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DVD Review

DVD cover

Dark Floors


Starring: Skye Bennett, Philip Bretherton, William Hope, Ronald Pickup, Leon Herbert and Lordi
RRP: £12.99
Certificate: 18
Available 20 April 2009

A man’s autistic young daughter is undergoing a full body scan when the equipment malfunctions, causing the girl to panic. Convinced in his own mind that this hospital can’t help her, the father insists on removing her from the building. However, when they enter the lift with a small group of other individuals it gets stuck between the sixth and seventh floors. When it eventually does move again the doors open on to a floor which is dark and deserted. There seems to be no way to escape the hospital. But that isn’t their worst problem. A pile of mutilated bodies is discovered, and soon after the group is attacked by weird and terrifying monsters, who seem to have more than a passing interest in the girl...

Dark Floors is apparently the first horror film made in Finland, and what’s more it’s written by and features Lordi, the rock horror band who dress impressively as monsters. I badly wanted to like this. I saw Lordi perform at the German metal festival Wacken back in 2003 and was mightily impressed by their fun horror songs with catchy choruses and their costumed stage antics and pyrotechnics. That, and the single 'Would You Love a Monster Man', encouraged me to buy the then current album. Since then of course Lordi has famously won the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC), making them national heroes in Finland and spreading their popularity significantly further afield.

Bearing in mind the appearance and format of the band, I suppose it was only a matter of time before a Lordi film materialised. There is a press conference as one of the extras on this disc and, although they are far from being the best conversationalists in the world, Singer Mr Lordi does reveal that he is and always has been a keen horror fan, and states that the event of a Lordi film far outweighs the success of winning the ESC.

Although there is an attempt to underplay the appearance of the Lordi monsters and create an interesting story surrounding the little, what we actually get amounts to a series of set pieces in which each of the creatures make an attack. The problem here might well be that the first time feature director is best known for commercials and music videos. On the aforementioned CD release there was an inserted DVD which contained three or four masterful short horror story videos surrounding their songs. Therefore, I think it would have been a better idea to create loosely linked vignettes and to have the band mainly in the forefront. Also, there should have been a sense of fun in this one, but instead it comes across rather po-faced.

There are some nice moments early on: the lift ("Not 6 and not 7, not Hell and not Heaven."), and the flick-book of a person screaming which is created automatically by the photocopier - but the piece soon degenerates into a run-around horror-by-numbers with a pretentious rather than clever looped conclusion.


Ty Power

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