The Loft begins with distracting shots: intentional blurring and tightly framed, hyper-wide angles. These grotesque wide angles return frequently throughout the length of the film.
A groveling Karl Urban tepidly growls his lines as Vincent Stevens, a man being interrogated by police after a woman is found dead in the eponymous loft, which five friends share for the sake of covertly committing adultery.
The Loft features some of the stiffest acting of 2015. This could be blamed on a number of things: acting talent, atrocious scripting, a sheer lack of vision.
Wentworth Miller emotes with the nuance of a stone. Eric Stonestreet is unfortunately miscast as a blatant misogynist. As a matter of fact, the entire party of five is a group of misogynists. There isn’t a redeemable character in the bunch, and their comeuppance makes up little for this.
The script of this film is utterly transparent and lacking in realism. Flashbacks to a year before the murder allow for awkward attempts at clever wordplay, in one scene watering down diabetes and mental illness into sex jokes and flirting. In another scene, the men and their wives ignorantly riff poorly written and offensive jokes about polyamory.
These flashbacks take up a large majority of the movie, and they do little to establish character or abet the story. The plot involving the mystery of the murder is a stumbling farce that mistakes shouting accusation for intensity. The two do not mesh in anyway, leaving the film as a whole to be a narrative mess.
For all of its glaring faux pas, what The Loft boils down to is a thriller that betrays its own genre by serving up little in the way of thrills.
By the second act of this film, I was searching helplessly for redeeming qualities to ease the tension of the remaining hour. Perhaps there would be workable twists and turns in the revelations behind the mystery. Instead, revelations that are presented as earth-shattering moments are meaningless or otherwise revealed directly before said moment.
I’m all for movies features unseemly character types. They can be done right when handled correctly (*cough* The Hateful Eight *cough*). But when unredeemable characters are static and in a film that is artistically lacking it is impossible to enjoy them.
As always, thanks for reading!
Have you seen The Loft? If so, what did you think? Let me know in the comments!
If you want to watch The Loft (and I don’t recommend it), you can catch it on Netflix now or on Amazon Instant Video here.
—Alex Brannan (@TheAlexBrannan)