Director Josef Rusnak’s The Thirteenth Floor was released in 1999, and almost immediately vanished from peoples’ radars, and has never really gotten back on there. The reason why has less to do with its quality though, and more to do with two little words: The Matrix. The Matrix came out a few months earlier, and it seems there was only room in peoples’ viewing schedules for one virtual-reality-themed science-fiction movie.
The Thirteenth Floor stars Craig Bierko as Douglas Hall, a software developer whose firm is constructing the first full-fledged reality simulator. Designed by his boss Hannon Fuller (Armin Mueller-Stahl), the VR world simulates the city of Los Angeles, as it was in 1937. But Hannon has discovered there is something wrong about the setup, and leaves a message for Doug in the simulation, while Doug is away on a trip out of town. He then tries to get a hold of Doug in the real world, but before he can, he is brutally murdered. And Doug, who awakes to find himself with gaps in his memory, finds a bloodied shirt in his laundry basket and himself prime suspect. To find the clues to who the real killer is, he’s going to have to go into the simulation, housed in the 13th floor. Continue reading