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on 7 July 2007
Leonard Grey(James Caan)has spent the last 30 years of his life as the Janitor in Jericho Mansions, totally confined by the terror of agoraphobia, he can barely look outside the windows, let alone set foot outside this building he tends. The landlady Lily Melnick(Genevieve Bujold)despises him and wants him gone, especially after the death of her husband and a murder within the building, she becomes even more driven to be rid of him, but why?
The tenants are an assortment of dysfunctional characters, seeming to add to the conspiratorial atmosphere within this residence. He is befriended by Donna Cherry(Jennifer Tilly), who warns Len that his life is in danger if he stays. Already haunted by flashbacks that don't make sense to him, taunted constantly by Melnick, he begins to doubt his sanity, and wonders if he may in fact be capable of leaving the confines of the walls and has. The chain of events that follow finally reveal a shocking secret.
To say more about the synopsis would ruin it for viewing.
It could be said that with a bigger budget, in the hands of a different Director and Producers, this may have had the potential to be much more suspenseful and a better film, the story is great, and the cast are capable of much greater performances, however, it is a watchable film, not great or memorable, but worth watching-especially a second time when you know what is really going on in this creepy place.
Given that at the time I am writing this review, this film can be purchased for less than £1, the DVD is just the film-no extras or commentaries, it's a bargain!! I have paid much more for films that have been less satisfying than this one.
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on 12 January 2009
I like to buy the odd random low budget movie every now and again - true most of them dont warrant a second veiwing but every now and again you find a little gem....

...however this wasnt one.

Similar themes to the Machinist are used here - lonely man trapped in mundane lifestyle doesn't really know who he is - until he finds out he is suspected of murder and begins to question if it is actually himself who did the killings....

it follows usual thriller traits - providing potential alabi's for a few people who didnt like victim. And has a decent explanation and twist at the end....however it just isnt handled very well, it very much lacks the aspect you get in well produced films where you dont realise these people are actors reading lines form a script - the performances are ok - but dont really convince you and the characters lack and charisma, however at numerous times you can tell these people are in a set with people all around them "acting" - rather than being so abosrbed in the film that you forget you are looking through a camera lens, you can tell it is "staged".

in the hands of better directors and producers it may have been more entertaining, but doesnt engage you enough - it has all the typical thriller elements, but doesnt quite pull it off...

It is watchable and worth a second veiwing - but by no means left me reeling or thinking about it afterwards.

worth a pound anyway - but i suspect, like me, after a 2nd vewing it will be on amazon to be sold soon!
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on 28 March 2015
Well worth a look or even two. Not one of Caan's best films but.....
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on 15 March 2008
i found myself this afternoon sitting on the sofa as the rain poured down cosily outside, and i needed a good film to get me into a snug saturday mood. However i was wrong to even look at this film, i suppose this must be the reason the film is going for such a cheap price, it was pathetic, the storyline was weak and i didnt understand a word of the thing. Next time i'll make sure i watch a good b&w film as that way i can be sure i wont waste my time.
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