We thought we’d take a break from the Collab this week because Jill isn’t feeling 100% and we hadn’t been able to get access to the same film anyway. Damn UK release dates. I’ve watched a couple of things on my own though and thought I’d share my thoughts on this somewhat confusing, often disgusting little horror movie because it rocked up on Netflix this weekend with little fanfare, and it’s been on my list for a while.

Girl on the Third Floor (2019)

Don Koch tries to renovate a rundown mansion with a sordid history for his growing family, only to learn that the house has other plans.

*Spoilers*

TW: Animal death

Before we begin, are the writers of this movie for real with the main protagonist’s name? Don KOCH. As it turns out Koch my nature too but we’ll get to that. Anywhoo, former-lawyer, former-crim Don Koch (C.M. Punk) arrives to begin renovations on the lovely but knackered old house he, his wife and unborn child are set to move into.

It just looks like a standard modernisation job from the outset, though it soon becomes clear that the house has idiosyncrasies – for one it positively secretes interesting goo and sometimes a blood-like substance from unexpected places. And whenever he does work on an area it appears plagued with issues.

Don’s not especially bothered though and with good dog Cooper for company, sets about bashing the shit out of walls and plugging up holes like a pro.

Wife Liz (Trieste Kelly Dunn) is back home in the city, presumably tying up loose ends before joining Don in suburbia, bump in tow. The pair communicate via video call and nauseatingly refer to each other as ‘Bunny’. BARF. As the days pass, Liz ponders aloud whether Don might have taken on too much by himself but he denies it and reminds her that their friend Milo will be joining him anyway, as soon as the weekend comes around.

While he acclimatises to a town with nothing much going on, Don meets local barman Geary (Marshall Bean) who asks him if he’s gay. When he denies it, Geary makes a comment about the house not being very good to straight men… and Don doesn’t push it. Of course not because he’s too busy being manly to be worried about local folklore. But he might want to buy a clue as it turns out the house used to be one of ill repute and may have been the setting for something sinister.

NO!

This theory is further hinted at when Don finds a set of bleachers in the attic, clearly designed so whatever happened in the house could be viewed by a willing and enthusiastic audience…

One evening Don receives a visit from a pretty local gal called Sarah (Sarah Brooks) who admits to hanging around the house while it was empty. When she offers him a good time, the slimey git doesn’t even hesitate, telling Cooper afterwards not to look at him like that because he’d ‘earned it’. This is where I washed my hands of Don, who up until this point seemed to be a man with a past (tattoos, yo, always a bad sign) but a good one putting all that to bed.

Fuck you, Don.

When Sarah rocks up the next day, Don rejects her, claiming he’s too busy for anything more than a cheeky one-nighter – and she takes it on the chin. Or does she? Sarah continues to hang around even after Milo’s arrived and in the end Don has to physically threaten her, which of course doesn’t go unnoticed by his house guest.

Milo being more a friend of Liz’s wonders if he can keep Don’s indiscretion from her. Turns out it doesn’t really matter as Milo isn’t going anywhere anytime soon…

Odd things keep happening, not least Milo’s disappearance, which Don assumes is off the back of their argument. Meanwhile the house keeps oozing what looks like jizz everywhere and Cooper is found mutilated in the dryer. What the fuck is going on and what’s all this even for if he can’t keep his scabby dick in his pants for his wife and kid? Well, the house isn’t having it and when Don does something even worse than shagging a young girl in the house he’s doing up for his family, it hits back hard.

Looks like it’s up to Liz to swing on by and fix everything, huh? With the help of slightly off neighbour Ellie (Karen Woditsch), who’s been on at Don to leave all this time, she learns the true history of what went down in the house…

Where’s Don popped off to though, who’s Sarah really and who is the mysterious blonde girl referred to in the credits as ‘The Nymph’? Gonna have to watch this one to find out.

Thoughts

Uh. This film put me off my breakfast for one thing, it’s just so viscous. It’s quite fun though and there’s something about the house setting, and the way Liz finds herself in the midst of a ghostly history lesson that reminded me of Ghost Ship. Don is obviously a horrible piece of shit destined to let his poor wife down so I didn’t really care what happened to him but I wanted her to survive this.

The story is a little messy admittedly, and I had to read up on the plot on Wiki to understand it but it has a pleasing colour palette and gave me shades of The Devil’s Candy which is a little indie I really like.

The title is awful though and it loses steam about two thirds of the way in. I can’t be confident this will be among my best horrors of 2020 list but it did the job for this afternoon.

3/5

What are you watching?