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Girl on the Third Floor (2019) Movie Review

I Wrote my First Movie Review While Giving Birth to a Camera. It has followed me ever since. Please don't mind the Mess.

girl-on-the-third-floor-2019-movie-review

MPAA Rating

UnRated

Running Time

93 minutes

Director

Travis Stevens

Writer

Trent Haaga

If you’re able to read this, you’re more than likely dead.

Sorry you had to find out like this. Usually it’s better to ease you into this new reality, but you’ve been in a state of denial for quite some time.

Or you just clicked on this link because you’re really into girls, or into floors. Either one has gotten you in trouble with the authorities. Some instances have been wiped from your permanent record when you turned 18, some are part of public record and are disgracefully hanging over your head like a cloud of shame.

While you bide your time waiting in line for Last Christmas and have an hour and a half to kill, you might as well check out Girl on the Third Floor. You won’t regret it unless that Tom Hanks/Shelley Long 80s movie The Money Pit gave you nightmares or you couldn’t go to sleep after watching that stillborn Ben Stiller/Drew Barrymore comedy Duplex.

Just kidding. No one is in line to see Last Christmas unless they were forced to.

Everyone knows house renovations can be a nightmare. There are reality shows white people watch showing you this practically every hour of the day. Why would you want to watch a horror movie based on a very trying, very ill-advised attempt to renovate a house?

Because Girl on the Third Floor will do for renovations what Crawl did for killer alligators.

Girl on the Third Floor will do for clearing out rot in your drywall what Psycho did for mothers.

Girl on the Third Floor will do for…random house cleaning task…what Hereditary did for small scale models.

Doesn’t matter. The point is that for years you’ve wanted to watch a horror movie and see people do repairs on a house. After Girl on the Third Floor, your destiny has been fulfilled. Consider that mountain climbed.

That curtain will be opened with gusto.

That curtain will be opened with gusto.

Synopsis

Don Koch (C. M. Punk) and his loyal dog Cooper (Elijah Wood) have moved into their new fixer-upper in the suburbs of some Podunk town. Don used to be a financial big shot in the Chicago, but because of something terrible he did, he’s forced to adjust to a new way of life.

I’m not telling.

Okay. It is revealed later in the movie.

Don’s very pregnant wife Liz (Trieste Kelly Dunn) is days or weeks or months or years away from giving birth. She’s staying at their old house and working while Don and Cooper renovate the new one. Don and Liz have had a rough couple of years, but they’re both hoping this new house and this new baby will be a fresh start for them.

Since this is a horror movie, it’s probably not.

Since this a horror movie, we’re also guessing that Cooper the dog won’t be around by the end of the second act. Sorry Coop.

It’s established early on that Don is pretty much the definition of toxic masculinity. He’s not a very good person. As a husband, he’s bordering on terrible. But as a house renovator, he’s actually kind of okay. Liz asks him on their daily video calls if Don needs some professionals to speed up the process. He always refuses.

Some water will help those stains. Maybe some soap as well.

Some water will help those stains. Maybe some soap as well.

Don is visited by Ellie (Karen Woditsch) a pastor at a neighboring church. She’s there to say ominous things like “A house is a lot like a person,” or “This house has a lot of history,” or “You will all die if you live here.” That last one isn’t really said in the movie, but it might as well have.

A local girl named Sarah (Sarah Brooks) also visits Don while he’s working. Sarah seems unusually interested in the house. She also seems unusually interested in Don.

It isn’t long before Don and Sarah copulate while Cooper watches and take pictures.

Told you Don is a dreadful husband.

Between trysts with Sarah, Don is starting to hear odd noises coming from the upper floors of the house.

There is also a viscous ooze seeping from the electrical outlets and from the cracks in the wall. You normally don’t see that kind of thing in a suburban fixer-upper.

Good thing Don’s former friend and co-worker Milo (Travis Delgado) is coming in for the weekend to help him refurbish the house. Bad thing that Milo is black and he’s probably not going to make it through the weekend.

Milo and Don discover a room where the attic used to be. That’s not portentous at all and everyone will have a great rest of the day.

Milo will make it through the weekend and not be the black person that dies in a horror movie.

Don will realize the error of his ways and end up being a devoted husband, a wonderful father, and treat all women with respect.

Liz’ pregnancy will go off without a hitch and she’ll give birth to a healthy baby girl in their new house.

Cooper the dog will live a long happy life.

Absolutely not. None of this will happen and it’s all Don’s fault

What Works With Girl on The Third Floor

  • There’s a reason the title of the movie is called Girl on The Third Floor. Mainly because (spoiler) there’s a girl on the third floor. When she shows up, it’s as unnerving an image you’ll see all year this side of Midsommar.
  • Sarah Brooks’ unsettling performance as “Sarah”, the next-door neighbor (or is she?) that shows up and random times. Anybody who’s seen a horror movie can pretty much guess who and what her character is, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less off-putting.
  • A wacky third act that rewards those of you patient enough to sit through the first two. It’s nowhere near as loopy as say, The Lighthouse, but it’s more alarming and gorier than you would have expected.

What Doesn’t Work With Girl on The Third Floor

  • The first act is literally a guy trying to fix a house. If you’ve ever wanted to watch a horror movie in which someone has a measuring tape or a hammer or tears out drywall, your prayers have been answered. But if you’re not expecting this, then you might be bored enough to start cleaning up your own house.
Don't say "It's hammer time."

Don't say "It's hammer time."

Overall

This Girl takes home renovation to a whole new bloody level. See it. But only after Doctor Sleep.

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