On the twentieth day of Halloween: THE DROP (2014)
Since my previous Halloweenathon installment was one of Noomi Rapace’s many folk horror offerings, let’s add another of her low-key horror thrillers to the list. On the surface, The Drop (2014) is money laundering and mob horror, after an infamous “drop” bar in Boston is robbed for upwards of $5,000. Not a lot in the grand scheme of things, but huge when the money belongs to the leader of a Chechen mafia ring.
But The Drop is also about the horror of domestic violence and how it ripples outward affecting far more than just the woman being targeted. We first meet Nadia (Rapace) after Bob Saginowski (Tom Hardy) uncovers a badly beaten pit bull in her garbage can. We find out later it was her violent, supposed murderer ex-boyfriend Eric Deeds (Matthias Schoenaerts) who hurt the puppy as a warning. And as Nadia and Bob’s entanglement deepens, her past as a victim of domestic violence becomes very public, exposing an even deeper underbelly of community violence.
The hurt puppy is enough to qualify this as a horror movie. But there’s more grisly imagery and brutality that emerges when you’re not expecting it.
I study Tom Hardy in The Drop the way I study Keanu Reeves in his films. Hardy’s Bob is made of layers that Hardy reveals in tiny doses with an incredibly nuanced performance. Is he on the autism spectrum? Is he a sociopath? Or is all of it a ruse? I can’t pin down Bob, which is one of many reasons I’ve seen this film dozens of times and can’t stop rewatching.
Noomi is unlike her usual badass roles as the simpering and wounded Nadia. It’s amazing to see her range here. There’s no hint of Lisbeth Salander or Elizabeth Shaw, or any of her other ass-kicking roles. And James Gandolfini in one of his last roles is poignant on a number of levels.
This is for folks looking for something creepy and unsettling, but not traditional horror fare for Halloweentime. I’ve legit watched it several times this month already. I find it weirdly comforting.
✨Rocco/5 stars. Highly recommend not stealing from mobsters.✨