The Loft sees Erik Van Looy update his own 2008 Belgian thriller with a Hollywood. Karl Urban and James Marsden, Matthias Schoenaerts, Wentworth Miller and Eric Stonestreet star in the decidedly ‘90s thriller as a group of upwardly mobile alpha males who purchase the titular Loft in order to get a bit of action on the side without their wives finding out. Things take a nasty turn when they discover a dead woman in their den of inequity. Friendships get frayed and untold truths are finally unveiled as the men try to get to the bottom of their locked room mystery.
Van Looy’s remake isn’t a great film but it is an enjoyable enough potboiler with enough twists and turns to keep you entertained. Some of the characterisation is a bit too on the nose as each of the five leads lives up to the well worn stereotypes. The standout performance is given by Karl Urban, an actor who should be higher up the Hollywood pecking order than where he currently sits.
Wesley Strick is a screenwriter who knows a thing or two about delivering tense thrills having penned the likes of Cape Fear and Final Analysis and he updates Bart De Pauw’s tale for a US audience. The continental attitude to having a ‘bit on the side’ may have been more palatable to Belgian audiences but it’s likely the film failed to connect when it was released in the US
The script walks a fine line in trying to make the morally dubious characters likeable and while it may not be totally successful in doing this, you’re at least intrigued to find out what happens at the end.
The Loft is a slick and stylish thriller with a few surprises and enough twists and turns to keep you entertained. It’ll never give Hitchcock a run for his money but it will pass 90 minutes – even if things do get farfetched as the climax approaches.