The onslaught of nor’easters that have bore down repeatedly on Kindertrauma Castle these past weeks have afforded your Aunt John some serious sofa time with the streaming Netflix. While I would like to expound upon the nuanced performances of KATE & ALLIE SEASON 4 at great length, I think this forum is better suited for a discussion of the other abusive relationship tale I also sat through… 100 FEET.
In short, FAMKE JANSEN plays Marnie, a freshly paroled murderess placed on house arrest for killing her abusive, police officer husband and BOBBY CANNAVALE plays Shakes, the hard-nosed cop/ former partner to the murdered husband keeping an obsessively watchful eye on Marnie’s every confined move. Since Marnie is on house arrest, (title alert) she can’t physically be more than one hundred feet from the monitoring device installed in her home and if she is, an alarm is tripped that summons Shakes. Whereas your Aunt John would be tripping the alarm every five minutes (“Oh hi there BOBBY CANNAVALE, did I set off that alarm again?”), Marnie and Shakes don’t exactly mix since she killed his partner. Cops sure are sensitive to stuff like that. To make matters worse, Marnie’s house is haunted by her abusive husband (the tragically over CGI-ed MICHAEL “EDDIE & THE CRUISERS” PARE) who continues to deliver beat downs from beyond.
Despite a wavering accent (is she supposed to be an outer borough New Yorker or only when she’s upset?) JANSEN delivers a solid performance as a woman trapped in rather hellish existence. She has become the scorn of her friends, family, and neighbors and just when you think she has found some slight solace in the arms of the grocery delivery boy (a surprisingly not annoying ED WESTWICK of GOSSIP GIRL) along comes that pesky PARE poltergeist. And herein lies the biggest drawback to the flick; if you are going to cast Kindertrauma favorite MICHAEL PARE, at least give us a good look at his mug other than in the awkwardly staged old photos Marnie takes off her walls. I know he is supposed to be a ghost and all, but PARE’s obscured performance ends up being reduced to a series of repeated fade-in/sucker punch/fade-outs drowned in river of overly computerized blood.
Written and directed ERIC RED (BAD MOON), 100 FEET plays out like a Lifetime woman in peril yarn doused in supernatural syrup and dunked in a bucket a testosterone, and I’m not talking about CANNAVALE’s or PARE’s hormones; I’m talking about studly JANSEN’s. Something tells me that if you were truly on FAMKE’s shit list, you wouldn’t get the chance to come back from the dead, she’d get it right the first time.