One of the few things that’s pretty cool about the Studio Movie Grill as a chain is that they get quite a few sneak preview movies, and it’s usually pretty easy to get into them. Sure, it’s not like the Alamo Drafthouse, where I can watch crazy old movies from the ’60s and ’70s that are all but impossible to find except in people’s personal film collections, but which get loaned out on occasion. But the SMG previews have never been a bad time; I mean, look at Tropic Thunder!
Except, here’s the thing about Walled In: It kind of is a crazy old movie from the ’70s. In several subtle ways, it reminded me of the Italian horror field from that time. I mean, nothing that actually happened, but the mood of the thing, and the inability to pull a coherent plot thread from one end of the movie to the other. Which, other than the pleasant nostalgia, was kind of a problem; don’t get me wrong. See, there’s this architect/construction chick who has been tapped to plan the demolition of a seriously awesome condo/apartment building, in the middle of a swamp by itself, that was designed by a very famous architect who has never lost a building to earthquakes, hurricanes, fires, or whatever. And this was his last building: while he lived there, some other dude went crazy and buried a bunch of his murder victims in the walls, including our famous architect. And now there are only four people still living in the building, which I forgot to mention has some spiritual similarity to the building in Ghostbusters, in that you can tell just by looking that it was probably laid out in such a way as to summon Gozer the Gozerian, when the time is ripe. Or something just like that.
And then things get weird and inexplicable, in the way that Italian horror movies do. I can’t exactly recommend it, or even describe it as good. But it did evoke its mood just perfectly, and I believe there are a few people out in the world, maybe even dozens, who know exactly what I mean and would be thrilled to see this, once. Maybe twice, if it was with someone else who would also know, but missed it the first time.
As a final note, this was shipped to the theater on DVD instead of film. You could tell because of the DVD notification right before it started, plus the occasional “Property of Anchor Bay” that flashed across the bottom of the screen at sporadic intervals. I cannot help but think that this was an unintentional prophecy about the flick’s eventual release. Any takers?