The Loft (2015) – Review

2 1/2 Stars

I sort of enjoyed the juicy pulp trash aspect of, The Loft. This is more an exercise in screenwriting principles and genre conventions than anything else. The picture is undeniably well-cast and it has been lensed with skill. Director Erik Van Looy is the man behind the camera, adapting his own Dutch-language Belgium film into an American remake. I have not seen the original so I can’t tell you if much has been altered. As it plays, The Loft is entertaining in the moment if not memorable, with a few shots and sequences out of the DePalma aping Hitchcock playbook.

Five white-collar buddies (Karl Urban, James Marsden, Wentworth Miller, Eric Stonestreet, Matthias Schoenaerts), are each co-owners of a shared loft overlooking New York City. The space is intended as a private, paper trail-less space to conduct extramarital affairs and other deviant behavior. Each man is given a key and sworn to a set of rules, the most important of which is, never lose your key.

All is smooth, until the dead body of a beautiful blonde woman turns up handcuffed to the bedpost. With the alarm turned off and no signs of forced entry, the men realize that the killer must be one of their group. Each suspects the other as paranoia overtakes common sense and secrets are revealed. By the Day’s end each man will be facing police questioning, as their friendships are tested, and marriages are destroyed.

I’m not particularly deft at spotting the who in a ‘whodoneit’ early on. While, in this case I called the killer in the first reel and watched as my inclination proved correct. Since, I made the right assumption it’s possible most others will too. This may rob the film from building any true suspense but, the story is constructed like a one-set play and the actors prove themselves capable of handling exposition heavy dialogue with ease. I’ve always liked James Marsden and Karl Urban, both are used well as their bond grows antagonistic by film’s end. The Loft is a minor, fun little thriller, even if you can spot the bad guy (girl?) right away.

Director: Eric Van Looy
Stars: Karl Urban, James Marsden, Wentworth Miller

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