Phillip Brooks, also known in the WWE world as CM Punk, is starring as Don Koch in director Travis Stevens debut horror film GIRL ON THE THIRD FLOOR, which just had its World Premiere at the SXSW Film Festival.
The film takes place and filmed at a house in the suburbs of Chicago called Frankfort, that is a large haunted money pit. It appears from the beginning that Don seems to be trying to fix his marriage especially since his wife is almost due to have their first child. As he is working on this money pit, he meets his new very Lolita-like neighbor, Sarah (played by Sarah Brooks); however, things start to happen as he rips apart this old house to try to make it new again. When his friend, Milo (played by Travis Delgado), comes to help renovate, he also meets this mysterious girl.
There’s another interesting, albeit odd, angle where Don meets his ‘neightbor’. I have that word in quotations because, at this point, we really have no idea if she is truly his neighbor or not but she seems very interested in the house. I’m also going to give a warning for viewers who might be sensitive to animals: there’s a scene with a dog that really triggered me as a dog owner, so just FYI.
It’s at the halfway point of the film that things certainly take a turn. Not only are there strange things happening in the house, but also live creatures as well. There were some pretty good old school special effects with some WTF moments, which made it kind of fun to watch. However, it’s towards the end when another twist is revealed after Liz Koch (played by Trieste Kelly Dunn) arrives at her new home and finds an old newspaper – M. Night you better watch out! (totally kidding).
Liz meets the neighbor to chat about what she has uncovered and its at this point that the neighbor gives her a warning about the house, Don, and Sarah. However, this doesn’t deter her from leaving as she remains in the home and viewers get an ending that they most certainly did not see coming. Overall, the film had decent set designs within the house and some great practical effects, which helped take away from some of the problematic issues within the story.