3.7/10
310
32 user 9 critic

Claustrophobia (2003)

A serial killer armed with a crossbow pistol is murdering people from their own rooftops. When three young coworkers at a poorly-attended slumber party start hearing footsteps on the roof, they fear the worst.

Director:

Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Videos

1 video »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Romance | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Two stories of complicated long-distance relationships between people from different countries.

Director: Mark Tapio Kines
Stars: Melanie Lynskey, Wil Wheaton, Corin Nemec
Say Uncle (2005)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A young artist (Peter Paige), desperate to replace the relationship he had with his recently relocated godson, is targeted by a neighborhood mom (Kathy Najimy) as a potential threat to the community.

Director: Peter Paige
Stars: Peter Paige, Kathy Najimy, Anthony Clark
Show of Hands (2008)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Jess is a solo mother and reluctant parking warden. Tom is a self-obsessed Greetings Cards salesman with an addiction to competitions who will do anything to win. Together they are just two... See full summary »

Director: Anthony McCarten
Stars: Craig Hall, Melanie Lynskey, Stephen Lovatt
Snakeskin (2001)
Thriller | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

A hitchhiker takes two kids on the ride of their dreams, but they soon learn that their newfound hero is just as capable of delivering nightmares.

Director: Gillian Ashurst
Stars: Melanie Lynskey, Boyd Kestner, Dean O'Gorman
Park (2006)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Park takes place all in one day in a public park in Los Angeles, as 11 disaffected Angelenos find both love and loss in unexpected ways.

Director: Kurt Voelker
Stars: Dagney Kerr, Tank, Vincent Riverside
Shooters (2002)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Gilly, fresh out of prison, and J, a hustler with a major drug problem, just can't shake their criminal ways.

Directors: Glenn Durfort, Colin Teague
Stars: Adrian Dunbar, Andrew Howard, Louis Dempsey
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.7/10 X  

Newlyweds Alex and Alice host a New Year's Eve party for their closest friends at a remote cabin in the mountains. However, when an unexpected guest shows up, the group's facades begin to crumble.

Director: Joseph Infantolino
Stars: Dagmara Dominczyk, Paul Fitzgerald, Dominic Fumusa
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Madame Ranevskaya (Rampling) is a spoiled aging aristocratic lady, who returns from a trip to Paris to face the loss of her magnificent Cherry Orchard estate after a default on the mortgage... See full summary »

Director: Mihalis Kakogiannis
Stars: Charlotte Rampling, Alan Bates, Katrin Cartlidge
Putzel (2012)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

For Walter Himmelstein, a young man endearingly known as Putzel, life literally doesn't go beyond his family's fish store on the upper west side of Manhattan. In this heartwarming romantic ... See full summary »

Director: Jason Chaet
Stars: Jack Carpenter, Melanie Lynskey, John Pankow
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Joon Chu, a Korean exchange student, suffering from the loss of his brother, finds himself marooned in small-town USA, where he is irrevocably swept up into the brave new world and bizarre ... See full summary »

Directors: Charles Chu, Gavin Kelly
Stars: Melanie Lynskey, Caitlin Stasey, Alan Cumming
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

An Everglades community struggles to put their lives back together in the wake of a hurricane.

Director: Jesse Wolfe
Stars: Melanie Lynskey, Nicola Peltz, Campbell Scott
Claustrophobia I (2011)
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A young deaf man gets trapped in his house when he becomes entangled in a nasty real estate dispute with his murderous next-door neighbor. As he struggles to overcome his fears, open captions take the audience inside our deaf hero's head.

Director: Harlan Schneider
Stars: Christopher Curry, Russell Harvard, Ellie Schwartz
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
...
Lauren
...
Gina
...
Grace
...
Man in Black (as Will Heermance)
...
Alena Gray (as Judy O'Dea)
...
Second News Reporter
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Daniel DeFabio ...
Radio Show Caller (voice)
William Mehner ...
News Anchor (voice)
Niki Moore ...
TV News Interviewee (as Niki Simental)
Michelle Wade Byrd ...
Young Woman on Couch (as Michelle Wade)
Marc Wade ...
First News Reporter
...
Lauren's Neighbor
Edit

Storyline

A serial killer armed with a crossbow pistol is murdering people from their own rooftops. When three young coworkers at a poorly-attended slumber party start hearing footsteps on the roof, they fear the worst.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The hunt is on. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and violence | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

18 June 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Serial Slayer  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$95,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The whole movie was shot in the daytime with a hand-held camera. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Unfortunately awful
1 February 2005 | by (The land of the Bunyips) – See all my reviews

Lauren (Melanie Lynskey) is house sitting in a quiet, wealthy neighborhood and decides to throw a slumber party for her officemates. Unfortunately, only two show up: her spunky friend, Gina (Sheeri Rappaport), and the quiet new girl, Grace (Mary Lynn Rajskub). Could the lack of party guests be due to the well-known fact that there is a crossbow-wielding rooftop-loitering serial killer on the loose in the area? Unfortunately, they spend too much time discussing this, and they hear footsteps coming from above.

This film has finally received a DVD release in the US. The title change was changed from the appropriate Claustrophobia to the misleading Serial Slayer. The packaging, which features an evil Vin Diesel lookalike with a crossbow standing by a dark and creepy house, is also misleading. This film is actually an attempted subverison of the slasher genre. The terror is mostly psychological and not the type you would see in an ordinary slasher: the film takes place entirely during the day, there are only a few characters in an enclosed space, the perspective of the killer is never shown, and there is little on-screen violence and gore. Unfortunately, this interesting concept is poorly executed. The film obviously was made in a short period time on little-to-no budget, so it is understandable, but it is hardly an effective thriller.

The main problem with Serial Slayer is the unbelievable plot. A rooftop serial killer who draws his victims out of their homes so he can shoot them with a crossbow is a great premise. Having a slasher film set during the day, so that the killer cannot lurk in the darkness, is also a neat idea. Combining these two concepts does not work, at least in the context that is set up in this story. According to a radio announcement at the beginning of the film, this serial killer has already claimed a handful of victims. So it makes sense that the neighborhood is a little empty, as most people would probably go elsewhere until the killer is caught. However, apparently nobody drives through this neighborhood (including cops, who should probably be patroling the area), because nobody notices a guy on the roof in broad daylight.

But more importantly, why the hell would you have a slumber party in an area where everyone knows there is a killer on the loose? Early-on, there are some funny conversations (I'm assuming this is why it is listed as a "comedy" on IMDb--but this is no horror/comedy!) between the girls about serial killer hysteria and the chances of being a victim, which would be acceptable in any other context, but it just sounds ridiculous here. They also discuss how the past victims were all killed outside of their homes, which apparently brings them a sense of safety...even though none of the windows are locked, these women seem 100% convinced that the murderer is not going to break-in and kill them. There are several laughable instances where the characters try to draw the attention of the neighbors that make absolutely no sense. If you can get past some of these ridiculous premises, then some scenes in this movie could probably be really suspenseful.

The acting in Serial Slayer is unfortunate. All three lead women have proved in the past that they are damn fine actresses. Probably due to lack of time, good direction, and horrible dialogue, their performances here are really low-key and their fear is not at all believable. Some of the interactions between the characters are amusing and you wish the film would become the character piece that it is so obviously striving to be.

Another huge problem with the movie is the ending. After watching the film, I skipped around the director's commentary and was shocked that I completely misinterpreted the ending. Sadly, the way I saw the ending was much more exciting and made much more sense than what the ending actually turned out to be. It isn't meant to be ambiguous and open to interpretation, it is just poorly done.

On a side note, the movie also features a small "comeback" performance by Judith O'Dea (Barbara in the original Night of the Living Dead), but it is nothing to write home about. As I said before, this movie is extremely low-budget (made with hand-held digital video) and I'm sure the cast and crew worked extremely hard to get it done in time, so I hate to rag on it. It has a cool concept and a little bit of suspense, if you can get past the non-sensical behavior of the lead characters. But it is really not a well made film. Rent Slumber Party Massacre instead.

My Rating: 2.5/10


8 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?