The Girl on the Third Floor

The Girl on the Third Floor has a major problem right at its heart and that problem undermines what could have been an enjoyable horror movie. This is the feature debut of Travis Stevens from a script by himself and three other writers. Sometimes too many writing credits can be a bad sign; evidence of a film that has been monkeyed with by a studio. Here though, there are no other signs of that.

 The film stars C.M. Punk as Don, a not very likable man who is fixing up an old house in preparation for the arrival of his child who his wife will give birth to soon.

 Don has a dark past that may weigh on him, although he tries to hide it. The house is trouble from the start. What look to be minor repairs balloon and each room reveals more decay. Outlets ooze black goo. The walls are stuffed with old clothes and, inexplicably, a wig. A ceiling collapses for no reason. Don finds himself losing track of time and being transfixed by the strangeness of it all.

 The real trouble starts when Sarah (Sarah Brooks) arrives. She's an attractive woman from the neighborhood who appears and has sex with Don, then keeps coming back. She quickly veers into Fatal Attraction territory and kills his dog. She also kills his best friend.

 Then the walls start to bleed.

 All in all this should be creepy fun buoyed be wonderful practical fx, but it isn't. It sags. It grinds. This failure is that problem I started out talking about.

Imagine Bruce Campbell. Now take away his charm, wit, charisma, and talent. What you're left with is C. M. Punk. Punk is terribly miscast ,but honestly I struggle to imagine what role he would ever be right for. He grunts his way listlessly through every scene with dead eyes. He cycles through various confused looks and never lands on anything approaching an emotion.

 It's a shame, really. Any half decent actor could have made something of this material. As it is, The Girl on the Third Floor is not worth the effort.