The 4th Floor (1999) / Thriller-Horror
MPAA Rated: R for terror, violence and language
Running Time: 90 min.
Cast: Juliette Lewis, William Hurt, Shelley Duvall, Artie Lange, Tobin Bell
Director: Josh Klausner
Screenplay: Josh Klausner
Review published July 27, 2003
After viewing The 4th Floor, the predominant question in many viewers minds will be, "What in the world happened to William Hurt?!" It seems that it wasn't so long ago when he was considered one of the finest actors working in Hollywood. The 4th Floor almost makes one wish he'd retire seeing how far he's fallen since the days of Children of a Lesser God and Body Heat. Perhaps worse than the fact that Hurt is relegated to b-movies, and bad ones at that, is that his performances in them stink almost as bad as the movie. Maybe he just doesn't care anymore. It shows.
Hurt's latest dud is called The 4th Floor, where he's joined by another Oscar nominated performer, Juliette Lewis. It's the story of a young woman who inherits the apartment of her grandmother, who died after a vicious tumble in the same apartment building. Lots of eccentric people in the building and elsewhere stir up the paranoia for her, making threats and leaving weird notes. She can't really see the person below who is making her life hell, but she decides to fight back and get to the bottom of things.
Hearty chuckles are guaranteed when you find out what's behind all of the brouhaha, as it features one of the most laughable plots in recent memory. As a sort of a cross between Rear Window and Pacific Heights, this far-fetched thriller delivers little suspense and even less plausibility. Even if it were to have a better plot, there's still not much getting over the terrible acting by once fine thespians, and the horrible directing by first-timer Klausner, who also contributes the atrocious screenplay.
This garbage trying to pass for entertainment stinks so bad, getting sprayed by a skunk while watching it may go unnoticed.
©2003 Vince Leo