Straight men don’t fare too well in that house!
Director: Travis Stevens
Cast: Phil Brooks, Trieste Kelly Dunn and Sarah Brooks
I was a big fan of wrestling growing up. My brother first introduced me to it when I was aged eight and he invited me to watch Summerslam 1992 with him. I was hooked instantly. Now that I am in my mid-30s, I’ve lost quite a bit of interest in it, but before I did stop caring that much, one of my favourite wrestlers was Phil Brooks, aka CM Punk.
His personality resonated with me greatly, and when he left in 2014, I still kept up to date with what he was up to. Now, almost six years later, he has finally released his first non-wrestling related movie. I’m not sure what to make of it though as it doesn’t look like something I will particularly enjoy, but I could easily be wrong and end up loving it.
Hopefully, it is the latter as it would be nice to see one of his post-wrestling aims to be achieved after his MMA career fell flat.
Don (Brooks) buys an old house for him and his wife Liz (Dunn) as they await the birth of their first child. He is keen for a fresh start after being an unfaithful husband and defrauded customers. As soon as he moved in, he notices a black sludge coming from the walls and immediately goes to fix it.
As time goes on and he looks forward to the day where he and Liz can be reunited, strange things start occurring, such as a woman called Sarah (Brooks) somehow having constant access to the house, even when the locks are changed, and marbles appearing out of everywhere. The roof even collapses one day to reveal bleachers, meaning people could just watch others having sex.
Sarah’s transgressions start getting more intense, as do the unusual things happening in the house.
So is it a good first non-wrestling related film for Brooks?
There are more aspects to this film that I actually liked. At first, the story is very coherent and makes a lot of sense, and the practical effects are fantastic. It’s great to see a horror direct rely on practicality rather than computers.
For a first true effort into acting, I think Brooks actually did a commendable job and actually feels like an “everyman”, someone who could genuinely live down the street from you. Granted, his facial expressions could be less pronounced, but overall, I think Brooks did a fine first film.
That being said, this movie dragged badly throughout. Whilst I’m used to horror movies starting slowly, this one never really seemed to get going. I was constantly waiting for the story to at least move into the phase of being interesting, but it never did.
Sarah didn’t really seem to have any true motivations and just seemed to be evil for the sake of being evil, and that rarely works. It is the main issue that I have with the movie, there just isn’t really a reason for me to truly care about anything that is happening and this makes it a very forgettable movie.
The title is also somewhat strange as the “girl” in question actually seems to come from in the basement, not the third floor and I am assuming that by “third floor” they mean the attic, which she again rarely appears in.
A largely forgettable horror movie that offers precisely nothing new to the genre, although the use of practical effects and the performance from Phil Brooks in the lead role were positives.
Nothing ever really seems to be happening for a reason and the main antagonist’s motivations are barely even discussed, making it hard to really card about what is going on.
There are better alternatives out there.