In Hollywood, the young teacher Nell and her husband, the resident Steven Barrows, move to an old building called Lusman Arms. Some sixty years ago, the place was glamorous, but presently is completely decadent. Many dwellers have disappeared along the years. While her husband is working in the hospital, the lonely Nell hears some weird noises and becomes afraid of the place. While jogging, she is introduced to (and becomes close to) her neighbor Julia Cunningham, and they schedule a hike together on the next day. Julia never shows up, and Nell looks for her in the building, finding a hiding block behind the wall, where an evil being, which was born from death, lives with many dead bodies.Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Every years thousands of people come to Hollywood to pursue their dreams. Some succeed. Some move back home... And some just disappear. See more »
The US release was heavily censored to get an "R" rating rather than an "NC-17". The following scenes were edited:
The "drill kill" of the girl in the apartment was about 20-30 seconds longer, showing much more blood fly out of the back of her head, and the drill going all the way through her mouth. After the killer retracts the drill, he then begins drilling again into her head. Also, this scene is well-lit as opposed to the darkened version in the "R" rated cut.
The man getting his head sawed in half; this scene was much longer. More blood and grue flies out as the killer saws, and the aftermath of the top half of the man's head being ripped off was shown, and the camera lingers longer on it when it hits the ground.
The man being strapped to the table and killed was a bit longer. There were more hits with the hammer, more screams from the man, and a better view of the powder being poured on his head. A more grisly after-view of the man's lye-laden head was present afterward.
So much better than you'd expect, given Hooper's recent track record.
Nell and Steven move into a run-down Hollywood apartment in the middle of being renovated. They soon realize that the landlord, maintenance man, and other tenants are a strange bunch. Nell finds herself delving into a mystery of the building when one of her neighbors goes missing. This is an excellent and unique slasher. Considering the last movie I saw by Hooper was about a CGI crocodile, I think it is fair to say he is back in the game. Unfortunately, there are plot holes galore that should have been worked out, the pacing is somewhat uneven, and the ending is a big let-down. But the murder scenes are nasty, the atmosphere is creepy, the set is awesome, and the jump scares are worthy. The "city of broken dreams" theme is effective even though most of the film takes place within the claustrophobia of the apartment building. The performance by Angela Bettis ("May") really anchors the movie. This lady brings a sense of dignity and classiness to the horror genre and I think she could become a real genre pioneer. All horror fans should check-out this movie.
My Rating: 7/10.
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