Film: 100 Feet
Release Date: 24 July 2008
Directed By: Eric Red
Starring: Famke Janssen, Bobby Cannavale, Ed Westwick, Michael Paré
Running Time: 101 minutes
100 Feet is a 2008 horror film written and directed by Eric Red, the man best known for writing the script to the 1986 cult horror film, The Hitcher. The film stars Famke Janssen (The X-Men Trilogy, Nip/Tuck) as Marnie Watson, a woman who is being driven through the streets of New York City by a rather bitter police officer named Shanks, played by Bobby Cannavale (Third Watch, Cold Case).
At first glance, it seems like a rather peaceful drive– save the rather caustic remarks from Shanks– until it is revealed that Marnie is wearing handcuffs and is actually being escorted by Shanks to her designated home, wherein she is quickly fitted with an ankle bracelet and immediately put under house arrest. It’s not long until it is revealed that she is being punished for having killed her husband because of his department’s neglecting her phone calls. Shanks is not sympathetic, and leaves her to “think about what [she] did,” more than bemused at the fact that the cleaning crew had left her husband’s blood stain on the wall as a permanent reminder of his murder. Of course, that is not all Marnie is left with, as many suspicious noises and unexplained events begin to happen all around her. The explanation for all this? A certain husband may not be as “gone” as one might think.
Shot almost completely within a one hundred foot radius of Marnie’s motion detector (one whose constant blinking red light is reminiscent to HAL from 2001: A Space Odyssey), 100 Feet is one of those movies that can effectively convey the sheer creepiness of eerie paranormal events with both the setting of the weathered house, as well as the fact that the power had been out for half the movie. Combined with the creaks and the moans of the floorboards, the rattling of the walls, and the absence of light in several scenes of the movie, one can’t help but feel a chill when the camera pans to a ghostly face or further panders the anxiety of being alone. In fact, 100 Feet is the only movie that comes to mind when I wonder just how many movies can creep its audience out with turning on a few lights.
That being said, the suspense gradually builds up with more and more appearances of the vengeful, violence-happy ghost. Perhaps the part that would make viewers cringe the most is a scene that shows a tried and true recipe for disaster: one ring dropped in a sink, a wandering hand ready to fish it out, a garbage disposal to blend, and yes, that same ghost becoming more and more aggressive with his appearances. I’m not about to spoil the scene, but it was most certainly a great example of dramatic tension. The effects of said ghost– especially when the blood is concerned– is a bit on the cheesy side, but you may have realized by now that the scares in this film are definitely done without the ghost doing the dirty work himself.
In the end, I’ve found that 100 Feet is a decent horror film riddled with suspenseful moments. Though there are not any horrendous blood-spilling scenes ready to lash out at you, I can say with confidence that you get your viewing’s worth of suspense. I know that I seethed through a lot of this film, shouted “watch out” or “get out of there” a handful of times, and exhaled sighs of relief when Marnie escaped various dangers. I would recommend this film for anyone who prefers getting their horror kicks from palpable tension rather than a creepy monster that goes out slaughtering many, as monster fans will be sorely disappointed at the sight of the guy in the climactic ending scene. It’s a decent play at being trapped, even claustrophobia at some points, and although not the best horror, it’s a decent watch.