‘Home is where Hell is’
Girl on the Third Floor is a 2019 American supernatural horror feature film written and directed by Travis Stevens (producer of We Are Still Here; Starry Eyes; Big Ass Spider!), making his directorial debut. The Queensbury Pictures production stars Phil Brooks aka C.M. Punk, Trieste Kelly Dunn, Sarah Brooks and Elissa Dowling.
Don Koch (Phil Brooks) is a failing husband who views fixing up an old house as a chance to make up for past mistakes.
Meanwhile, his wife, Liz Koch (Trieste Kelly Dunn), is concerned about the renovation timeline as they have a baby on the way. As Don tears the house apart, it begins to tear him apart as well, revealing the rot behind the drywall…
Reviews [click links to read more]:
” …Stevens’ directorial debut feels like if Clive Barker and H.P. Lovecraft had teamed up to make The Money Pit, and I still feel like that is a pretty darn good summary in itself, so I’m sticking with that in this review as well. The film itself is a serious-minded horror effort, especially in the third act, but there are quite a few moments of comedy peppered throughout the story…” Daily Dead
“Pacing takes a hit as it follows each final scene with one more final scene leaving some of the film’s energy and anger free to dissipate before the end credits roll. Girl on the Third Floor is an effectively unsettling horror film about pains caused by monsters who are far too real. The supernatural threats are definitely creepy and grotesque…” Film School Rejects
“Girl on the Third Floor is a brilliant, original and exciting horror. It’s an exploration of masculinity, and of failure and weakness. Unique, smart and entertaining, it squeezes its characters and then delights in showing you what comes out of them.” Film Stories
“The film is an engaging and compelling watch, one that unfolds slowly and succinctly, literally drip-feeding the audience, and Don, information about the house […] despite the film’s more sticky and sinister moments, there’s also a wry sense of humour laced within.” The Hollywood News
“The final half-hour cuts loose in fine style, unleashing a grotesque, giggling female ghost and a show-stopping gore sequence with an invasive marble and a box cutter. Even more impressively, the story transforms into a female-led picture about male attitudes and weaknesses, with the hitherto incidental, marvellously sarcastic Trieste Kelly Dunn taking centre stage and the house’s true agenda a bold, witty surprise.” Horrorscreams Videovault
“Does Travis Stevens pass Haunted House 101? I would say, yes. He creates a creepy house with a predictable foundation but adds enough gore and gender commentary to not bore the audience. A bit of jump scares, a bit of body horror, and even a bit of humor makes the movie enjoyable.” Killer Horror Critic
” …Stevens gets a lot of mileage out of his creepy house, playing with doorways and staircases in a way that often keeps us as confused as Don. This won’t be for everyone, but it’s one of the few SXSW Midnighters this year that feels like a unique vision that satisfies from beginning to gory end.” RogerEbert.com
“Stevens has true chops when it comes to the setting and atmosphere — the confines of the house never feel boring or too tight, and the film is smartly blocked — and never resorts to dumb and/or cheap scares to provoke. Rather, he’s content enough to play it slow, letting the tension simmer a bit while we get to know our protagonist, before throwing enough gross-out gonzo imagery that you’ll feel a little gross upon leaving the theater.” Vanyaland
” …tips its cap to a number of bigger, sometimes better horror opuses, resourcefully if not quite memorably reducing their tropes to a smaller scale (and budget). Yet if the story isn’t ultimately a knockout, the film’s atmospherics and sense of humor are winning nonetheless.” Variety
“Girl on the Third Floor’s ending might jar some people since there’s an abrupt stylistic shift and some exposition that almost raises more questions than it answers. But it also offers catharsis in a restrained, sometimes skin-crawlingly tense story […] It lays a foundation for progressively weirder phenomena, building to grotesque surrealism at the climax.” The Verge
“The central premise of Girl on the Third Floor, that the house attracts and tests a certain kind of person, is stretching things a bit. But it makes for a great framework for a story that hinges on somebody who wants to change his ways. Or at least says they do. The final act features some impressive effects […] Thankfully they’re not CGI, but practical effects that give a sense of reality to some rather unreal occurrences.” Voices from the Balcony
The Girl on the Third Floor had its worldwide premiere at the SXSW Film Festival on March 10, 2019, before being shown at a number of festivals such as Boston Underground Film Festival, Overlook Film Festival, Popcorn Frights, Sydney Underground Film Festival, Busan International Film Festival and Chicago International Film Festival.
Dark Sky Films released the film on VOD in the USA on October 25th 2019. It will be released on Blu-ray and DVD on January 7, 2020.
101 Films releasing the movie via VOD in the UK on 28th October 2019.
Cast and the characters:
Phil Brooks aka C.M. Punk … Don Koch – Rabid (2018)
Trieste Kelly Dunn … Liz Koch
Sarah Brooks … Sarah Yates – Dignity; Chimera
Elissa Dowling … Sadie – We Are Still Here
Karen Woditsch … Ellie Mueller
Travis Delgado … Milo Stone
Marshall Bean … Geary McCabe
Anish Jethmalani … Attorney Manny Bharara
Bishop Stevens … Patrolman Weaver
Tonya Kay … The Nymph
Aspect ratio: 1.78: 1