Girl on the Third Floor
girl on the third floor | travis stevens | c.m. punk | trieste kelly dunn | sarah brooks | nightmares film festival | nff | united states | elissa dowling | karen woditsch | travis delgado | marshall dean | anish jethmalani | haunted house | haunted | ghost | ghosts
Film: Girl on the Third Floor
Director: Travis Stevens
Writer: Travis Stevens
Starring: C.M. Punk, Trieste Kelly Dunn and Sarah Brooks
This was a film that I was interested in checking out as I kind of got back into wrestling when C.M. Punk was still in it. This intrigued me that he was starring in this film and it was the second film I saw on the second day of the Nightmares Film Festival. This was also the regional premiere for the movie so that really helped as well. The synopsis is Don Koch (Punk) tries to renovate a rundown mansion with a sordid history for his growing family, only to learn that the house has other plans.
As that states, we see Don as he enters the home he and his wife, Liz (Trieste Kelly Dunn) purchased. Also with him is their dog. Through interactions with her over Facetime calls, we learn that he’s there to renovate it for them to move in as Liz is pregnant. He doesn’t want to pay anyone to do the work, so he’s doing it himself. He does have help coming in the form of a friend Milo Stone (Travis Delgado), but that isn’t for a few days.
Things start to happen pretty soon afterward though. There are marbles that keep falling from the floors above. There’s a moment where the dog eats one of them and Don is wondering where they’re coming from. He also meets a mysterious woman, Sarah Yates (Sarah Brooks), who hangs around outside of the house. It appears that she used to come inside when the house was vacant. There’s also the pastor of the church across the street Ellie Mueller (Karen Wooditsch).
Don isn’t the great guy that we think in the beginning though. It appears he has a drinking problem and he cheats on his wife with Sarah. Strange things happen from here that can’t really be explained and living in this house is quite dangerous. The history of the building is pretty dark as well and might be the reason for what is going on.
Now since this is still making the festival rounds, I wanted to go a little bit lighter on the recap here. It is that and there’s not a lot the story either. That’s not to say that I didn’t like it. This actually feels similar to American Horror Story season 1 on a much smaller scale. I’m a sucker when we have a house that has a past like this one and then you couple that will Sarah as well as others as it is going on to punish those that come there. It also couples with an interesting duality of deciding to do good or evil.
I did have some slight issues with the story though. It does have some creepy imagines, but I think there’s a bit too much that is left unexplained. Now this is a fine line for sure. I don’t like my hand held and like to figure things out on my own, but I just felt like some things got introduced and we didn’t really get enough of it for me fully enjoy it.
This film isn’t boring though. It comes in at 93 minutes and I was interested from the beginning. We get to see some pretty gross things with the house that Don tries to deal with. I think through this we really get the idea of his character and through subtle conversations we see has issues. There’s an interesting story with this house that gets revealed as well as through Sarah, Liz, Milo and even Ellie. The film does lose its way a bit near the end and doesn’t flesh out everything. I thought the ending was interesting though for sure.
To move to the acting, I thought that was pretty solid. Punk fit this role perfect in my eyes. I’m pretty sure from what I heard, he’s straight-edge. It’s interesting he’s playing an alcoholic. On top of that though, he’s a jerk and I know that fit his character from his wrestling persona. I liked Dunn, but she doesn’t really have much of a role until later. Brooks is quite attractive and she knows how to use it in this movie. I think the rest of the cast rounds out the film for what was needed as well.
The effects for this film I thought were good as well. I know that we definitely get some CGI, but I didn’t have any issues there. They really don’t linger on them and I think that’s the best route to go. The practical effects we get were solid and that definitely paired well. Something that I really wanted to touch on was how this shot. There’s a lot of use of mirrors, which I enjoyed, especially since that can be tricky. It definitely made for some interesting shots for me.
Now with that said, I thought had some interesting things going for it, but I just don’t think they went far enough with it. I like the vibe of this haunted house type film and I think the past that is introduced is interesting. I just wanted to know a bit more than what we got. The film though never got boring to me and I think it builds tension to an intriguing ending. The acting I thought was pretty solid across the board, I had no issues there. The soundtrack didn’t necessarily stand out to me, but it also didn’t hurt the film either. They do some interesting things with ambient noise for sure. Overall I’d say this is an above average film with some minor missteps to really set it part for me.
My Rating: 7.5 out of 10