HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
1 chance sur 2
Betterman
Scooby-Doo! Abracadabra-Doo
Yin Yang Master, The
Hail, Mafia!
Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase
Mirai
Strange House, The
Morfalous, Les
Dreambuilders
Everything Went Fine
Lux AEterna
Rum Runners
Fairy and the Devil, The
Mad God
Outside the Law
I Remember Mama
Superman Unbound
Lawrence of Belgravia
House Across the Lake, The
Wonder Park
Hornsby e Rodriguez
Operation Mincemeat
5 Kung Fu Daredevil Heroes
Scoob!
Earwig
Offseason
Peau Douce, La
Double Indemnity
Na Cha and the Seven Devils
Deep Murder
Superman vs. the Elite
Adam Project, The
Osamu Tezuka's Last Mystery of the 20th Century
Horse, La
Buffaloed
Train Robbers, The
Let Sleeping Cops Lie
Abominable
Funeral, The
   
 
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
   
 
  Nightmare on the 13th Floor Check In, Check Out
Year: 1990
Director: Walter Grauman
Stars: Michelle Greene, John Karlen, Louise Fletcher, Alan Fudge, James Brolin, Terri Treas, Alan Haufrect, Juliana Donald, Kerry Noonan, Steve Eastin, Norma MacMillan, Jeffrey Marcus, Harvey Vernon, Molly Morgan, Michael Melvin
Genre: Horror, TV MovieBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Travel writer Elaine Kalisher (Michelle Greene) arrives in Los Angeles to write an article about the Wessex Hotel. During her stay a malfunctioning elevator brings Elaine to the thirteenth floor which according to hotel staff does not exist. There she witnesses an horrific axe murder committed by an unseen maniac. Later Elaine awakens in the care of kindly Dr. Alan Lanier (James Brolin). Unfortunately neither he nor the rest of the staff believe Elaine's story as concierge Judith (Terri Treas), surly interior decorator Letti (Louise Fletcher) and jittery manager Rogas (Alan Fudge) still insist the hotel does not have a thirteenth floor. Following the disappearance of an elderly guest, Elaine resolves to convince skeptical cop Sgt. Madden (John Karlen) something strange is going on. In the midst of more grisly murders, she investigates the Wessex Hotel's unsavoury past uncovering a connection to a turn of the century Satanic cult.

From their heyday in the Seventies and early Eighties spooky made-for-TV movies slowly began to die out in the Nineties, replaced by creepier television shows like Twin Peaks and The X-Files more in tune with the times. Nightmare on the 13th Floor was among the last of its kind to amass a minor cult following, one that remarkably extends to a website devoted to detailing its frankly limited mythology. It plays like a back-door pilot for an ongoing mystery series centred on plucky mystery-solving writer Elaine Kalisher, much like The Night Stalker (1972) launched the adventures of monster-hunting reporter Carl Kolchak. In fact the plot's big reveal harks back to Kolchak's second TV movie: The Night Strangler (1973). Much of Nightmare on the 13th Floor plays like an atypically spooky and grisly episode of Murder, She Wrote only with a third act straight out of an old Vincent Price movie. Indeed veteran producer-director Walter Grauman had more than fifty episodes of Murder, She Wrote to his credit although his resumé also includes the intense Olivia de Havilland psycho-drama Lady in a Cage (1964), another movie with a woman trapped in an elevator.

Grauman does a decent job grounding things within a realistically mundane milieu to contrast with the increasingly outlandish plot twists. Co-screenwriters J.D. Feigelson and Dan DiStefano make no attempt to expand the story beyond anything more than a mildly suspenseful thriller with one-dimensional characters and scant subtext. Nonetheless Nightmare on the 13th Floor remains gripping throughout in spite of the campy nature of the conspirators and the fact their evil scheme does not hold up to close scrutiny. It might be too tame for hardened horror fans and somewhat of a slow burn but Grauman brings a certain old-school flair to proceedings, making menacing use of light and shadow, tilted angles and creepy mise-en-scene, keeping the violence off-screen. The music by Jay Grusha also contributes to the spooky atmosphere with memorable use of ragtime tunes as a harbinger of satanic doom.

Multitalented actress, singer and novelist Michelle Greene, a prolific TV staple then best known for a long stint on L.A. Law, makes for an engaging, personable lead. One can easily envision her character branching out into an ongoing series so it is a shame nothing came of that. By comparison the normally reliable James Brolin overplays his role as the silver fox making goofy, over-eager attempts to woo Elaine, although a few endearingly quirky supporting characters bring some colour into an otherwise silly story.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 2055 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Mary Sibley
Enoch Sneed
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
  Sheila Reeves
Paul Smith
   

 

Last Updated: