A riveting psychological drama about a woman (Trish Goff) trying to piece her life back together whose problems escalate when she confronts her mysterious upstairs neighbor (Ally Sheedy).




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Cast overview, first billed only:
Deaf Girl
Joyce Chandler
Ted Bardy ...
Sarah Bloom ...
Michelle Carano ...
Jennifer Carter ...
New Tenant
Douglas Crosby ...
Veteran Cop
Jeridette Donaldson ...
Margaret's Assistant
Young Detective
Chief Copy Editor
Craig Gass ...
Deaf Man
Young Cop
Sheila (as Nikki Hansen)


Joyce Chandler (Trish Goff), a young divorced woman and recovering alcoholic, moves into a Manhattan apartment that seems a bit too secluded to be true. It is: Upstairs lives Charlotte Bancroft (Ally Sheedy), a woman with a wall of obliviousness who can turn even an 'apology' into a guilt trip, Charlotte persists in making Joyce's nighttime hours a living hell. As the torture continues, Joyce starts to lose her grip on her job, her health and her sanity. It's a heck of a price to pay for having your own place. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


What would you do for a good night's sleep?


Thriller | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, sexual content and some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

31 January 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Dark Descends  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The first night in the apartment scene her cigarette has a long ash then a short ash then the same long ash as before. See more »


[last lines]
Older Detective: Look at her go, like all the demons of hell are after her.
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User Reviews

Eerie, weird, just plain annoying
7 August 2007 | by See all my reviews

Joyce, just divorced from Elliot, is looking for a place to live in New York City, and she has found something nearly ideal. A safe neighborhood, a nice view, upstairs from Hanks's antique store, with only one other neighbor upstairs.

Unfortunately, Charlotte, the upstairs neighbor, likes to play her music loud, and sometimes she plays music when she can't sleep--even at 4 in the morning. She seems mentally unstable, though she has some sort of a publishing job. But at least her music isn't loud music. It's just played loud.

Joyce gets a job as a copy editor for a publisher. Her boss is nice. Joyce seems ideal for such a job because, after her parents died when she was 6, her grandparents raised her to be a perfectionist. But she has too many of her own ideas, and being new at the company, she is discouraged from trying to shake things up.

With her other problems, Joyce has difficulty coping with Charlotte, but in one really weird scene with fast editing and dreamlike sound, friends tell Joyce what to do about Charlotte. And Joyce's boss is actually a friend of Charlotte's--though this may not necessarily help. Eventually, Joyce finds her own solution, which eventually works, but not in the way Joyce had hoped.

Halfway through this movie, I was prepared to say this was one of the worst movie experiences I ever had. But part of the problem was the fact I had an allergy headache, made worse by really hot weather. Perhaps this gave me a special insight into Joyce's state of mind. But I didn't give up. Joyce didn't move, and I didn't turn off the movie because I didn't know when I'd ever see the rest, and I did want to. By the end of the movie, though, I was feeling better, and maybe not just because of the medication. I think the movie actually improved.

I couldn't stand Joyce. This did not necessarily mean Trish Goff gave a bad performance, though a really good actress might have helped me to like the character. As she was, though, I just couldn't care about Joyce. If her whining and constant drinking weren't enough, there was also the support group. Until I saw "divorced women" in the credits, I didn't know what that meant. It might have also helped if Joyce had been played by a good-looking actress. One character said she was beautiful, but she wasn't in my opinion.

Ally Sheedy did a good job, but she wasn't on screen enough. Her character was likable in a quirky way, but it took work. She looked her age early, but later she turned out to be quite a beauty. Giancarlo Esposito also did a good job as antique store owner Hank, who became Joyce's friend and was quite easy to like. I don't know the name of Joyce's boss, but the actress playing her also did a good job.

As to whether this film was really noisy, I found Charlotte's music irritating, but like Joyce, I have a low tolerance for noise, and my situation was even worse the day I saw this. Yet I'm not sure the noise level really communicated how bad it was for Joyce.

In the credits it said this movie was filmed in a quiet place. Strange, considering there wasn't any other comedy to speak of here.

The whole film seemed to have an eerie tone. Maybe some people enjoy a film like this. It's just not what I'm looking for.

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