A Crack in the Floor is a 2001 horror film from the writers/directors Sean Stanek and Corbin Timbrook. While neither gentleman may exactly be a “household name” with film lovers (even amongst horror fans), both have had long, respectable careers in multiple areas of the film and video gaming industries as actors, writers, producers, and directors. While both men have acted in various sized roles since their youth, Timbrook would (most notably?) direct the low-budget horror films Tower of Blood (2006), Blood Ranch (2008), and Belly of the Beast (2008), while Stanek would work as a motion capture supervisor on popular games such as “Silent Hill: Homecoming“, the “Karaoke Revolution” series, and the “Uncharted” series, as well as films such as The Changeling (2008), Monster House, and Titanic.
FUN FACT: It’s reported that Stanek, a one-time neighbor of actor Robert Blake, was the first person on the scene when Blake murdered his wife, Bonnie Blakely, in May of 2001.
The film opens to find a young boy living with his widowed mother (Tracy Scoggins – TV’s “Dynasty“, Demonic Toys) in a small cabin located deep in the woods. The boy has been taught to avoid contact with the “outside world”, but learns to detest it when his mother is raped and murdered before his own eyes. Thirty three years pass and the boy has grown into a demented hermit, living in the same run-down cabin and vowing to destroy any intrusion into his world from outside forces.
That “intrusion” comes in the form of countless hikers and campers, all of whom seem to find the cabin with little difficulty, even though no one living in the area seems to be aware of the cabin’s existence. The first people that we see finding the cabin are a young couple, who arrive long enough to disrobe before being hacked to pieces offscreen by our maleficent homeowner. Err, cabinowner.
Our second set of interlopers is a group of young friends out for their yearly excursion to some randomly chosen destination, looking to relax and spend some time catching up with one another. The trip is led by Lehman, played by none other than “Saved by the Bell” co-star Mario Lopez. Even though I was at the perfect “target audience” age for “Saved by the Bell” during its original airing, I have never cared for the show, finding it insulting to my intelligence. And this is coming from a guy who thought The Stupids was a damned fine film! So, the presence of “AJ Slater” in a horror film would have meant little to me in 2001, just as it does today in 2021.
Lehman’s friends consist of 2 couples; burnouts Billy (Jason Oliver – Class of 1999, Stand By Me) and Sunny (Francesca Orsi, who appeared in little else), as well as the more levelheaded Kate (Justine Priestly – Jason’s sister and star of Caged Heat 2001) and Johnny (Bentley Mitchum – Meatballs 4, Scoggins’ co-star in Demonic Toys). Also joining the crew for the trip is Lehman’s new girlfriend, Heidi (Daisy McCrackin – Halloween: Resurrection, 2018’s Delirium), who’s really not sure what to expect from the trip, Lehman’s friends, or possibly even Lehman himself!
At first, the trip doesn’t appear to be going quite as well as Heidi may have hoped, with Lehman crudely trying to impress his friends, and the others having a little fun at her expense. Of course, in time, the trip will become much more horrific for Heidi than she ever could have imagined. Granted, it’s probably not as horrific as when McCrackin was abducted and held for ransom back in 2018, but that’s a story for a different post.
Veteran character actor Bo Hopkins (Midnight Express, Mutant) shows up as the town sheriff, who also seemingly has no prior knowledge of either the psychotic hermit or his secluded shack, but (like most everyone else) has little difficulty finding both while searching for the first missing couple. Rance Howard (Ron and Clint’s dad), Frank Collison (Dollman, Wired to Kill), and An American Werewolf in London‘s David Naughton all show up in bit parts as well. However, it’s undeniably the presence of top-billed Gary Busey that reeled in renters (in 2001), as he provides one of the film’s sole highlights by showing up for 3 minutes to say some crazy-ass Gary Busey-type bullshit before excusing himself with a bout of diarrhea.
Once the veteran stars make their exits, it’s up to the younger actors to carry the load of A Crack in the Floor, which proves tremendously hard to do when the dialog tends to be cliched, one-dimensional, and sophomoric enough to make one’s eyes roll themselves crossed. It seems almost unfair to criticize the performance when this is what the actors were given to work with. Yes, I’m even sympathizing for Mario Lopez on this one!
After an irrelevant side-story involving a murderous paramedic and an even more unnecessary dream sequence, our killer finally has the decency to start picking off the friends one by one, albeit with only 20 minutes left remaining in the film. Kill scenes are a tad more brutal than one might expect, but yet remain quite goreless and (as mentioned) occasionally off-screen.
A Crack in the Floor wraps things up feeling a little rushed and with no sense of resolution of any kind. Ultimately, there’s just not much here to recommend other than seeing a few familiar faces. Even then, thanks to a notable absence of story and character development, the majority of these actors and actresses aren’t given much more to do than stand around, deliver a few poorly written lines. and collect a paycheck. As I’m sure quite a few of us have done some questionable things for money, who am I to judge?
I received a copy of A Crack in the Floor as part of a VHS “mystery box” that I purchased maybe 5 or 6 years back. Since then, the cassette had sat untouched on a shelf, buried amidst a sea of other horror films that make up my collection. If any of you readers were curious, this review only exists just so that I could give myself a justifiable reason to finally watch the film. In retrospect, I can’t say that it was worth it.
A Crack in the Floor is available on DVD and VHS (AMAZON LINK: https://amzn.to/2MPBRhU), or free to watch on Tubi. Tubi link: Watch A Crack in the Floor (2001) Full Movie Free Online Streaming | Tubi (tubitv.com)