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Girl on the Third Floor (2019)

Dark Sky Films

Blu-ray Disc Released: 1/7/2020

All Ratings out of




Extras: 1/2

Review by Mike Long, Posted on 1/13/2020

One of the great things about having kids is that you can make them laugh and they think that you are hilarious.  Of course, they eventually see Fletch and Ghostbusters and realize that you don’t have any original material.  For similar reasons, filmmakers must hate older critics like myself.  We’ve seen so much stuff and have such a catalog of film knowledge that we can easily spot something which isn’t new and different.  True, there aren’t many truly original movies out there, but when something moves beyond homage, it’s questionable.  Girl on the Third Floor is one of those movies. 

Don Koch (Phil Brooks) is looking for a fresh start for he and his wife, Liz (Trieste Kelly Dunn), so he arrives at their fixer-upper house (along with their dog, Cooper).  As he starts on the repairs, he begins to hear strange noises in the house and notices a viscous liquid oozing from the walls.  A young woman named Sarah (Sarah Brooks) begins hanging around the house and makes passes at Don.  He keeps Liz up to date with FaceTime conversations and tries to stay busy, but Sarah’s constant presence begins to have an influence on Don.  As the days pass, he begins to experience more strange phenomena.  As Liz wonders if Don will be able to get the remodel done, Don wonders if he’ll be able to keep his sanity.

As someone who grew up in the south, I’ve been exposed to a lot of professional wrestling and I have absolutely no time for it.  So, I’ve been surprised by the wrestlers who have been able to transition to acting.  (Although, I shouldn’t have been, as wrestling is all fake.  Right?)  Personalities such as Dwayne Johnson and David Bautista will never mistaken for Olivier, but they have shown that they can hold their own with professionally-trained actors.  Brooks, who wrestles under the name C.M. Punk, is the latest grappler to throw his hat into the ring (no pun intended).  Given that this was one of his first times acting and that he’s in nearly every scene, Brooks does a pretty good job.  He resembles an under-weight Jon Hamm and his hang-dog expression works well with this character.

Unfortunately, he’s picked a bad movie to seek a career change.  Most people who see the film or read the synopsis will immediately think about The Shining, and there are certainly shades of that here, as we have a man who has a troubled past who succumbs to isolation and the wiles of a mysterious woman.  But, Girl on the Third Floor actually has even more in common with 1981’s The Nesting, which concerns a woman who moves into an old house with a checkered history.  The second that the background of Don’s house was revealed, I immediately thought of The Nesting.  There wasn’t a single moment in Girl on the Third Floor which felt remotely fresh or new.

The film, which had multiple writers, relies too much on stereotypes and never develops its own unique story.  And while Brooks is fine in front of the camera, Don never becomes a fleshed-out character.  Therefore, when he begins to snap and gives in to Sarah, the viewer has no reaction.  The history of the house doesn’t emerge until the third act and even then, it’s far too vague.  The movie manages some mild jump-scares, but it’s never creepy or disturbing, despite some drawn-out gore scenes.  While other characters do interact with Don, Girl on the Third Floor is too much of a one-man-play, and much of the movie simply feels like a particularly gross episode of an HGTV house-flipper show. 

Girl on the Third Floor never tells us about the girl on the third floor on Blu-ray Disc courtesy of Dark Sky Films.  The film has been letterboxed at 1.78:1 and the Disc contains an AVC 1080p HD transfer which runs at an average of 30 Mbps.  The image is sharp and clear, showing no overt grain or defects from the source material.  Despite being a horror movie which has some dark moments, there are also some bright colors here and they look very good.  The image is never overly dark or bright.  The level of detail is good and the depth works well.  The Disc carries a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track which runs at 48 kHz and an average of 2.5 Mbps.  The track provides clear dialogue and sound effects.  Someone clearly put a lot of work into this mix and understood the idea of having a house full of creepy sounds, as we get effects from the front and rear channels at a pretty consistent rate.  The noises help to add ambience to the movie and there are some nicely-placed individual sounds here.  The subwoofer really kicks in during the “shock” moments. 

The only extras on the Girl on the Third Floor Blu-ray Disc are an AUDIO COMMENTARY from Writer/Director/Producer Travis Stevens, a TEASER, and a TRAILER.

Review Copyright 2020 by Mike Long