Creaky floors. Flickering lights. Objects that move on their own.
Haunted house movies are a staple of the Halloween season, but it’s hard not to be bored by the sub-genre’s tropes by now.
That’s why “Girl on the Third Floor” proved such a respite from the status quo.
The 2019 film follows a man who seemingly beat back the demons in his past and is ready for a new chapter in his life. His home renovation plans bring them back to the surface.
And they have company.
Wrestler/MMA star CM Punk plays Don, a man anticipating the birth of his first child. He’s purchased an old home and is eager to renovate it for his budding family. That’s when strange events begin bubbling up around him.
The house itself appears to ooze under his touch, for starters. That’s never good.
Next, a comely neighbor throws herself at him, threatening the resurrect his worst instincts. The genre fun is just beginning, but for Don it means his grasp on reality may be a thing of the past.
Horror producer Travis Stevens, making his directorial debut, wrings the most out of the limited setting and budget. He also leaned almost entirely on practical effects, falling back on CGI to enhance one specific sequence.
Punk delivers an intense performance that shatters expectations, and the balance between the supernatural and the main character’s moral decay makes for a fascinating counter-balance.
31 Days of Horror:
- “Train to Busan“
- “The Battery”
- “Eden Lake“
- “Bone Tomahawk“
- “Another Evil“
- “The Blob“
- “The Descent Part 2“
- “Wrong Turn” (2003)
- “Tourist Trap“
- “Psycho II” (1983)