So I watched The Loft…
I’ve been wrong about a lot of movies this year and this one has to be one of my biggest mistakes. I walked into this movie pitchfork sharpened, torch lit, all ready to hate it; but it really surprised me with how good it was.. This was a really entertaining movie and one I’m glad I didn’t shy away from seeing.
Okay, basic plot: A group of five best friends decide to buy a loft; but not to live in, but rather as a place to carry out certain extramarital affairs. The arrangement is working perfectly – with none of the men’s wives the wiser – but things fall apart when the dead body of an unknown women is discovered in the loft. As only the five men have the key and access code to the apartment, one of them must be her killer.
This film is thrilling! It’s a re-imagining of a traditional murder mystery where the killer is somebody in the room and you (along with the characters) have to figure out who it is. That’s the best thing this movie has going for it – its mystery. The mystery unfolds for the audience the same way it does for the characters and this makes this film extremely engaging. You’re constantly on alert, constantly trying to pick up clues and decide who the killer is. Throughout this film’s runtime, I suspected every single character and this film’s script is written in such a way that you never know who’s responsible until the big reveal. There are plenty of twists and turns in this film and you never see them coming. The film’s story is told through a series of flashbacks and with each flashback you’re provided with more and more insight into the characters. This insight leads to your suspicions being in a mode of constant movement so the film never gets drab or dull.
When I looked at the actors starring in this film, I cruelly nicknamed them ‘The Troop of Leading Men Who Never Were‘. Individually they’ve all had enough hype and praise around them to suggest that they could have been Hollywood’s next IT thing but they never quite lived up to potential – names like: James Marsden, Wentworth Miller, Karl Urban, That being said, this film is very well-acted and the leads really show that leading man potential that everyone was going crazy about at one point or other. Eric Stonestreet is also in this film and plays one of the five adulterous friends. I like Stonestreet, in particular his TV career as Cam on Modern Family where he plays a rather overtly homosexual man. Now when I heard that Stonestreet was not homosexual I really praised his performance because of the femininity he brings to the role. But after watching him in interviews and various other films, I think he’s just an effeminate man and this makes his acting less impressive. Now this isn’t a problem in his performances on Modern Family because his character is a stereotypical, extravagant homesexual man; but in this movie his character was supposed to be this stereotypical rough-and-tumble kinda guy and traces of that feminine energy found their way into his portrayal and they just didn’t fit.
While this film’s script is very well done in terms of its ability to build and maintain suspense, its dialogue is very average. I also think this film needed to end five minutes before it did. There’s a multitude of twists and turns in this movie, most notably in the last ten minutes where there is a major twist that spins the plot on its head. Now if the movie had ended on that twist, it would have been perfectly fine but the film tries to outdo itself with yet another twist. It just felt unnecessary and felt like the filmmakers were trying to put a hat on a hat. The director’s choice of camera angles, at times, was also a bit annoying and didn’t add to the storytelling the way I think he wanted them to.
Overall, The Loft is one of the most surprising films of the year. It’s wonderfully engaging and will entertain you from start to finish. There are moments when it’s lacking a gloss finish and the mediocrity of its script let it down. I’d recommend watching it but if it doesn’t need to be seen in a cinema or with any haste. 7/10