Directed By: Eric Red
Starring: Famke Janssen, Bobby Cannavale, Ed Westwick
Tag line: "Accused of Killing Her Husband, Confined To The Home He Now Haunts"
Trivia: In Brazil, this film was released as Hostage Spirit
After several years in prison for murdering her abusive husband (who also happened to be a cop), Marnie (Famke Janssen) finally heads home, where she’s to spend the next 12 months under house arrest. Thanks to the electronic tracking device attached to her leg, Marnie is restricted to a 100-foot radius (if she wanders beyond that point, she'll likely be sent back to jail), yet despite the limitations, she does her best to try and lead a normal life. Unfortunately, she’s not alone in the house; the ghost of her dead husband Mike (played by Michael Paré) resides there as well, and needless to say, he’s pretty pissed off. In fact, he picks up right where he left off, beating his wife on a regular basis. With the abuse starting all over again, Marnie turns to Shanks (Bobby Cannavale), her husband’s former partner; as well as Joey (Ed Westwick), the delivery boy for the local supermarket, for help. But will anyone believe her story, or is she doomed to spend the next year being victimized all over again?
What I found most impressive about director Eric Red's 100 Feet was the performance delivered by Famke Janssen, who plays Marnie, the once-battered wife who continues to suffer at the hands of a deranged ghost. Yet what makes her character so fascinating isn’t that she’s living with a spirit, but the manner in which she approaches the entire ordeal. As portrayed by Janssen, Marnie is tough-as-nails, a no-nonsense woman who refuses to allow the ghostly presence to drive her from her home. There are even times when she has a few choice words for her late husband (after being attacked in the kitchen, Marnie defiantly shouts “You had it coming”, and reminds Mike that it’s his own fault he’s dead). From start to finish, Janssen coveys her character’s inner strength, and does so is a way that’s entirely convincing.
Horror-wise, 100 Feet is a bit more hit and miss. Mixed in with its effective shocks (the sequence where Mike first makes his presence known to Marnie is abundantly creepy) are a few cheap ones (yet again, we get a screeching cat, a time-honored jump scare that’s been done to death), but the real problem is the ghost itself, which is somewhat inconsistent (while it usually appears in full form, there are times when we can’t see it at all). There’s even a scene in which Marnie takes a swing at Mike that actually connects, something that had me scratching my head when, later on, she tries knocking him down with a baseball bat, which simply passes through him.
These issues aside, 100 Feet is a movie I’d recommend (Famke Janssen really is that good). But if it’s wall-to-wall scares you’re looking for, you might want to look elsewhere.