ⓘ The Loft (film)
The Loft is a 2014 erotic thriller film directed by Erik Van Looy. It is a remake of the 2008 Dutch-language Belgian film Loft, which Van Looy also directed. The screenplay was written by Bart De Pauw and adapted by Wesley Strick. Starring Karl Urban, James Marsden and Wentworth Miller, it also features Matthias Schoenaerts who reprises his role from the original film.
The film was shot in Summer 2011, but its theatrical release was delayed by a change of the film distributor. Dark Castle Entertainment originally acquired the US distribution rights, as they did for Splice, with the intention of releasing the film through Warner Bros. When Joel Silver moved his office to Universal Studios, he took Dark Castle, and the film with him. Universal planned to release the film on August 29, 2014, but the studio pulled it from the schedule in favor of Legendary Pictures As Above, So Below. Universal and Dark Castle dropped the film, which was then picked up by Open Road Films, who released it on January 30, 2015. Universal retained the US home entertainment rights through its ancillaries deal with Open Road. Dark Castle, however, hasnt produced another film till 2017s Suburbicon with Paramount Pictures.
5 married men share ownership of an upmarket loft, which they use to discreetly meet their respective mistresses. When the body of a murdered woman is found in that loft, the men begin to suspect each other of having committed the gruesome crime, as they are the only ones with keys to the premises. Through flashbacks, which are intertwined with scenes from the present, the story is unraveled.
The five men are:
- Vincent Stevens Karl Urban: architect and designer of the building where the loft is situated; married to Barbara Valerie Cruz and has children; the one who initially suggests the five use the loft as a private oasis, he is set up by the other men to be accused of the murder.
- Philip Williams Matthias Schoenaerts: half-brother to Chris as they have the same mother; recently married to Vicky Margarita Levieva, who is the only daughter of a wealthy property developer, who is also his boss. He is a drug user who grew up in a dysfunctional household with his abusive father; very protective of his younger sister Zoe, and warns the other men off having sex with her.
- Dr. Chris Vanowen James Marsden: a psychiatrist married to Allison Rhona Mitra, half-brother to Philip. Chris and Philip have a half-sister, Zoe Madison Burge. The most reluctant of the men to the idea and the last to accept a key to the loft, Chris eventually does so because he is attracted to Ann Rachael Taylor, who eventually becomes his mistress. She tells Chris not to fall in love with her because she is a prostitute. He gives her his key as proof he does not use the loft with other women.
- Marty Landry Eric Stonestreet: married to Mimi Kali Rocha; a heavy drinker and an obvious lech. He and Mimi become separated when a woman he slept with on a business trip shows up at his home.
- Luke Seacord Wentworth Miller: married to Ellie Elaine Cassidy, who is an insulin-dependent diabetic; the one who discovered the body and initially calls Vincent and the others over to the loft. The police later insinuate that he is attracted to Vincent. He also recorded the mens activities in the loft without them knowing.
The murder victim is Sarah Deakins Isabel Lucas: Vincent, Luke, and Marty met her at a bar; both Vincent and Luke are attracted to her, but she hooks up with Vincent and becomes attached to him. At a party they are both attending, Sarah threatened to tell Vincents wife about the affair as a way to have them break up, but she is dissuaded from this by Luke. She seemingly tries to commit suicide at the loft, by taking pills with champagne. She is discovered by Luke, who calls Chris, Marty and Philip, showing them a note to Vincent. The note read "See you in the next life"; this note is taken from the loft by Chris.
The men were motivated to set Vincent up by Luke, who showed them DVDs of Vincent having sex with Martys wife, Mimi; Chriss prostitute, Ann who Vincent had paid to allow Chris to seduce her, so that he would take a key to and use the loft, and Zoe, Philip and Chriss younger sister. Three of the men leave to set up their alibis, with Philip remaining at the loft to stage the scene. He takes some cocaine and cuts Sarahs wrists, using her bloodied finger to write a Latin phrase similar to that in her suicide note. He then handcuffs Sarahs right hand to the bed.
Over the course of the movie, as the five men discuss what to do with the body, Luke, Chris, Marty, and Philip drug Vincent, strip and handcuff him to the body on the bed. Before Vincent passes out completely, Chris tells him about Sarahs suicide and the contents of her note. While being questioned by the police, Vincent tells them of the set-up, but they do not believe him as the only prints found were Vincents and Sarahs. They also have the DVDs of his sexual exploits, except the ones with Mimi, Ann, and Zoe; they wont believe him that Luke made the videos and the DVDs of the other men were not found. The police also mention that all four men have alibis for that morning - Chris and Luke were seen together having breakfast, Marty was at his office, Philip was alibied by his father-in-law who was blackmailed with information about his own cheating, information Philip had because he knew Vincent used that same information to blackmail his father-in-law to give him a contract on a project.
Releasing Chris from interrogation, Detective Huggins Kristin Lehman tells him that Vincent has been arrested for murder; he is surprised as he thought Vincent would only be implicated in Sarahs suicide. The detective further states that the pills did not kill Sarah, that her wrist cuts were not self-inflicted, the prints on the knife were Vincents and they didnt find a suicide note. The surprised Chris thanks Huggins and leaves. Outside of the police station, he reaches into his jacket pocket, only to find that the suicide note Luke gave to him is gone. He then walks to the loft and confronts Luke about the missing note. After initially denying that he had it, Luke leads Chris to the note, which was in the garbage. Chris looks at the note and wonders why Luke would get rid of the only evidence of the attempted suicide, speculating that Luke, not Sarah, was the author of the note. Luke then tells Chris everything; he framed Vincent, because he was attracted to Sarah himself, and felt that Vincent stood between him and Sarah.
We see that Luke had gone after Sarah the night she almost told Vincents wife about the affair. He told her that Vincent was using her and not worth it, and that he could treat her better. She rebuffs him, saying she felt nothing for Luke. Hurt, Luke turns around to find that his wife saw him talking to Sarah. When Sarah returned to visit Vincent at the loft, Luke showed up and drugged Sarah, trying to kill her - out of "love" - with an insulin overdose. He then staged the suicide with the pills, champagne bottle, and suicide note. Chris then tells him that Vincent is being charged with murder as Sarah hadnt been dead when they left her with Philip. Luke then states that technically it was Philip who killed Sarah and that he will clean the situation up. When Chris says no more cleaning up, Luke pulls out a kitchen knife and threatens him. Sirens can be heard and Chris says he called the police, told them everything and that it is over. He and Luke struggle, and he gets the knife from Luke. Luke tells Chris to tell Ellie and their kids that hes sorry; he then jumps from the lofts balcony, killing himself.
Six months later, Mimi and Marty are reconciled, Philip is facing trial for manslaughter, and Chris is divorced, sharing custody of his kids. He runs into Ann after leaving a bar, and she asks if he needs the loft key, that he had given her for them to meet up. Chris mentions the key would not work as Vincent now lives at the loft, since it was the only thing his wife left him with from their divorce. Chris mentions that he heard Ann left the congressman, one of her clients as a prostitute, and she replies that he’s not the only thing she gave up, implying that she’s no longer in that line of work. Ann asks Chris if he would like to grab a cup of coffee with her as the scene fades away.
On June 6, 2011, principal photography began in New Orleans. After a few weeks, filming moved to the studios in Brussels Belgium. Production wrapped up on July 27, 2011.
The Loft received largely negative reviews. On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds a 14% approval rating, based on 42 reviews, with an average rating of 3.1/10. The sites critical consensus reads, "Populated with characters as unpleasant as its sleazy storyline, The Loft is uninhabitable for all but the least demanding erotic thriller fans." On Metacritic, the film has a score of 24 out of 100, based on 11 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews". According to CinemaScore, audiences gave the film a grade of "B−" on an A+ to F scale.
The Loft grossed $6.002.684 in the United States and $4.074.106 overseas for a worldwide total of $10.076.790.