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100 Feet (2008) - Film Review

After my recent review of PANIC ROOM, it is pure coincidence that finds me reviewing 100 FEET, another single location film with a small cast. I had no expectations of Eric Red’s 2008 horror so was unlikely to be disappointed. It went straight to DVD in the U.K and was almost missed by my radar altogether. In the end I was suitably impressed; I found it to be a moody, creepy creation kept alive by proficient directing and a believable main character performance.

Marnie Watson (Femke Janssen) has served 752 days of her sentence for the manslaughter of her NYPD husband and is released early to serve the remainder of her sentence (a year) at home.
Under house arrest with an electronic ankle bracelet, this allows her to move only 100 feet from the detector box on the landing of her gothic New York Brownstone. Marnie cannot venture beyond the entrance of her home. This sets the claustrophobic scene for the remainder of the film. Shanks (Bobby Cannavale) is the partner of Marnie’s dead husband and we know from the start that he hasn’t forgiven Marnie for the death of his friend. We quickly learn that Marnie’s husband Mike was an abusive tyrant who was killed in an act of self defence.

Not obeying the ‘til death do us part’ bit of his vows, Mike (Michael Paré) is more than a little pissed at being killed and is about to exact brutal revenge on his wife. The fact that she cannot run for help gives this film the twist of originality that is always needed. The film has its share of decent scares and one scene in particular is so ferocious, it’s gotta be wrong (worryingly this was my favourite scene)! This led me to expect a really amazing climax, and for me this is where the film fell short. Never again was it to reach the brutality and sheer nastiness of this earlier scene and in the end it all fell a little flat.

Famke Janssen does an adequate job of carrying the film along almost single-handed and the supporting cast of Cannavale as Shanks and Ed Westwick as delivery boy Joey are also very competent. Michael Paré plays the sinister ghost admirably but I do feel that the film was lacking somewhere. I was impressed with the screenplay and was expecting nothing less from the writer of the 1980’s film The Hitcher. The cinematography was first-rate with shadowy candle-lit shots of the creepy, gothic house setting the mood perfectly. I can see why 100 Feet missed the big screen but I can’t help thinking it would have looked so much better in cinemas than it does at home. Saying that, I would have maybe been disappointed had I gone to the trouble of travelling to see it. As it is, I found it to be entertaining, would recommend seeing it but feel that I must warn you, this film will not linger. Enjoy it while it lasts ‘cos in a week you’ll probably have forgotten all about it.

100 FEET (2008). Writer/Director: Eric Red. Cast: Famke Janssen, Bobby Cannavale, Ed Westwick, Michael Paré

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1 comment:

  1. It was great at the LA screening last year! Better than some of the big budget work out there. Kept me on the edge of my seat. I am ready for more of Eric's work.