, but in the form it was written I can simply state that it's mediocre at best.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
I've been a fan of Lordi for six years now, meaning that I was listening to their music long before they won Eurovision and gained international fame. Thus far, I have loved everything the band has done, including their 2004 short film, "The Kin". Needless to say, I was excited when the band first announced their plans to make a full-length horror movie. It made sense: of all the bands in the world, which would be better suited to make a movie about monsters than the Finnish ambassadors of shock rock? The film originally premiered in February 2008, but I endured an extra ten months for the DVD release. This proved a wise decision, as it turned out, for had I been in a theater, the monsters themselves would likely have come down to tell me to stifle my groans of disappointment.

The story: Sarah (Skye Bennett, Against the Dark) is a little girl suffering from an unknown mental illness. When her father (Noah Huntley, 28 Days Later) attempts to remove her from the hospital, they and a group of strangers comprised of a benevolent nurse (Dominique McElligot, "On Home Ground"), a brave security guard (Leon Herbert, "The Paradise Club"), a paranoid commuter (William Hope, Aliens), and a disturbed homeless man (Ronald Pickup, "Waters of the Moon") find themselves trapped in the building as it undergoes a dark transformation and becomes filled with bloodthirsty monsters.

I tried approaching this movie in different ways, trying to make it work for me. First, as a showcase for the band and their onstage personas; this didn't work, since the monsters have disappointingly little screentime. Secondly, as an '80s-style splatter film, since Lordi draw much of their inspiration from this medium; didn't work either, since there's very little blood and gore and, again, few monster moments. Finally, I tried to watch it as a movie that intentionally confused the audience, and this may work best since the film offers absolutely absolutely no enlightenment after leaving the audience in the dark for so long with the unexplained the twists, turns, and other weirdo plot elements. I'm left to believe that the filmmakers themselves lost track of what kind of story they were trying to tell, since the film is so convoluted and stingy in giving hints that would explain what's happening. It's been pointed out before, and I'll reinforce the complaint: there is no explanation as to why the hospital transformed, what the monsters are doing there, or what Sarah's condition is. Some aspects from "The Kin" are present - the manipulating of time and space and the horror of life after death - but they only make the film's plot a bigger mystery never to be solved. It's really frustrating, even for a fan.

If you're counting on the fear of the unknown to tide you over, I'm afraid that the film isn't very scary, either. Reliance on cheap jolt scares are a death knell, seeing as there's nothing very frightening about slow-motion shots of windows and walls exploding. The monsters themselves also look very much out of place: with the exception of Awa and Lordi, their costumes don't even fit into the film's art design, and will have viewers who are unfamiliar with the band wondering if Kita's armor, OX's nose ring, or Amen's being a mummy have anything to do with the solution to the plot. The acting also needs help: even though they're playing cardboard characters you've seen in a thousand other horror movies, Hope, Herbert, and Pickup especially need to spend a few lessons with their acting coaches, and Skye Bennett will start annoying viewers before she arouses sympathy.

I'm not sure if I can accurately express how disappointed I am in this movie. True, maybe I was foolish to expect anything great from a film made about a rock band (Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park should have taught me better), but for all that seems to have gone into its production, you'd think that they could have done just a bit better. Director Pete Riski should've known that he was not shooting a music video and Mr. Lordi should've known that fans were expecting more from him and his group than cameos and a poorly-composed plot. I'm afraid that the only folks who'll be interested in this film are fans of the band, but then again, like me, they too will be struggling to stay awake.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on April 26, 2010
Format: DVD
A father and his invalid daughter are trapped in a deserted hospital along with several other strangers as the dark hallways come to life with gruesome demons. DARK FLOORS is a stagnant haunted hospital tale that never gets off the ground. It feels like a scrapbook of more successful Horror features butchered in to a single incoherent film where the characters just wander about the halls aimlessly for over an hour. When the occasional demon does appear, the characters are rarely frightened or even stunned. The decayed hospital setting is sufficiently creepy, but the only workable elements of the entire film lie in the creature FX and costuming of the demons themselves. Considering the costumes belonged to the Shock Rocker band Lordi, and that the film was initially conceived as a poor excuse to mass market the band on the international market, it cant even take credit for these creations. DARK FLOORS proves to be a bland, uninspired, and unoriginal Horror film that relies far too heavily on the strength of its villains while forgetting about minor elements like character or plot.

-Carl Manes
I Like Horror Movies
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on July 18, 2009
Format: DVD
This is a confusing review for me to do, as I can not say the movie made any sense, but yet, somehow it's watchable and entertaining.

A somewhat autistic girl comes out of a cat scan and for no apparent reason her, her father and a few others end up in the twilight zone as they become stuck in time/in a parallel universe/in a time loop... it's hard to decipher what the heck is going on. While they confront a ghost, demons ripped off of Predator and the Mummy and zombies while trying to find a way out of this dark hospital.

Like I said, this movie made no sense to me, why it's happening, what the point of the ending is or if anything at all made any sense, and usually i'd rate a movie like that very low, but somehow, it was entertaining.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on March 29, 2011
Format: DVD
I hadn't planned on writing a review for this movie, but I felt compelled to do so after I saw the utterly unfair reviews others had written for it. Let's start by clearing up the assertions that this movie *never explains itself *leaves the audience confused. This movie DOES in fact explain itself and it DOES give all the necessary clues to figure out what is going on within the first few minutes in fact, so the only way it leaves the audience confused is if the audience member didn't put the clues together. Hubby and I were glued to the screen and watching every detail trying to figure out what was going on during the movie... that my friends was part of the fun. After it was over we still hadn't figured it out, but after maybe 5 minutes (tops) I realized that a line that had caught my attention at the beginning was one of the major keys to the movie and we unraveled the secrets of the movie in a just a couple minutes from there. As someone who usually anticipates every plot twist in most movies, it was refreshing to watch a movie that I didn't catch onto immediately and had to think about.

To give you a hint, without spoiling it for those that haven't watched it yet, pay attention to what the father says to the nurse (as he is trying to leave with his daughter in the beginning) about what happened in the MRI/CAT scan thing. Then pay attention to what the security guard says about the air conditioning as they start to look around, and look at the walls as they change. That will give you the first part of the equation. To put the 2nd major piece together pay attention to what the *potential spoiler alert* girl says to the monster about light and dark in the garage. A little imagination and you're there. *end spoiler alert*

The acting was decent, the atmosphere creepy and the plot twists engaging. Don't expect a slasher film (very little in the way of blood and guts,) it's much more a psychological thriller with paranormal occurrences. I'd watch it again :)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVD
While going through the lineup of the batch of Ghost House Underground flicks, I came across Dark Floors without knowing that heavy metal band Lordi was starring in it. I'm far from being a big fan of the band, and often have trouble keeping my laughter to myself when I see them in their monster outfits, of which they appear here as demons stalking a handful of people in a hospital after time has mysteriously stopped. Could the key to surviving lie with a young autistic girl (Skye Bennett)? Or are these beasts just simply out for blood? It's hard to keep track of what all is really going on in Dark Floors, as the film is unapologetic at completely explaining itself. Still, Dark Floors does boast some impressive production values for a flick of this type, and the set design of the hospital is dreary and creepy. All in all, Dark Floors is worth a look for horror fans, and especially so if you're a fan of Lordi.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 1, 2010
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
I enjoyed this movie enough to buy it, and have watched it several times. It is creepy and, thankfully, internally consistent. The things that happen in the movie fit in the framework created, which is more than you can say for a lot of other horror!

The characters are mostly one-note: the nurse is concerned, dad is a brave defender of his daughter, the businessman is self-interested and obnoxious. The actors hit those notes well.

The monsters are well-done, and there are several genuinely scary moments in the movie. You know when you hit the climax, and that's when things shift. I like the ending, where resolution is implied rather than stated. You'll know what I mean after you see the movie.

It's not ground-breaking, but it is good, solid, scary fun.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVD
DARK FLOORS takes a group of normal people in a hospital, and plunges them into a supernatural nightmare of horror and death. With plenty of cool monsters / demons, along w/ a screaming banshee of doom, DF is a nasty little trip through the spook-house! The characters are believable, even in unbelievable circumstances. The autistic girl is especially good, w/ an air of mystery and just a bit of creepiness. Hats off to LORDI for making this one of the better GHOSTHOUSE UNDERGROUND releases...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 26, 2011
Format: DVD
After briefly being trapped in a hospital elevator during a power outage a man and his autistic daughter, along with a nurse, a security guard, an old man, and a business man, find themselves in a hospital that somehow became abandoned in the intervening minutes. It soon becomes apparent that something has happened to them and that the hospital is filling up with malicious creatures intent on getting what they want no matter who they have to go through to get it.

Stylistically, the movie is a slam dunk. Initially trapped several floors up, the hospital and its contents undergo a very effective rotting, aging effect as the characters make their way toward the ground floor and what they presume to be an exit. Walls, doors and equipment show fatigue and the entire hospital seems to close in around them creating a surprisingly effective atmosphere. Equally effective is the slowly unraveling realization that this is not the first time they've been here and that it all revolves around the autistic daughter in some way.

If they'd have stuck with those plot devices and the equally effective eerie sound effects this would have been a surprisingly good psychological horror film. It's not particularly graphic so all the of the chills can be portrayed by playing on actual fears, and all but one of the characters are actually likable enough that you want them to make it (and the one that's not likable isn't supposed to be).

Unfortunately, Lordi shows up.

Lordi is a Finnish metal band that dresses up in weird "monster" outfits before going on stage to perform (similar to acts like Gwar). While this sort of cheesy, goofball stunt may entertain metal heads in the frozen expanse of Finland, their paper mache and rubber-faced presence absolutely ruins this movie by completely and instantly removing all believability. Watching a large man dressed like a pig in armor chase a normal looking fellow through an otherwise spooky hospital is just too hilariously stupid to be scary.

The one saving grace is that the Lordi-monsters aren't particularly threatening so they don't really get much screen time. One is easily dispatched when the autistic girl looks at it funny, another is thrown off an elevator shaft, one falls out a window, and yet another is simply killed outright by a crippled old man. The only one that isn't a complete wuss actually works in-costume without ruining all of the mood, but his character still works better as a formless blob of creeping rot and would have been better off not being shown.

Overall, it really is unfortunate that this movie chose to include a bunch of large men in goofy costumes chasing the main characters around what was an otherwise creepy and menacing hospital. If they'd simply left the presence chasing after the characters as nameless and faceless it would have been an unusually smart, interesting horror movie. It still wouldn't be a great movie, but it would have been better than most of the pointless, boring gorefests that studios try to pass off as "scary" anymore. Sadly, that's not what they did, and with the presence of Lordi the movie is simply ripped from the category of creepy and deposited firmly into the category of campy, and for that I can only say that you might as well just avoid it so you also avoid the disappointment that comes from watching it.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 19, 2009
Format: DVD
Well, In my view, Ghost House picked a decent cheap flic in this one. Its A spooky Horror film, with nice Ambience, and a set of decent gags that don't go over the top.It's cheap entertainment with no messages, and the fun is in the experience. Given that LORDI is the "reason" for the film, it seems that each characters abilities are used in the story ( if only KISS could have chosen an appropriate vehicle when they went for a film, and also, the set of wings on the Lead Singer puts Gene Simmons set to shame) , so whilst I have never heard a bit of Lordi prior to this film
( nor am I going to go out and buy some of their albums) it looks like they chose well for a Feature vehicle, and the Singer, as stated in the film commentary, seems to understand mythic conventions in films, and Horror, so the ending is not as wrong as some state( I do find it funny that he has the same manic Laughter as Ace Frehley ).
Anyways, whilst my opinion is that this film is well cast, well scripted and well executed, it will fall into the love it or hate it category.

DVD: The Give-away that Ghost House must think this was better than some of the other "Underground" releases that are so blatently trash, is that there are plenty of extras on this disc. They are quite enjoyable, and you get to see some detail that works very well visually.
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