© Universum/Squareone/24 Bilder

The Loft
U.S.A. 2014

Opening 11 Dec 2014

Directed by: Erik Van Looy
Writing credits: Bart De Pauw, Wesley Strick
Principal actors: Wentworth Miller, James Marsden, Karl Urban, Rhona Mitra, Isabel Lucas

A woman is found brutally murdered in a posh penthouse-loft. The grizzly scene has been discovered by one of the five married men that jointly maintain this pied-à-terre for their affairs and one-night stands. Circumstances indicate that one of them has to be the murderer though all claim to not even know the victim. They start to suspect each other. Fear pits one man against the other until no trust is left.

“Trust” is an interesting subject. What is it based on? What can it withstand? Therefore it may not surprise that this is already the second re-make of the original 2008 Belgian film Loft. (The first remake was a 2010 Dutch version by Antoinette Beumer. Both the original and this 2014 U.S. film were directed by Erik Van Looy; Bart De Pauw wrote the screenplay for all three productions.) What does surprise though is that this opportunity was squandered. The result is less than thrilling.

The story is told from different perspectives in often confusing flashbacks. Exchanges between the men repeatedly sound rehearsed. Instead of increasing suspense, the many false leads become just too many false leads. The five men (and men in general) are stereotyped as non-stop cheating, hollow womanizers. Hard to believe they find any time (leave alone brains) for their high paying jobs that enable them to pay for the little ‘loft extravaganza’. These guys never were more than accomplices in hiding their extra marital affairs, not friends as suggested, and it doesn’t surprise one bit how quickly they mistrust each other under the circumstances. (Carola A)

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