Despite sporting a rather stella cast, The Loft is a sort of Hitchcockian whodunit rip-off without the style or execution of the master of suspense and results in a plot that manages to confuse itself as well as the audience with a unfortunate attempt to make a sleek thriller and an even more unfortunately weak ending.
Five friends, Vincent (Karl Urban), Chris (James Marsden), Phillip (Matthias Schoenaerts), Marty (Eric Stonestreet) and Luke (Wentworth Miller) meet at their upmarket loft apartment that they all secretly share for extramarital affairs to discuss an important issue – the dead Blonde girl handcuffed to the bed lying face down in a pool of her own blood. The issue is, there are only five keys in existence to the apartment, and each one of them has one, so it must’ve been one of them who did it.
All sounds pretty exciting when written down, which is what the cast must’ve thought, but unfortunately the execution fails to match-up to the premise. Firstly the film jumps between three intertwining segments; First we have the ‘now’ timeline, which is all five members of the horny mangroup being interviewed by two detectives who are trying to get to the bottom of the murder – it’s worth noting not one of them decide to have a lawyer present, weird. Secondly we have the not quite now but slightly in the past timeline of the five friends the morning of the discovery as they stand around trying to figure out who the dead girl is and where she came from. And finally the third timeline is the flashbacks we get from the stories the friends are telling each other in the second timeline as they try and crack the case. So already we’re not off to a great start.
Of course all of these timelines finally connect together by the final third of the movie which results in a rather flaccid conclusion to a film you probably gave up on around the halfway point anyway.
The film completely fails to utilize the female ensemble, who seem to break down into one of the following categories: the men’s play things or the wives who just stand around smiling at their husbands, apart from Rhona Mitra who just glares a lot. Generally the acting is very good – with Marsden and Miller shinning in particular standing up tall – as the five leads really try their best to save this film by selling the tension and the leering (Karl Urban is very leery) and the friction within the group, but it’s simply not enough.
The generally message for this film is an uneasy one. It goes as follows ‘these guys are all a bunch of scumbag liars and cheats, but c’mon, they’re not THAT bad’. Plainly put, it’s a sleazy concept that doesn’t even get the execution right to save itself. And that’s the real shame of it, because The Loft had promise. It had a great cast, it has some nice cinematography during the hour and a half run time and it had an interesting premise that just didn’t play out the way it should have done and went off like a sparkler rather than a firework at the end.
The Loft is available on digital platforms on June 8th and BluRay & DVD June 15