100 Feet
Three Stars (out of five)
2008. Released by The Asylum. Running time 90 minutes. Rated R. Has scenes of intense gore and violence--not for children. Equipped with closed captions and English subtitles. No special features on either the DVD or blu-ray. This was reviewed on DVD on May 17, 2012.

I'd rather face Magneto again! 100 Feet refers to the radius of freedom that Marnie Watson (Famke Janssen, X-Men and The Wolverine) enjoys while wearing an electronic ankle bracelet. Her prison sentence has been communed to house arrest within her old New York City brownstone for a year. Marnie was convicted when she had killed her husband, Mike (Michael Paré), a veteran NYPD police officer, in self defense after he had attacked and tried to kill her. Shanks (Bobby Cannavale), Mike’s partner, is her reluctant escort back to the house (which doesn’t ring true; usually a cop with a personal stake in a case isn’t involved professionally). Shanks blames her for killing Mike in cold blood, and is eagerly looking forward to seeing Marnie slip up so she can be sent back to prison.

Hmmm, claw marks...Wolverine was here. Marnie settles in at home as best she can, considering that her neighbors and even her own sister refuse to speak to her. Joey (Ed Westwick), the delivery kid from the grocery store, ignores his nay-saying neighbors by taking a shine to Marnie and deciding to stand by her, no matter what. Which may be a bad idea, because Marnie soon realizes that the ghost of Mike still haunts the house--she killed him in the kitchen--and he’s apparently very angry about being dead. Writer/director Eric Red is best known for writing hard-edged thrillers like The Hitcher and Blue Steel, as well as the classic 80’s vampire film, Near Dark.

Where's my mutant powers when I really need them?! Here, he gives us a supernatural thriller with a novel twist: a woman who is haunted and harassed by the malevolent spirit of her abusing husband, and she’s basically trapped in the house with him, thanks to her electronic bracelet. Red fills his film with a vibrant energy from the first shot, where we’re slowly introduced to Marnie while she sits cuffed in the backseat of Shank’s squad car. And the supernatural elements get started with a welcome blast when Marnie hears eerie footsteps in a house where she’s supposed to be alone.

I can't believe I forgot to record Honey Boo Boo! But the CGI special effects that are used to convey the ghostly shape of Mike fall short; they look no better than a cheap video game. What also doesn’t help is the fact that, whenever there’s a confrontation between Marnie and the ghostly Mike, it always takes place in near or total darkness, making it hard to see anything that’s happening. The movie’s narrative also runs out of steam, as Red seems to be unsure as to what sort of tone he’s setting: the result is that the film veers from being a Lifetime Channel-type soap, to a hard-core horror flick, then back to a sappy Lifetime flick at the end. Hard core horror fans may enjoy this as a change of pace, but fans of more mild ghost stories will be turned off by the gore. --SF


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100 Feet [Blu-ray]