Wide World of Horror: ‘Dark Floors’ – Too many floors, not enough horror

Dark Floors220px-Dark_Floors
Written by Pekka Lehtosaari
Directed by Pete Riski
Finland/Iceland, 2008

Commercialism has been a part of the film industry for a very long time. It will continue to be an active part of the film industry until the day comes when there’s no longer a film industry. Movies are made to make money, that’s pretty much a given. Occasionally a movie can have its cake and eat it too; it can be a completely commercial product and still be a fine artistic enterprise as well.

Dark Floors is an example of commercialism gone wrong. It would be wrong to call it Pete Riski’s film, because it’s more the film of the death metal group Lordi than it is that of the Finnish born director. This film came about to cash in on the popularity of Lordi and to try to tap into the apparently alive and well demographic of fans of people dressed up like demons. An early critique of the film that was going to be typed on this keyboard was how lame the demons looked. The idea that they looked no better than a death metal band in shoulder pads had already formulated in the mind of the reviewer. Lo and behold, the reason for that thought is because the demons are in fact the death metal band Lordi.

As stated previously, commercialism can be a good thing. It can lead to a high quality motion picture, but that’s not the case with DFnelikko_390Dark Floors. There’s not much going on during Dark Floors that is worth talking, or writing as the case may be, about. It’s a rote horror film with a paper thin narrative that never goes for anything but surface level emotions and thematics. There’s no atmosphere to speak of, nor is there any sort of tension or suspense. There’s nothing great or terrible about Dark Floors, it’s decidedly a movie that just is.

2008_dark_floors_002One would think that a film inspired by a death metal band would at least get the lighting correct. A death metal concert is typically dark and full of gothic, or at least death inspired, imagery. Dark Floors is super bright, so bright that it could possibly burn the retina of a viewer here and there. The hospital is a great setting for a horror film, but it shouldn’t be so darn bright. All the light that splays across the screen during Dark Floors robs the film of any chance it has to create a dreadful atmosphere. The atmosphere of Dark Floors is sterile, without any threat of tension or of being anything more than overbearingly bright.

Iceland, and Finland, done the horror world wrong with Dark Floors. Perhaps fans of Lordi will enjoy the film, but every other horror buff the world over should be nonplussed by this time waster of a film. There’s not much horror to speak of in Dark Floors, just a lame attempt to cash in on the fading popularity of a bunch of dudes in make-up and shoulder pads.

-Bill Thompson

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