Posted by: Peter Hall
Written and Directed by Eric Red, 2008
Having just been released from the pen for murdering her abusive husband Mike, Marnie (Famke Janssen) begins her final year of servitude by way of house arrest. Should she stray more than the titular distance from her ankle monitor’s base unit in the center of her Brooklyn brownstone, said unit will page Lou (Bobby Cannavale), the pissed off cop and former partner to Marnie’s slaughtered spouse. This is problematic for Marnie as a slightly less corporeal yet no less abusive Mike has stuck around to give his wife what for from the afterlife.
Eric Red’s directorial return is a probing tour of a beaten woman’s battered life more than it is a horror film, if only because the ghost side undercurrent is low exertion versus Famke Janssen’s perpetual emotional gauntlet. The gal gives one heck of an admirable turn, carrying the film by the scruff of its neck throughout. That is not to say that 100 FEET is lacking the meat and potatoes of a good haunt. Quite the opposite, actually. 100 FEET executes two film clinching sequences worth going down as two of the cooler, wilder poltergeist-gags found on film.
Regrettably, these two sequences are not characteristic of the film entire. When not belting it out of the park (albeit in minute spurts), Red is either reinforcing the already unsinkable Marnie as an anomalous, complicated damsel in distress through melodrama or playing standard spook setups to telegraphed conclusions. Por ejemplo, When we first see Marnie paint over her husband’s blood stain (which hadn’t been cleaned during her jail time) anyone who has ever been in the same room as a horror movie will know its reappearance is inevitable. A blood stain that doesn’t go away is not an ultimate evil. The audience is not Mr. Clean. We need a reminder there is a ghost in the house as much as a smoker needs a skull and cross bones on his favorite pack. This isn’t our first time to the rodeo. Move on.