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.


Mark Tapio Kines



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


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


The hunt is on. See more »


Horror | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and violence | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Melanie Lynskey was originally cast as Gina. See more »


Referenced in Best of the Worst: Our VHS Collection (2019) See more »

User Reviews

14 March 2008 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

Claustrophobia (2003)

** (out of 4)

A small neighborhood in Los Angeles is struck in terror when a maniac starts climbing on people's roofs and shooting them with a crossbow pistol. The town is in a panic and the police don't have a clue to what's going on because the killer doesn't have a motive and no clues were left at the crime scenes. Thankfully three girls decide to throw a slumber party and the killer just happens to show up. With the darkness falling, the three girls must find a way out of the house.

You might remember this movie under its original titles of Claustrophobia but no matter the title the film really isn't worth troubling yourself with, although there are a few interesting aspect that die-hard horror fans might want to check out. The most interesting thing is that actress Judith O'Dea makes her first screen appearance since her role as Barbara in George Romero's Night of the Living Dead. It's somewhat shocking she didn't do any films between these two but here she is in case you want to know what she looks like today.

The rest of the film really doesn't have enough interesting aspect to get any sort of recommendation but I do think director Mark Tapio Kines could make a good movie given a good cast and a higher budget. The film was shot digital and to me this is a death kiss to many low budget films because it's very hard to build any atmosphere and that's a problem here. Another issue is the actual look of digital and for a low budget horror movie, the graininess and ugliness of video can always make for a more interesting movie but again, this here is lost when you're shooting digital.

Outside of that, the basic story isn't anything new and you'd be better off renting the campy The Nailgun Massacre or the cult favorite The Slumber Party Massacre since both films serve the genre a lot better. I'm sure while making these types of films the directors are aware of previous low budget films that made their debut on VHS back during the 1980's. With that in mind, why on Earth are these direct to DVD titles coming out so lame? Fans of those 80's classics enjoy them because while the stories aren't the greatest, the film at least gives you some good gore and pretty girls taking their clothes off. I'm going to guess Scream made nudity politically incorrect but this film here isn't going to be opening in two-thousand theaters. To make up for the budget perhaps these directors should start delivering the goods.

The performances are expected to be bad but the ones here are even worse than you'd expect from this type of film. None of the characters are written good enough to where you actually care for them so it becomes rather boring watching them talk and trying to survive when in fact you're hoping they'll quickly be bumped off. Another issue is that they don't say anything interesting. Apparently the director (who was also the screenwriter) was trying to build up suspense in their talk but this doesn't come through because the girls say nothing interesting. Throughout most of the film they simply say did you hear that? which gets old.

Even with all of that, I'd almost recommend the film due to the director being able to capture a few jump scenes. I won't give the scenes away but there's one involving a window that made me jump and that isn't too easy to do. Another highlight of the film is the sound effects of the killer walking on the roof. This is a very simple effect but the director makes the most of it and it does manage to be a bit creepy. There's really nothing new or original in this flick but I respect some of the effects the director was able to create.

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Official Sites:

Cassava Films





Release Date:

18 June 2003 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Serial Slayer See more »

Filming Locations:

California, USA See more »


Box Office


$95,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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