EmptyAustin Film Festival
AUSTIN, Texas -- The “house arrest” thriller was done to vastly better effect in “Disturbia,” but an underutilized gimmick isn’t the only way in which the goofy ghost story “100 Feet” comes up short. It’s a small niche fright flick at best, although producers can count on “X-Men” star Famke Janssen and the words “from the writer of ‘The Hitcher’ and ‘Near Dark’” to move some product on video-store shelves.
Janssen plays a woman entering house arrest after serving time for killing her abusive husband, a policeman, in self-defense. Writer/director Eric Red gets off to an unnecessarily dumb start by asking us to believe the cop’s partner (Bobby Cannavale, laying the resentment on thick) would be put in charge of her case. Once she’s ankle- braceleted to the house (where the electricity hasn’t been turned back on, natch), hubby starts haunting her with every hokey trick in the ghostly book: flying dinner plates, runaway furniture and an ugly blood stain that just won’t go away.
Janssen’s fear in the face of all this is a bit more convincing than her New York accent, but certainly not enough so to make many of the film’s scares work for viewers. As a result, her anxious attempts to exorcise the unwelcome housemate don’t move us much. Viewers who make it to the third act though may find its over-the-top visual effects and faux-emotional resolution unintentionally funny enough to make it worthwhile.
100 Feet Productions, Grand Illusions