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Monday, April 25

Movie Review: Dark Floors (2008)

So this past weekend my 13 year old son hipped me to a movie I had not heard of called Dark Floors. Made in 2008, Dark Floors’ main claim to fame is that it features the horror band Lordi. Once I heard that I knew I had to see it – and since it was available on Netflix instant view, we watched it that same afternoon!

Before we get to the film a little background on Lordi - Lordi is a Finnish metal band best known for dressing in monster costumes with full latex and foam applications and armor. The band formed in 1996 and are reminiscent of GWAR except they take themselves much more seriously and their music is more metal/ less punk (I personally prefer GWAR, for the record…). The movie is based on an idea by lead singer Mr. Lordi, and they play monsters in the movie in their usual full monster getup. It was filmed in Finland and is on record as one of the most expensive films ever made there.

The band also recorded a new song especially for the film which is called “Beasts Loose in Paradise.” It plays during the end credits.

 The movie itself concerns a young Autistic girl named Sarah who is in a hospital receiving extensive treatment for her condition.  The film opens with Sarah in a medical scanner of some sort that goes haywire and catches fire. Her father (Ben) quickly extracts her and promptly decides to, understandably, remove her from this hospital with cut rate equipment. A nurse named Emily follows him to the elevator to try and persuade him to stay. She informs him that Sarah is taking an experimental drug, (unbeknownst and unapproved by Sarah’s father), and needs to stay to finish her treatment. This further strengthens Ben’s resolve to remove his daughter from this looney bin. As they talk he pushes the wheelchair-bound daughter onto an elevator to leave.

This is where things get strange. The power goes out momentarily and when it returns everything is different. The elevator doors open one floor down and the group of people onboard (Ben, Sarah, Emily, a shifty business man named Jon, a homeless man named Tobias, and a security guard named Rick) find the hospital abandoned with mangled corpses scattered about. They quickly discover that something evil lurks in the hospital… something that has killed everyone in this hospital except their group.

They begin to wind their way slowly through a haunted hospital of horrors and discover that the secret of their predicament is somehow linked to Sarah and her condition. And in addition, she is somehow connected to the strange homeless man, Tobias, who in turn seems to have some understanding of what is occurring (wish he’d have clued me in…). Demons (Lordi) haunt the halls of this hospital and bring the dead back to life to do their bidding. How are the events linked to Sarah? How is Sarah linked to Tobias? Why are these events unfolding, and just what the hell is going on? Well, honestly, after watching this film I really couldn’t tell you. It is one big confusing mess that makes little sense.

On a positive note the visuals are really good and Lordi actually make some pretty scary monsters. The sets are creepy and the music eerie and atmospheric. The fault is that damn story. Confusing and unresolved, I just really don’t know what I watched. It is more like a trip through a Halloween haunted house than a movie with a complete plot. Nice costumes, good effects, effective atmosphere… worth watching for those things alone, but ultimately disappointing.

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