“Eric Red is a filmmaker who understands efficient storytelling. He knows how to set a scene, how to develop a premise and characters using the sparse language of cinema. His films (Body Parts, Cohen and Tate) are lean, efficient, and almost always expertly plotted. With 100 Feet, Red took a crack at the ghost story, and in doing so addressed a nagging question that has plagued the haunted-house genre since its inception: “Why don’t these people just pack up and leave?”.
Marnie, the protagonist in 100 Feet, is under house-arrest, having murdered her abusive ex-husband in self defense. She can’t leave. Locked inside the dwelling she once shared with her former spouse, Marnie realizes that the vengeful spirit of her dead husband is still roaming the halls, fully intent on making her life a living hell. 100 Feet is a modest, intimate film that takes place entirely within one environment, and Red makes the most of his limited setting.
Every nook and cranny is explored, utilized to create a sense of menace: a dark basement, crawlspaces, a garbage disposal unit. Red’s picture is also notable for being one of the most violent haunting films in recent years. This is one seriously pissed-off spirit, possessing supernatural strength but dishing out very man-like beatings. The violence has a brutal, nasty edge, unusual for this particular sub-genre.
Acting is uniformly excellent, but the film belongs to Famke Janssen, as Marnie. Because of the close personal relationship Marnie once shared with her ethereal tormentor, the haunting here has an added layer of emotional resonance; Red’s script offers his lead plenty to work with, and she admirably rises to the challenge.
Both vulnerable and tough-as-nails, Marnie is a compelling, perfectly realized horror heroine. It’s no classic (there are a few instances of wonky CGI), but 100 Feet is a solid little ghost movie that deserves your attention.”