Man, oh man, do I love campy films and better yet, a purposefully campy film. Such is the case with Downstairs, directed by Lee Boxleitner, who has a role in the film, and written along with his brother Sam Boxleitner, the star of the film.
Flip Schubbers (Sam Boxleitner) is a night security guard at an artist’s loft with a shady past. In the very beginning, we witness a, or possibly multiple, suicide(s). Nevertheless, on a random night, Flip relaxes and attempts to read when he sees a note on his computer screen reading “Don’t go downstairs. – Rhonda”. He gets complaints from a boorish couple who snobbishly comment about their art, but getting to the point that they’ve been smelling a strange smell for the past few nights and their door was left open the night before. Needless to say, they are not happy about any of this.
Blowing them off, Flip makes his rounds, locking doors and throwing out the garbage, which he assumes is the cause of the odor. Heading to lock some doors, he gets another whiff of the ungodly odor he thought he threw out. Curious, he searches the building, finding a door that he cannot open. Giving up on opening the door, he leaves, only to hear the door open behind him. Cautiously Flip heads downstairs and what he finds isn’t exactly what he may have had in mind.
Sam Boxleitner is great in his role as the clueless horror cliche, owning the film completely. His character is a familiar trope in much more serious horror– you know, the character who makes all the bad choices, while you, as an audience, warn them, yelling at the screen, “DON’T GO IN THERE!” Boxleitner plays every scenario with a dimwitted guffaw that you can’t help but laugh at him, but also feel sorry for his slapstick and nebbish character.
The comical horror film, by Bear Punch and Blue House Productions, Downstairs, is an award winner featured in, Screamfest 2014, Indiefest USA, Northwest Horror Fest, Dark Screen Film Festival (2015), and Film Quest. You can learn more about the film and follow them on their official Facebook Page
Check out the short film in its entirety below.