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'The Killing Floor'
(Marc Blucas, Shiri Appleby, et al / DVD / R / (2006) 2007 / THINK Film)

Overview: Horror novel agent David Lamont (Marc Blucas) moves into a lavish penthouse apartment to celebrate his new-found success. But as he settles in, mysterious events occur; violent and bloody crime scene photos taken in his apartment show up at the front door, videotapes of him sleeping arrive in his mail and the strange sensation that he is being followed haunt his every step. No longer able to work or sleep, paranoia distorts his mind and takes over his life, yet he refuses to move out. Obsessed with tracking down his stalker, David unravels, falling prey to a deadly game. The only question that remains is: How far will he go to end this real life horror story?

DVD Verdict: This direct-to-video mystery/thriller malarkey stars Buffy's Marc Blucas as obnoxious writer's agent David Lamont, who buys himself a fancy new apartment in New York. Unfortunately, he's not there five minutes before weird stuff starts to happen - nasty photos and videos arriving in the post, strange noises and whatnot - and before you know it he's smashing up his floor, investigating the apartment's past, and hiding in the cupboard with a poker like a paranoid loon. What on earth is going on?

The Achilles heel of this film is its lead character. It's not Blucas's fault, who actually does a decent job of convincing you he's a hard-nosed jerk (a far cry from the boy-scout he played on Buffy), but Lamont is so thoroughly unlikable it's hard to care what happens to him. Not until the end do you realise why he's so unsympathetic, but by then it's just too late - you've spent the bulk of the film hoping a piano will fall on his head rather than worrying about the peril he's in.

It doesn't help that this one of those twisty-turny stories with an intriguing set-up that collapses into a silly heap of contrivances at the end. There are a number of red herrings, none of which obscure the painfully obvious identity of the culprit, and the whole thing ends up making very little sense!

Ultimately, this is an eminently missable film, saddled with a daft story, an unsympathetic protagonist, and a strange refusal to compensate by throwing in some gratuitous violence or nudity. There's simply nothing on offer here to make The Killing Floor a worthwhile watch, unless you, like me, suffer from the same addiction to films starring former members of the Buffy cast. I've really got to get some help for that. This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.35:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

The Killing Floor Trailer
Trailer Gallery
Spanish and English Subttiles