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Laramie Movie Scope:
The Ones Below

You just know those creepy neighbors will be trouble

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by Robert Roten, Film Critic
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January 5, 2017 -- A young pregnant wife and her creepy husband move into the apartment below another young pregnant wife and her overworked husband. An odd relationship develops between the four, which leads to a tragic event, which leads to ever more sinister creepiness in this suspenseful film.

The upstairs couple, Kate (Clémence Poésy of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2”) and her harried husband, Justin (Stephen Campbell Moore) have been married for 10 years and are having their first baby. They have just moved into the apartment, but already there are troubling signs. The man in the downstairs apartment has died, along with a lot of plants he was tending. Workers cut back the weeds, creating a small, sterile lawn out back.

Then a couple moves in downstairs, a curt, imposing man, Jon (David Morrissey of “The Walking Dead” TV series) and his younger, pregnant wife, Theresa (Laura Birn of “A Walk Among the Tombstones”). Theresa makes friends with Kate, so Theresa invites the couple to dinner, which quickly turns into a disaster when Theresa drinks way too much and ends up falling down the stairs, causing a miscarriage.

There is a bitter dispute between the two couples over the cause of the accident. Theresa, apparently afraid of her husband, denies drinking alcohol. A light that had failed in the hallway, and Kate and Justin's cat contributed to the accident, as did the shoes that Theresa and Jon left outside in the doorway at the top of the stairs when they came in.

Jon becomes very angry and shouts accusations at Kate and Justin, while Theresa also accuses them of negligence. Just as quickly, Jon and Theresa move back to Germany temporarily (the film is set in England) leaving an apologetic note. Kate and Justin go about their business. Kate gives birth to a baby boy. All seems well until Jon and Theresa return from their extended trip, and, though Jon and Theresa seem suspiciously friendly, things begin to go wrong in the upstairs household.

Various small, unnerving accidents happen. The baby gets sick. There is water damage. A gas explosion is narrowly averted. Everything looks like Kate is losing her grip on reality, but Kate suspects the downstairs couple has something to do with these mysterious events. She breaks into the downstairs apartment and finds all kinds of incriminating evidence against Jon and Theresa, but when the police arrive, it has all disappeared.

This is the kind of film where terrible things happen, and you know more terrible things are going to happen. You just don't know exactly what, or when. This is one of those nails scratching a blackboard suspense stories. It really creeped me out. That is the aim of the movie, but I did not much care for it. The characters did behave oddly, particularly Kate, who walks right into the trap set for her.

The acting in the film is very effective, especially Morrissey, who exudes menace, and Kate, who gets more and more frantic. The film's premise is a bit far fetched, but it is definitely unsettling. This film rates a C+.

Click here for links to places to buy or rent this movie in digital formats, or to buy the soundtrack, posters, books, even used videos, games, electronics and lots of other stuff. I suggest you shop at least two of these places before buying anything. Prices seem to vary continuously. For more information on this film, click on this link to The Internet Movie Database. Type in the name of the movie in the search box and press enter. You will be able to find background information on the film, the actors, and links to much more information.

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Copyright © 2017 Robert Roten. All rights reserved.
Reproduced with the permission of the copyright holder.
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Robert Roten can be reached via e-mail at my last name at lariat dot org. [Mailer button: image of letter and envelope]

(If you e-mail me with a question about this or any other movie or review, please mention the name of the movie you are asking the question about, otherwise I may have no way of knowing which film you are referring to)