Sunday, June 29, 2014

100 Feet, The Ghost and Famke Janssen

I first saw 2008's "100 Feet" on the Syfy Channel, and then last week on Netflix.  A violent ghost story in which Famke Janssen ("Deep Rising") plays a woman who killed her abusive husband in self-defense, only to have to defend herself from his ghost.  Born in The Netherlands, the former Chanel model studied literature in college (as did I).  Captivating in all of her screen roles, including this one, even though her character in "100 Feet" is un-glamorous and rough around the edges.  This film serves as a metaphor for unhealed scars of abused women, and Janssen's portrayal is magnificent as a scared and angry victim.
As our story begins, Marnie (Janssen) has just been released from prison. She served two of three years for manslaughter.  Her final year of the sentence will be served in her home under house arrest, wearing an ankle bracelet.  If she steps over 100 feet from the monitoring device, centrally located in her Brooklyn brownstone, the NYPD will be alerted.  Her victim?  Mike (Michael Pare), her husband, a NYPD cop.  Mike beat her several times and in self defense, she killed him.  Mike's partner, Shanks (Bobby Cannavale) is determined to make sure Marnie doesn't leave her house. Shanks and Mike were partners, and he doesn't believe the self-defense story.  Not long after arriving home, Marnie gets to work removing the blood stain from a wall.....but wouldn't you know it?  The stain keeps reappearing.  Strange noises and creaking floorboards also serve to unnerve Marnie.  Then one day, Mike's ghost (see photo below) appears and beats up Marnie.  Seeing Marnie bruised and battered, Shanks starts to believe Marnie may not be the fiend he thought she was.  
Ostracized by her old neighbors (all of them loved Mike), Marnie makes a friend.  The beautiful outcast makes a connection with an 18 year old delivery boy, Joey (Ed Westwick).  He is handsome, sensitive, caring, and about to be turned into a hairy blob of strawberry ice cream by Mike.  As Mike's attacks on Marnie increase in intensity, and the bruises get more severe, Shanks pleads with her to tell him exactly what is going on.  No fool is she, Marnie knows no one would believe her story about the ghost.  Unable to resist each other Joey and Marnie have a night of passion.  Hopefully it was worth it for Joey, as Mike is waiting for him when he awakes.  In front of Marnie, Mike twists Joey in the most unnatural positions, and ensures the death is torturous and bloody...a message for Marnie.  As the exciting, and horrifying conclusion approaches, Marnie tries over and over again to rid her home of Mike....never successfully.
Will Marnie survive her year under house arrest?  With Joey turned into meatloaf, will Shanks take the opportunity to move in on his dead partner's widow?  This is a violent ghost story, and at times the beatings inflicted on Marnie are difficult to watch.  "100 Feet" is a good one with scares, suspense, and the beautiful Famke Janssen.  There is a scene containing Hitchcockian suspense concerning a garbage disposal that will have you turning your head.  Next time you access Netflix, select "100 Feet," and get ready for a really scary ghost story.   

1 comment:

  1. Yikes. Great concept. Movies about being trapped are always hard on the nerves and this one seems to bring about the entrapment in a new way (which is hard to find in these times of remakes)