The Loft is a testament to a film that can be great until the end.
I’m not a huge fan of media that includes white guys high on life getting away with crap. It’s boring and played out. I wasn’t too keen on The Loft because of that opinion, outside of the morbid curiosity of “whodunit”. That’s what this movie is. A subtle, romantic whodunit where five guys share a small apartment where they can live infidelitous lives with impunity. Suddenly, a grievous act is performed on the property! A bloody murder and an angry note. What? Each of these guys have their personal lives unravelled and their friendships tested over the course of the movie as they try to figure out whodunit.
The film plays out each of the characters lives. We’ve got Dr. Chris, a psychologist in love with a prostitute who is the half-brother to Phillip, a drug user and violent nut. We have Marty, the obligatory fat sexman. There’s Luke, Insulin dependent chase friend, and Vincent: The man who owns the building of the lot. The film weaves a story of debauchery and casual sex among these five men, their wives (Philip is married in the span of the film), and various other men. Almost everyone who has dialogue becomes a suspect, and each of them are surprisingly organic in introduction and development. Chris falls in love with a prostitute, Vincent tries to keep a lid on their arrangement, Luke is ashamed of the whole business, Phil uses it sparingly, and Marty is excited beyond reason.
There are some pretty grade-school by the numbers plot turns in this film. The Architect plays ball with the local government, the boys wet their whistles, and these all play in flashbacks. Vincent plays up the magic of the loft like something out of a teen movie and most of the sex scenes, the romance, it’s all boring and corny. I’m in it for the intrigue. The whole time I’m trying to figure out who killed this girl. I admit, I thought I had it figured out Gone Girl style, but it startles me regardless. There are three major twists in the finale of the plot, and the second one was enough for me. While the third twist is pretty good, It’s got me at that point in a convoluted film where I just think to myself, “how can this get any worse?” and I sit back, somewhat disinterested. I am enthralled by these characters though, as they deal with the fallout, both immediate and long-term. The thrills are few, but decent. While no one anyone originally thought did the deed, everyone eventually ties in somehow, which makes the twists all the more harrowing and tiring.
The film is pretty okay. not great, but I was on the edge of my seat for at least a minute in total. I want to talk about the ending in depth, and if you’re not into spoilers, I wouldn’t read past here.
So the first big twist is that the girl, Sarah, was not murdered, but committed suicide. The boys find out that Vincent had slept with each one of the men’s closest women aside from Luke, who fueled them by showing them the footage he secretly recorded of each tryst. This is powerful as it is ugly and effective at filing me with contempt for these infidelitous men. They move her overdosed body from the bed, Philip cuts her up (to everyone’s horror) and they drug Vincent and plop his cheating ass onto the bed. The second twist comes intertwined with the third, but we’ll start with the second. Turns out that Luke had actually decided to frame Vincent himself from the start (the start being the night before)! She comes to Luke, who wanted Sarah from the beginning, talking about how horrible Vincent is. He drugs her, shoots her up with a lethal dose of insulin (“Leaves no trace” Luke says), and sets up the original overdose.
His motive is surprisingly played out. Instead of going for the perfectly and completely laid out idea that Luke wanted Vincent, they stick with the boring cuckolding of Sarah! This is where I lose interest, up until everyone finds out the third twist! Sarah wasn’t dead! She didn’t die from the overdose! she was still comatose, but when Philip cut her wrists to stage the suicide—which the filmmakers shoehorn in that they only planned to implicate Vincent in Sarah’s suicide—and the police find out that she died from the wrist cutting, the slices as such are not in line with a suicide, and Vincent is locked up for murder. As the last two twists unravel, we recall the opening scene, where someone fell from the loft. Luke kills himself after a struggle with Chris, who found all this out on his own, because he has lost everything. Strangely, everyone but Vincent and Philip—only the latter gets any legal ramifications—get out scott free and live relatively normal lives! You really don’t feel any major waves compared to the magnitude of the lives they lived, and that bothers me. They have all this build, this huge release, and they keep it all boxed into this disgusting glam lifestyle, and I think it resonates with me. I think that These people really could get away with this.. this farce.