When interior decorator Juliette Lewis inherits a handsome, huge New York apartment at the rent-controlled monthly bargain of $400, it looks too good to be true. It is. Walking into the creepiest collection of neighbors ... more » since Roman Polanski's The Tenant, she's accosted by nosy first-floor busybody Shelley Duvall ("Is that your boyfriend? Oh, you like older men?"), a surly superintendent who isn't allowed his own set of keys, a mystery tenant who flees at the sight of her, and a reclusive fourth-floor neighbor who turns a war of wills into an all-out guerrilla campaign of terror. When her place is overrun with rats and maggots (yech!), pushy boyfriend William Hurt insists she leave, but she's determined to continue her first bout of independence...even if it kills her.First-time director Josh Klauser manages an entertaining if not quite engaging bit of urban paranoia--what apartment dweller hasn't worried about a secretive neighbor?--but lets it all slip into a silly, half-baked climax and a thoroughly predictable final twist. He also slips in references to Rear Window and Pacific Heights (two other paranoid tales of nasty neighbors), but none of it compares to morning-show personality Hurt's creepy TV weather clown routine: he sings, he dances, he chirps "Rise and shine" with the droopy-eyed intensity of an over-caffeinated drug addict. Now that's scary. --Sean Axmaker« less
"Taking into account that this movie was filmed on a small budget by a first time writer/director I think it's not half bad. Yes, it is cliched in some parts but, honestly, how many movies aren't nowadays and why must we immediately discredit a film because it relies on cliches? Yes, the film takes its time, good suspense films often do because they have to give you enough background information to make the plot seem believable. In this film, it takes time for Jane to realize that the person living downstairs is up to no good, it takes time to learn enough about characters to make you suspicious of them. Too many movies just throw a character on screen and immediately wants you to assume that they did it. This film actually has all the suspects have several scenes with Jane so you become suspicious of more than one or all. Frankly, I found this movie spooky...no not particularly original but still it creeped me out. Watching it along late on a Saturday night while housesitting a large creaky house it gave the chills. Not to say you couldn't enjoy it in the comfort of your own home and still get shivers. The long and short of it is, the cast makes it better than a B Movie direct to video waste of time/money. It is filmed VERY well considering it was a small budget and if you are willing to swallow your movie hangups about cliches (which are only resolved by one or two movies a year) this movie will entertain you. And the commetary is insightful. Give it a shot."
Shut off the Lights...get the Popcorn!
Clob Lane | 07/26/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I picked this movie off the shelf having never read a review or plot outline. From the very start I was sucked into the mystery of "The 4th Floor". I watch a LOT of movies (1-2 per day)and very few keep me as glued to the screen as this one did. I had no idea what to expect, so I just let it lead me to the edge of my seat. All of the characters in the apartment building were skillfully introduced and given quirks that lead you in all directions to keep you guessing. Not until the end does everything they said and did make sense.(Kinda like the 'Sixth Sense') I loved the fact that I had no idea how it was going to end until the end and then was suprised at the ending's "ending". I thought it was fresh and creative and unpredictable. I liked it so much I bought a copy the next day! Perhaps the people who don't like it feel there wasn't enough gore to be "good". I was thrilled that a movie could be so enthrawling without all the gore that has creeped into the movie mainstream. I call this a top-notch thriller/mystery!It does help if you do NOT know how it ends!"
RKL | Asheville, NC | 05/06/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am reviewing the budget version of this film which is available on the Sterling label. I paid about $6 for this dvd which I thoroughly enjoyed the first time I rented it. This budget version differs from the original A Pix version: There are no commentaries/alternate endings with this Sterling version. If you want those extras, you'll have to buy the other version. No captioning bothered me since I am so used to having that option. But since I listen with headphones, this isn't a problem. Picture quality is very good with some slight grain. Audio is 2ch despite what is printed on the keep case: Dolby Digital Stereo, it isn't. Minor complaints however considering the first-rate cast and excellent performances by all: Juliette Lewis as our victim-who-gets-run-through-the-mill by a creepy neighbor(Austin Pendleton), William Hurt as her 'I warned you' boyfriend, Shelly Duvall as the nosy oddball landlady. There is of course the apartment building with a long history and sinister feel about it, darkly-lit as well. I was reminded a lot of 'Rear Window'. I should also mention Tobin Bell as the beady-eyed handyman who has a secret. A perfect mix of atmospherics, characters, mood, pacing, score and the suprise ending. Quite a lot of six bucks."
As far as thrillers goes this rocks
RKL | 11/27/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Its a thriller, not a horror picture so dont expect gore. I like how the story flows and Juliette makes any role worth watching IMHO. Here, she gets an apartment and all this weird crap starts happening. It all leads up to a great fun ending. Grat movie, lots of fun"
The 4th Floor (1999)
Clob Lane | Toronto, Canada | 07/15/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Chilling tale about a woman who moves into an old apartment to live alone and finds that one of her new neighbours has a "small" grudge against her and begins tormenting her and eventually tries to kill her. Juliette Lewis does a nice job, and Shelley Duvall steals the show with her over-the-top performance as the apartment house owner, Martha Stewart. Unfortunately, this thriller wasn't as good as I had hoped, although it was quite entertaining and suspenseful. William Hurt's talent goes to waste here, but he does a decent job for what he's given. I liked this alot, but I wouldn't say it's excellent."