Despite my love for Finnish melodic heavy Metal mongols Lordi and their cheesy Kiss inspired madness, I was still in the ideology that "Dark Floors" was going to suck. Basing an entire film around the four band members as monsters seemed like a gimmick that was going to produce some seriously poor Horror film moments. Luckily, this film does its damnedest to give a solid story and atmosphere to a concept that could have easily just circled the drain in awful horror sewers making it worth the watch at least once.
Sarah (Bennett) is inflicted with some medical problems that have made her a mentally unstable child not progressing. The hospital seems to be at a loss to figuring out her problems let alone fixing them. Her father Ben (Huntley) decides enough is enough and takes her out of the hospital one night. When the elevator taking them down stops unexpectedly they find themselves with a group of confused hospital workers and visitors in some sort of new layer of hell. Now its a race to get out of a quickly decaying building before they find themselves on the end of the dead stick by the hands of four mysterious creatures (members of Lordi) hellbent to end them.
"Dark Floors" isn't going to be winning any awards any time soon. Although it does have a relatively strong concept, at its heart it is rather cliche and the use of Lordi as the creatures seems to push the rather serious story towards a cheesy road. This doesn't effect everything, but it does hinder the film from going down the really scary route it could have with some clever monster designs. The acting is hit or miss too with its hobnob cast (or English actors in a Finnish film...don't ask too many questions now) and occasionally the film wants to tread more deeper waters without fully taking the plunge (the odd suicidal scene and its vague and rather confusing ending). Both of these aspects seem to hint at something greater but the film never goes there.
This Finnish film does, however, succeed in many places to give it a surprisingly solid foundation. The direction is tight with some great details for those willing to look for them and the atmosphere can be downright creepy as shit. With each floor of the hospital looking more and more like the nightmarish images from the game "Silent Hill" as they progress down, there is some great atmosphere build that truly makes the audience feel like they are crawling into hell with the characters. Even though the use of the Lordi members seems cheesy they do some cool and interesting things with them (like how one is a ghostly figure and none of them speak) to help balance it out.
Although my expectations for "Dark Floors" were seriously low, it does have some surprising depth and great executions to make it not a complete disaster. It isn't great, the story does get way too out there by the end, but it has its moments of glory that one can admire.
Written By Matt Reifschneider
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