Large, old apartment buildings have always fascinated me. There’s something both enchanting and largely foreboding about a huge building with who knows how many rooms and who knows how many secrets. In Stephan Rick’s THE SUPER, we find out just how many secrets those rooms can hold.
Phil Lodge (Patrick John Fleuger) is a retired cop who takes up a job in a large apartment building as one of three supers. For those familiar with The Princess Diaries, (random I know) Patrick John Fleuger plays Jeremiah, the magician with the bright red hair. He’s all grown up and making us all feel incredibly old.
As part of being a live-in super, Phil takes up residence in said apartment building with his two daughters, Violet and Rose played by Taylor Richardson and Mattea Conforti. The family has been through a tragedy as we soon find out in which Phil’s wife and the mother of his daughters has died. Things seem to have been tense since then, with the adolescent Violet radiating attitude and push back in every conversation she has with her dad.
Prior to Phil moving in, we see a violent murder take place in the same apartment building. Soon after he begins work, a series of disappearances take place one after the other and Phil begins to notice his youngest, Rose has begun to have a strange fascination with one of the other supers, Walter (Val Kilmer). Walter, in addition to being super creepy also happens to dabble in black magic. Phil begins to suspect that Walter is behind the mysterious disappearances and will go to any lengths to protect himself and the lives of his daughters.
Kilmer does a good job in portraying Walter. With a creepy goatee and glasses halfway down his nose as well as a stalky stride and an accent that I can’t quite place he makes a convincing turn as the sinister super. I’m not sure if his voice is actually dubbed but knowing about his recent history with throat cancer I would not be surprised If this was the case. Fleuger does well portraying the tough cop and plays well off Conforti and Richardson with Richardson taking the bulk of the emotional scenes.
The set design is well paired with Rick’s direction and everything has sort of a grimey, dark feel. It was very reminiscent of the apartment building in 2014’s Annabelle. I loved the dark green and blue tones in contrast with the bright lighting in the lobby and the darkness in the boiler rooms. Its definitely a good set up for a creepy film. The script and story I found to be a bit lacking. It didn’t match the overall tone of the film. The opening scene was definitely on par with creepy and even gruesome but it kind of just lost momentum after that.
When I used to write essays in high school, I would always start with the ending and work my way back. I always had a killer ending but my essay wouldn’t always match up with the intensity and fervor of that ending. I feel like this was the main problem with THE SUPER. The ending and subsequent reveal were pretty good, but the lead up to the final climax seemed a little sloppy and thrown together. That being said, I did find it to be entertaining and it’s a fun film to watch if you’ve had a few drinks and are staying in for a spooky night with friends. THE SUPER is now available to own on Blu-ray and Digital.