31 Days Of Horror #9: 100 Feet (2008)
From writer-director Eric Red (the man who I will always be grateful to for giving us the likes of The Hitcher and Cohen & Tate, among others) comes this tale of house arrest complicated by some paranormal peskiness, to put it mildly.
Famke Janssen is Marnie, a woman allowed to return home, at last, after killing her abusive husband. She’s not allowed to leave, however, and the bracelet attached to her ankle will alert the authorities if she tries to move out of the allocated space (hence the title). Bobby Cannavale is the cop who takes a special interest in her case, perhaps because he was also a colleague of her ex-husband, and things get a lot tougher for Marnie when the spirit of her husband appears, proving without a shadow of a doubt that death has not calmed his temperament.
Okay, if you think too long about 100 Feet then it quickly becomes silly and rather illogical. But so do many other horror movies. What really counts is just how well the film skims over the more implausible aspects and manages to distract with sheer entertainment. Red manages to do just enough to make this worth your time, moving from slight silliness to blood-covered nastiness to one or two moments of real tension in the space of a brisk hour and a half (taking away the opening and closing credits).
He’s made things easier for himself by casting Janssen in the main role. I’ll watch that lady in anything, but have especially enjoyed her work in the horror genre, and she does well here, often acting opposite some empty space that viewers just sense as being a major threat. Cannavale is good as the cop on her case, Ed Westwick bags the easy role of finding Ms Janssen attractive and flirting with her, and Michael Paré is credited as the malevolent spirit determined to continue terrorising his wife.
Red obviously latched on to a decent concept, and subsequently created the movie around it. Which is fine. That is how a lot of good stories are created. It’s just a shame that 100 Feet isn’t as strong as some other movies. Despite the solid central cast, the decent special effects, and the moments that will make you flinch and wince, it never adds enough substance to the proceedings, although it does try (especially when it comes to the character played by Cannavale).
Still, this is solid entertainment while it’s on, and it manages to feel a bit different from the norm while still hitting some pleasantly familiar beats. And it stars Famke Janssen. Which is more than enough to keep me happy.
WRITER/DIRECTOR: ERIC RED
STARS: FAMKE JANSSEN, BOBBY CANNAVALE, ED WESTWICK, MICHAEL PARÉ
RUNTIME: 96 MINS APPROX