The Girl on the Third Floor follows a man who moves into a massive, dilapidated home with the intention of doing home repairs before his wife arrives. After giving into his carnal urges with a neighbor, things start to get weird and eventually horrifying within the house.
The Girl on the Third Floor Review
This was one I missed this past year when it played at Telluride Horror Show. Efrit was able to catch it and said it was a film with some fun visuals that struggled a little in the writing and acting departments. That brief assessment sums up the movie well for me too.
Between E.T.-like musings with spheres rolling out of holes in the wall and a morally-absent protagonist, there is a decent haunted house film with a fun malevolent spirit that takes very different forms throughout the film. The most grotesque of which is a thing to behold, however brief it takes the screen.
The moral compass is strongly centered on deceit and infidelity, almost like a supernatural turn on Knock Knock. And while Knock Knock is sluggish in its predictability and pacing, it also is less clunky and choppy than that of Third Floor. The acting doesn't help from ex-pro wrestler C.M. Punk, though he does admirably warm up as the film goes on.
When your protagonist is as devoid of character so early on as the one in this film is (that made sense...), it is very difficult to retain interest in their well being. You don't really want an evil spirit to win, but you also don't really care what happens to Punk. You're then stuck in this weird limbo of complacency until Punk's wife arrives on the scene and mixes things up with a character you actually care about.
The end result is a mixed bag of good and bad. The good outweighs the bad in the end because it's simply fun enough to let the acting and unevenness slide. The effects work on the house is truly commendable, treating the haunting like a body horror film oozing out of the house itself. It was a really great idea that was executed well, though story-wise it didn't seem to amount to anything significant beyond a basic symptom of the haunting.
With theaters delaying showtimes across the globe, it looks like we'll be tackling streaming movies for a few weeks. Stay safe, but also, keep your fear on the screen and not in your life, when possible.
Horror Rating System
Horror Qualifier: 8/10
Horror Quality: 6/10
Film Quality: 5/10