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Across the Hall (DVD Review)

13 Dec, 2009 By: Thomas K. Arnold

Prebook 12/15/09; Street 1/19/10
$27.98 DVD, $35.98 Blu-ray
Rated ‘R’ for language.
Stars Brittany Murphy, Mike Vogel, Danny Pino.

This compelling little thriller is one of the best movies I’ve recently seen — and a real throwback to the film noirs of the 1940s and 1950s I love so much.

Brittany Murphy gives one of her best performances ever as a two-timing girlfriend whose stalker-boyfriend shows up in the same hotel where she’s having a tryst with his best friend. One of them ends up dead and things rapidly spin out of control from there — or do they?

Ultimately this is a film about revenge, but unlike most revenge films, I never saw it coming. The movie’s promotional material touts it as unpredictable, and while most movies rarely are, this one lives up to its hype.

Murphy is a real surprise here — her acting during the post-love scene with her psycho boyfriend is so believable that she comes across as both vulnerable and irresistible.

The film had me intrigued from start to finish, and it’s hard to believe this is a first-time venture by writer-director-editor Alex Merkin. It makes me want to see more by him, especially since this film apparently began as a short. Good stuff — really good stuff.

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