Dark Floors DVD review

Remember Eurovision Song Contest winners Lordi? They're back. And they've got their own horror movie...

Dark Floors

In 2006, the Eurovision Song Contest was taken by storm when, instead of the usual eastern European soft rock band singing about hope, a couple of priests singing about a horse, or quartet of Swedish flair-wearing beardies, a set of Power Ranger-like Finnish monsters won all the glory while swinging around axe-shaped guitars and singing about heavy metal, suited up in full make-up and costumes. It was enough even to distract Sir Terrance from his usual tirade of piss-taking.

Yup, Lordi had won Eurovision and with that, of course, came fame and fortune. Well fame anyway. And looking to go the way of other monster-mashing musicians such as Rob Zombie and KISS, the first port of call for these creatures of the night who were eager to make it in showbiz was to produce, direct and star in their own horror film, which, of course, is what Dark Floors is. And – surprise – it’s actually quite good.

Story-wise the movie takes a little bit from Silent Hill, Nightmare On Elm Street and, dare I say it, 13 Ghosts. It revolves around a character called Ben (Noah Huntly) whose autistic daughter Sarah (played actually very well by Skye Bennett) is getting more and more insular, not really talking and drifting off into her own world. When doctors and specialists cannot do anything for her, he decides to take her out of hospital only to find that he, along with other characters, are trapped in a weird ‘dark floor’ dimension of the hospital full of cracked and peeling wallpaper, horrific noises and, of course, the monstrous members of Lordi.

While recently there has been a fashion in horror to have torture porn and more ‘humanised’ creatures like serial killers and hoodie-wearing teens, this movie makes no excuse that is an all out unashamed 1980s monster flick. Harkening back to the days of Neon Maniacs, Xtro, The Keep and such, it’s really an hour-and-a-half of characters running down dark corridors being chased by monsters. And as such is fantastic. I like my horror to be based on the unbelievable; give me Pinhead or Freddy any day and this is what the film provides as each character in turn meets a member of the band and dies in a horrific and fantastically over the top gory way.

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It has all the staples for a great geek horror movie, even from the premise that it might all be in Sarah’s head to the fact that the creatures can only be defeated by her. harkening back to the Dream Warriors.

So then onto the most important thing: what are the monsters like? Well, while not up there with legendary icons (just yet) these prosthetic monstrosities are actually quite good and are basically the stage personas of the band ramped up to 11. There is Amen – an Egyptian zombie mummy thing, Kita – a sort of Alien thing that looks like one of the bad guys from Terrorhawks, Ox – an unstoppable rampaging hulk thing, Awa, who is a female vampire and finally the ‘boss’, Mr Lordi, who looks like Gene Simmons mixed with the devil from Legend (full dark wings, armour, spewed fake blood and all).

A mix of Tales From The Crypt, Power Rangers and 1980s Palace/Medusa home videos, Dark Floors is full of imagination, homages to past great creature features and provides everything you need from this type of movie (silly deaths, token characters, hot male/female leads, essential plot device children). Never really straying too far away from the path of tongue in cheek horror clichés, Dark Floors is light relief to the genre of horror that for the past few years has been taking itself far too seriously.

Extras While not packed, there are some quite good bits and pieces to be found and Metrodome, the company who has the rights to release Dark Floors in this country, has tried to please both hardcore Lordi fans (which I guess there aren’t that many of) and horror fans, specifically.

Featuring the usual cast and crew interviews there is also a good little production video diary that has lead child actor, Skye Bennett, explaining about the plot and monsters for the film. There is also a quite interesting press conference where the distributors of the film are explaining about the movie while at the same time looking very awkward sitting next to five musicians dressed in full latex monster costumes. There is also a smart inclusion of a Lordi gig in which you can see Mr Lordi and Co on stage in full dress really rocking out with massive creepy stage sets, flames and explosions. which is all great stuff.

Film:

4 stars
Disc:

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4 stars

Rating:

2 out of 5