When the media reported that the Belgian E. Van Loy would re-shoot his thriller Loft in Hollywood, the audience froze in anticipation of the pleasure, remembering the strong impression that the 2008 film left. But when the remake was released, opinions were divided: some praised “Loft” for the famously “twisted” plot and dynamic action, others wondered why there was so little nude on the screen and so much talk. If we consider “Loft” as another variation of the immortal “Basic Instinct”, then it might be really bewildering, but, having some similarities to an erotic thriller, Van Loi’s film belongs to a different kind of genre and sets itself other tasks.
What is the genre feature of the film?
Loft is traditionally considered an erotic thriller, but anyone who has seen the film will rightly doubt this definition, not only because the actual erotic scenes in it are very short, but also because the topic of sex is neither primary nor even secondary. The fact that the main characters of the film are cheating on their wives should not be confusing: “Loft” is pure psychological thriller, because the plot is based on the complexities of relationships between five friends, and the main attention is paid not to the beauty of the naked body, but to the demons lurking in consciousness of seemingly prosperous citizens.
What is the difference between the 2014 version and the 2008 version
According to some critics, Van Loy’s original remake is practically no different from the original, with the exception of the cast, a different location, other interiors and a few minor nuances. Almost all important scenes were re-shot literally frame by frame. Other critics have noted some shifts in emphasis, with 2014’s Loft focusing more on the psychological dimension, while the Belgian film has a social dimension. In any case, both “Lofts” belong to the same genre and are filled with approximately the same meaning.
What are the main artistic techniques of the film?
The main technique of the director, undoubtedly, is the use of the “effect of disappointed expectations” both in relation to the characters and in the plot plan. Self-confident Vincent, virtuous Chris, greasy and unpleasant Marty, quiet Luke, charming Philip, beauty Anne – almost all the characters in the film wear masks behind which completely different people are hiding. Moreover, if Marty’s mask is not so different from his face, then the real Luke and the Luke that his friends knew are not very similar to each other. But not only the heroes, but also the picture of events with each new episode turns different facets, which allows you to keep the viewer in constant tension.
Another successfully used technique is the use of flashbacks, which arise in the most tense moments and intensify the tension. Each flashback is a touch to the characterization and / or a new plot twist.
What’s the point of the movie?
The finale, in which almost everyone got what they deserved, should not be misleading: Loft is by no means a moralizing film about how bad it is to cheat on wives. Wang Loi has produced a gripping and memorable account of power as a basic instinct; power that takes on a variety of guises, even the guise of sex. When Vincent offers his friends a loft, he does not do it for love of entertainment, and subsequent events confirm this: by providing territory in which friends can unleash their darkest side, the architect acts as a tempting serpent, and at the same time as a potential manager, pulling each for the threads of his vices. When Luke records the “exploits” of his friends on camera, he is guided by the same desire to subjugate others.
One more semantic layer can also be distinguished: the inextricable connection between lies and all other vices (here one involuntarily recalls that one of the titles of the devil sounds like this – the father of lies). And the problem is not only that any lie will sooner or later be revealed, but that one deception pulls another, and so on until the round dance of sins leads, if not to a prison or a grave, then to a broken trough. There is no harmless lie, more precisely, any lie at any moment can lose its harmlessness and become a catalyst for an avalanche of unpredictable events.
The film, which was released in October 2014, took three long years: Van Loy began work on a remake of his own film in the summer of 2011. Filming was carried out in two cities – Brussels and New Orleans, and the total budget of the film exceeded 14 million. It was not possible to recapture the money: at the box office “Loft” collected only 10 million.
Of all the actors in the first version of “Loft” in the American remake, the director invited only Matthias Schonarts, who did not have to re-learn the role: his hero in both films is clone characters. If the stars had stood differently, viewers could have seen such stars as Toby Maguiar and Rosamund Pike in Loft, but on some thought they turned down the director’s offer.
The Loft has another remake: the 2010 Holland-based film by Antoinette Böhmer of the same name.