The Super is a horror/mystery/thriller that will keep you guessing, only to grab your attention in the third act.
From Director Stephan Rick (The Dark Side of the Moon) and writer John J McLaughlin (Black Swan and Hitchcock) comes The Super, a horror mystery thriller about a killer that has the keys to YOUR apartment.
The story concerns a new superintendent for an apartment building in New York, Phil Lodge (Patrick John Flueger, TVs Chicago PD), who has given up his career in law enforcement to raise his two daughters Rose (Mattea Conforti) and Violet (Taylor Richardson) after the death of his wife. This obviously means he can’t be working such a risky career. Soon after he arrives in the apartment he must put his detective hat back on, to figure out who is killing the residents in the building, with all fingers pointing towards shady fellow superintendent Walter (Val Kilmer, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, The Doors).
Now the story does play out as you would imagine. We meet a resident that seems to be living a normal life with their ups and their downs, only for them to get whacked by the unknown killer, with no bodies being left behind; the apartments just get cleaned up and re-rented. This is what we are dealing with for a good patch of this film. It isn’t until Phil starts believing his own family might be in danger that things get exciting, and with the suspects starting to pile up we have a nice little mystery to solve here. The film does have a killer twist, one I feel most people will see coming, even if when you stop and think about what just happened, things don’t always add up.
With the story being simple and easy to watch for the viewers, it is time we look at the performances. First, we must say how pleasant it is to see Val Kilmer back on the big screen. We know he has had some personal health issues and while we can see he is still dealing with them here, they play into the character, making him feel creepy to interact with. He is by far the best performer in this film. Patrick John Flueger does a solid enough job, but you can’t help but feel like they did want someone more iconic to be the leading man for this film. The young stars are good through the film; they both have interesting story arcs to explore and don’t hit the annoying stage, which child performers can do at times.
The location is key for The Super. We have an apartment building in New York City, a place where people dream of living one day, but the problem is that this could be an apartment anywhere; nothing about it says, “Look, here is New York City.” The fact we spend more time in the basement area where Walter operates makes it feel dark, while none of the apartments feel lived in.
This is a perfect example of a film being saved by its third act because otherwise, this would have been one of the most mediocre films you will see this year. For the first two acts, it is just people living in an apartment with everyday issues, and superintendents playing pranks on each other to show who is the better man. But the third act will stick with you and make you want to re-watch the opening just to see if you can pick up on the little clues.
Overall this is one film that could easily be forgotten in the endless piles of thrillers coming out, but it just about reaches up to say “watch me” over a large number of them, even if it is just because of seeing Val Kilmer back on the big screen and wanting to see a twist which will surprise you.