Today is Monday and we are of the way complete with our journey of finding out what is really going on with this luxury hotel. Elaine only has two more days at the Wessex, although she is willing to spend as long as it takes to uncover "the truth". We are greeted with a shot of the Wessex Hotel's front: a charming setting with flags billowing in the breeze. The Hotel's name, in a large, capitalized, serifed font proudly displays the hotel's name. From a bystander's point-of-view, it appears that there shouldn't be anything wrong with this hotel. It's so fantastic and proud of a structure, to believe that forces of evil may be working within... It's just hard to believe. From a production standpoint, it's the perfect metaphorical anthrotomorphism of the two sayings, "It goes to show that anything is possible", and that "Looks can be deceiving". As the staff is "so close" to being "finished", there is a chance that there secret will be safe... As long as they can silence Elaine and anyone that may be able to help her to expose them...
We are now inside of the hotel, in front of the reception desk. The camera is facing down the long aised walkway where we see our lovely young engineer, Gail Myers, walking. She is making her way towards the check-in desk, which is flanked with white flowers in a decorative vase. The young engineer is holding a black purse that resembles a briefcase and is wearing a blue floral dress with small tessilating flowers. Her black high heels, dark blue blazer, and red rimmed glasses give her a quaint and professional appearance.
Gail approaches Abraham at the registration desk. He is dressed in his standard uniform — White button up shirt, black suit jacket, black tie, black slacks, black dress shoes, Wessex name tag, and signature Wessex "W".
Abraham: Help you?
Gail: Yes, I'm looking for Elaine Kalisher.
Abraham almost sounds like a television show announcer as he speaks. He is good at what he does, we can tell, as he able to keep tabs on each and every patron. Or at least, in this case, on Elaine.
Abraham: I'm sorry. She's not here.
Gail: Oh. Um, when will she be back?
Abraham: I really don't know. Is there... something I could
help you with?
Gail sets her purse atop the counter, and from it, produces a yellow envelope, similar to a shipping envelope.
Gail: Would you give this... no, on second thought I'd better
do it myself.
As soon as Gail begins to ask Abraham to accept the envelope, and give it to Elaine, her conscious steps in. Don't do it, it says. Elaine seems skeptical and hesitant about the hotel, especially in her quest to find its 13th floor so badly, and maybe it wouldn't be in Gail's best interest to give the hotel this piece of easily destroyable evidence. She knows it needs to be in Elaine's hands, and if she gives it to the hotel staff, it will more than likely never wind up there. Abraham insists on taking it off her hands, as he knows exactly who she is...
Abraham: It's really no trouble.
Gail retains her sweetness and charm, not wanting him to suspect anything. She definitely doesn't want to cause any future problems for Elaine!
Gail: No... thanks anyway.
Abraham: Uh, can I give her a message?
Gail: Just tell her Gail Myers was looking for her.
Gail walks off, heading back in the direction of the main entrance. She stops, looks down at the envelope in her hand, and decided that she is going to pay Elaine a visit of her own. Perhaps the hotel staff is lying to her... She turns and begins walking in the direction of the hotel's elevators.
As soon as Gail exits off screen to the right, the desk clerk immediately jumps on the telephone. With three button presses, he contacts another staff member, presumably the hotel's manager, Jake Rogas. His conversation is predictable, and you can almost envision the dialogue, coming from the other end of the telephone. These comments are listed in brackets, italicized behind and before Abraham's comments. The clerk keeps a watchful eye on her as she makes her way down the hallway, heading for the elevators.
Yeah, the girl from the City Engineer's office.
[Looking for who?]
Looking for Kalisher.
[What does she want!?]
I don't know she wouldn't tell me.
|Elaine is in Room #676, which we will see on the small gold plaquard on the door that Gail knocks on. Elaine never told Gail what room she was in. Unless of course this was covered in an exchange not included in the film. Either that or she called the hotel prior to her arrival, which is rather doubtful.|
Gail walks gingerly along the center of the hotel's velvety crimson colored carpet. She almost appears to be floating as the makes her way down the carpeted aisle, casually glancing at the room numbers as she has been passing, and mentally calculating how much farther it will be before she reaches Elaine's room. She seems to be cautiously watching each and every step, not knowing what to expect. She doesn't know of the horror that awaits her...
The wall sconces and the ceiling fixtures provide soft ambiance behind the young Ms. Myers. She finally finds Elaine's room, on her right. It is adjacent to a painting with a gold rimmed frame, which helps to compliment the dark brown used within each door's door panel and corresponding frame, as well as the creamy off white used on the chair rail and surrounding dados.
Gail's silhouette is quite lovely, as her lush ponytail drapes over her suit blazer. For being young, she makes a very professional looking engineer. Gail knocks on Elaine's door. "Knock knock knock knock". She stops, leans closer towards the door, to listen and see if she can hear any kind of movement within the room. There is none. She knocks again.
"Knock knock knock knock". Still nothing.
There is still nothing. Elaine must not be around... With left arm facing outward, Gail dangles her purse over her left arm, uses her right hand to fish out an ink pen which she passes to her left hand, and then, also with her right hand, pulls a business card out of a compartment in the purse. She passes the business card to her left hand while at the same time passing the ink pen from her left hand to her right. She flips the card over, holding it in the palm of her left hand.
Gail writes a small message on the back of the business card, and then drops her ink pen back into her purse. She looks back up at the "676" printed on Elaine's door, obviously wanting to make sure, one last time, that this is indeed Elaine's room. She has made no mistake. She hopes that Elaine will get the message she has written, but she is unsure as to whether to trust that the hotel staff members won't go snooping in Elaine's room, and destroy the note. It is unknown how much information about the hotel's misdoings that Elaine has relayed to the engineer during casual conversation relevent to her reason for wanting to discover the hotel's "hidden" 13th Floor in the first place, but then again, maybe Gail doesn't know anything at all. When she does finally reach the 13th Floor a little later, she is a little hesitant, but not very frightened. And when she finally does run into somebody..., she's nonchalant as ever. That definitely isn't the actions of somebody that is suspecting foul play... So it's safe to assume she has yet to know that anything is going to happen. She just knows a disturbing aura resonates from the hotel's staff, and she knows she must be hesitant and cautious while she is in the hotel.
Gail is unsure of her fate, but hopefully, as long as Elaine gets ahold of this message/note, there will at least be some kind of documentation as to what happened to her - assuming anything is going to...
With this Gail bends down, and thrusts the card under her door. We see it is her Gail Myers-City Engineer card.
Gail has taken it upon herself to discover the hotel's secret. Unfortunately, not waiting for Elaine may not have been the best decision the young engineer has ever made...
The camera is now on the outside of a door and we can see Gail approaching via a 12 inch by 12 inch window whose focal point rests approximately 5½ feet off of the floor. This is the same set of double doors, and more specifically, the same window, that Elaine came through earlier, when she was looking for Peddler. There are two doors and Gail enters through the one on her right.
|Foreshadowing the Future:|
|Watching Gail approach the door through the little window, we notice that each step closer makes her appear bigger and bigger. This could be symbolic. Gail will use the power of her position as a leveraging device, and it seems as if this makes her grow more confident and self assertive. This "growth" that she experieneces could be metaphorically anthrotomorphic with her growing larger in the window's image.|
This is the door to the service hall, and Gail opens it very softly, almost as if she is trying to sneak in. She knows she probably shouldn't be back here, and more than likely feels quite uncomfortable about being back here. Unfortunately enough, even though Gail opens the door softly, it still makes a very loud squeaking noise as it is being opened.
Gail's attention is on closing the service door as "softly" as she opened it, and doesn't realize that Letti Gordon is standing in the service hallway behind her. Letti's desk is right around the corner, and the loud creak made by the door opening must have alerted Letti's attention to this service hall visitor.
Letti: Looking for something sweetie?
Gail jumps. It is only slightly though, and not enough to cast the aura of being frightened by Letti's sudden appearance. She spins around to see Letti Gordon, cigarette in hand, eyeing her inauspiciously.
Letti catches everyone, even the viewer, off guard. No one is expecting her to be here, and she startles everyone. So much for sneaking in.
Gail is nervous and hesitent in talking to Letti and her question comes off as sounding innocent and naive.
Gail: Well, uh, can you tell me where the service elevator is?
What an odd request. Why in the world would this young unknown visitor need access to the hotel's service elevator?
Letti: What for?
It doesn't take but a second for Gail to come up with a plausible excuse. Note her emphasis on the word "problem". She using what she knows, even though it isn't much, to help advance the conversation. In this case she's referring to the elevator breaking down on Elaine, all the way back on Page 6.
Gail: I understand you had a problem with it.
Letti takes a drag off of her cigarette, and breathes out a stream of smoke in Gail's direction as she clutches her clipboard. She shrugs Gail off, almost as if she thinks she is more important that this lady. She is still unsure of who this woman is, and begins walking down the small hallway. The stragner knows about the elevator having problems, so she obviously must be of some kind of importance. Still, who is this unknown visitor and what reason would she need to see the hotel's service elevator? The tone in Letti's voice expresses her disapproval in this strangers nosiness.
Letti: Well what's it to you?
As Letti starts walking off, Gail uses her position of power as a leveraging tool. She doesn't want to be shunned by Letti, who obviously gives off the vibe that she is much more powerful than the young stranger.
Gail: Uh, well, uh, I'm with the City Engineer's office.
Letti's tone changes. Apparently Gail possesses a level of importance far broader than Letti had originally assumed. She stops and turns, facing Gail. In the background to Letti's left lies a dark green organizer attached to the wall, with six business cards pinned vertically atop it.
Letti: Oh, yeah, sure, well we did have a little problem with it
but one of your guys came out and inspected it but it's
Whether Gail knows this fact or not is unknown, but she responds as if the observation is rhetoric. She is trying to convince Letti that she possesses more knowledge than she may, but the assumption that she is knowledgeable makes her more powerful.
Gail: Yes. I know. But I wanted to see it anyway.
Letti stands there dumbfounded, staring at Gail as if she is stupid. A small amount of smoke escapes her mouth, which is open in awe at the young engineer's timidity.
Gail throws in the addition of a forceful "Now." to further demonstrate her power. She doesn't necessarily need to see it, but she wants to, and seeing that she has already mentioned that she comes from the City Engineers office (she exudes the aura that she was sent by them, not that she came on her own recognizance), there shouldn't be any questions, ifs, ands, or buts. And there aren't. There is nothing else that Letti can say. She's happy to show Gail the elevator... After all, she has an ulterior motive.
|Watch the look of seriousness on Gail face as she demands to see the elevator. It's one that definitely means business! It's classic, but not quite as classic as the devious smile she develops after Letti turns around. After Letti grants approval, she turns to lead Gail to the elevator. With Letti's back turned, Gail is free to quietly gloat for a second. She used her occupation as a position of power to get her way, and now she's esthetic. She probably isn't able to get her way as much as she would like, but she got it this time. To feel like you're getting over (which she's not, technically. She really is from the City Engineer's Office - she just wasn't sent by them) on a crooked hotel staff member that may be involved in crooked and illicit activities, is definitely enough to make her day.|
Letti: Sure, come on.
|The sad reality of the situation is that Gail's devious smiles of power acquired joy are to be short-lived. The hotel has other plans for Gail...|
Gail rounds the corner, turning to her left. She follows Letti as the Service Department Manager leads the way to the service elevator's entrance. The tapping of Letti's shoes echo off of the walls in the small hallway, each time she takes a step. Gail stays behind Letti, obviously visually analysing her body language as she approaches the elevator door. This and it gives her more time to silently gloat.
As the couple arrive in front of the large brown door to the elevator, Gail takes a spot to Letti's right. Letti presses the elevator's "Up" button. A two second long, older style alarm bell type ring, rings as the service elevator door opens, sweeping to the right in front of the two ladies. As the door is only halfway open, Letti is already reaching for the retractable metal gate, intent on taking Gail for a tour of the hotel...
Letti only has the metal gate halfway open when the young engineer reaches out and grabs the gate. As Gail speaks, she
"helps" Letti finish opening it:
Gail: No. I'll go myself.
Letti pulls her hand back and turns away from the elevator.
Letti: Sure, sweetie, suit yourself.
Left hand clutching a cigarette, an ink pen, and holding the top of the clipboard that rests in her arm, Letti places the cigarette in her mouth and, placing her right hand on her hip, turns to face Gail Myers. Gail finishes closing the retractable metal gate and the big brown door starts to sweep shut. Gail disappears as she steps to her left to access the elevator's control panel. The elevator door finishes shutting as the camera zooms in towards it.
|The sliding of the retractable metal gate introduces the perfect opportunity for the music to creep in. It is a slight bit of ominous ambiance which helps to compliment the Letti's comment. It comes to an end when the scene switches to Gail in the elevator.|
Letti smiles deviously. While Gail's devious smile was more out of playfulness, Letti's is simply out of sadistic cruelty and a psychologically imbalanced love for evil... With a more devious smile than any that could be mustered up by the young engineer, Letti informs the viewer of a crucial fact: the current death's number on it's way to reach 16. If anything was to happen to the city employee, she would become death #14, as there will be...
Letti: Two more to go!
...until we reach 16. This helps us to establish number for prior deaths. Letti, content with how quickly the 16 deaths are occuring, release a small breath of smoke.
|Letti looks wonderful in her pearl earrings, one piece red dress with decorative oval shaped belt buckle, and white sweater jacket. The sleeves are rolled up on the sweater jacket and help her to keep a warm but flexible persona. It's front pockets are bulging with contents, more than likely necessities relevant to her job. Through all this decorated charm, however, lies an evil person with evil intents. She might not be doing the killing, but she sure is happy to send unknowing guests off to their doom. You wouldn't suspect it just by looking at her, but it's true. And that makes for a scarier plot metaphor.|
The camera is now inside of the elevator, facing the young Ms. Myers. We can see on the control panel on Gail's front left that the button for the 12th floor has been pressed.
|Another round of ominous music kicks in as we watch the numbers on the elevator floor number indicator light up:|
...10 - 11 - 12...
The music seems to round out as Gail reaches the 12th floor.
The elevator stops with the same thud as usual, but Gail braces and rides the minor shaking out like a champ. Gail, professional as ever, whips open the retractable metal gate and the larger door sweeps open, revealing the 12th floor service hallway.
|On Closer Inspection...:|
|There is a sign on the backside of the elevator's main door that can only be read from while inside of the elevator. And only briefly before the elevator door retracts. It's a safety reminder to all service employees. It reads:|
An identical copy of this reminder is on the backside of almost all floor doors that we see throughout, implying that, being handwritten, either copies were made, or the same door was used to film the entrance to each floor. Note that when the service elevator's door is left open while it is on one floor, it cannot be used if called from other floors. This may be important to know later...
|The relief given by the contra-clarinet provides the perfect compliment to the service hallway's imagery. It will fade out perfectly when the elevator door shuts again.|
The imagery in this area, like many others throughout the film, is designed to remind the viewer of where they are, without the use of words. In this case, on the service elevator, we are being reminded that we are looking out into a small service hallway, which thence leads into the heart of the floor. Each floor possesses a small service hallway, although a few on certain floors may make the viewer forget their original purpose. This scene eliminates any doubt as to whether or not the elevator is stopping on a service hall, for once the door opens we instantly see a white room with dark brown chair rail that is filled with housekeeping supplies. To the left is what appears to be a small brown refrigerator on which sits a four foot tall broom in front of a six inch smaller, gold colored dustpan and to the side of a four foot, four inch tall, older style (it was in style in the 1990s) commercial vacuum cleaner. To the right of this, in front of the wall with the chair rail, resides a four foot tall, rolling push cart with handles on both ends. A long handled feather duster hangs from the end of the side of the cart closest to the elevator. The top shelf of the cart contains towels or cleaning rags, while the middle shelf is filled with about 12 or more rolls of toilet paper, while the bottom shelf contains yet more housekeeping paraphrenalia.
As the camera pans down the hallway we notice this hallway runs perpendicular to the main hallway. We also notice that the cased opening is adorned with matching dark brown casing. This helps set off the crimson carpeting, as do the gold colored chair rail, baseboard and dados in the 12th floor's main hallway. Notice also in the main hallway, there is a small potted palm tree (which is more than likely a plastic recreation) whose leaves are reaching for the heat put out by the adjacent wall sconce.
Gail was getting an idea of what to look for, and seems to say "hmmm" as she closes the retractable metal gate. As the larger, secondary door comes sweeping shut, the contra-clarinet relief comes to an end.
|The camera focuses again on Gail in the elevator. As it does, more ominous music begins, which help to provide suspenseful ambiance through the scene that follows.|
With her right hand, Gail again reaches into her purse, but this time she produces the yellow envelope she was so skeptical about leaving with Abraham to give to Elaine. She pulls the paper out of the envelope: It's an extremely complicated sketch of the elevator's electrical schematics. Elaine could have definitely used this... assuming she wants to spend the next four years going to college in order to get a degree in electrical engineering... Gail also produces a small nail file.
The viewer makes the logical assumption that Gail knows how to interpret this complicated sketch of circles and arrows. We sure hope so. She studies the diagram before putting the nail file to use as a tiny flat head screwdriver.
|The elevator control panel isn't one solid piece, but rather it is made broken up into thirds. This was to make it easier to do required repairs. Each third contains up to eight buttons, four per side. Each third is also held into place by four tiny screws, one in each corner.|
The young engineer is taking out the screws from the control panel's middle panel.
|The reasoning for Gail removing the center panel is simple. Assuming that the 13th floor was still in use, it's button would be the button currently labeled 12. 11 would become 10, 10 would become 9, and there would have been an extra button under 9, would have been removed completely. Hopefully the original 12th floor button would contain some kind of hint as to how to access the 13th floor.|
Gail uses the back side of the nail file as a flathead screwdriver. She begins to take out the four screws holding the center panel in place. She starts with the screw on the bottom right, and then unscrews the remaining ones in a counterclockwise pattern; top right second, top left third, and finally the screw in the panel's bottom left.
|On Closer Inspection...:|
|While the first four hand typed floor descriptor labels were somewhat legible, the seven labels below these are not. We can, however, make several observations:|
- The label between buttons "2" and "9" reads "[somthing] ROOM", is pointing towards the 2nd floor, and appears to be a newer label, glued over the original. The labels for floors "1", "B", "4" and "11", and "5" and 12" are also newer labels glued atop the originals.
- The label next to the floor labeled "M" is blank, as is the label in between the buttons "3" and "10".
- The button labeled "1" looks slightly different, or older, than all of the other buttons. The descriptor label next to the first floor's button has a two line description.
- The label between buttons "5" and "12" reads "[something] SUITE", while the label between buttons "4" and "11" reads "[something] ROOM". The former is pointing towards the 5th floor, while the latter is pointing towards the 11th.
|It is here that we can see that there is a floor labled "M", in between floors 1 and 2. This is where the logical assumption can be made that the main floor, "M" is the "Mezzanine Level", and that Floor 1 is the service floor. There is a possibility that, since the floor isn't a true mezzanine level, the "M" could also stand for "Main".|
|On Closer Inspection...:|
|We can see that the floor below "1" is labeled "B". This is likely for "Basement" although it could have also been the floor with the "Boiler Room".|
|Location, Location, Location:|
|There is a floor below "B" whose letter we cannot read. It is completely unknown what rests on the hotel's bottom floor, but if the Wessex Hotel takes any at all after the Sheradon Town House, the real life hotel used to film the exterior shots of the Wessex, it's bottom floor would have been labeled "G", as the bottom floor of the Town House was an underground parking "Garage" stationed directly below the hotel. It's lowest level, it's indoor parking garage, also labeled "G" in it's elevator, is a floor all it's own.|
The panel loosens as Gail finishes unscrewing the final screw. she jiggles it and works it out of the slot that it was in. A few of the screws fall out and hit the floor. No problem. She can find them when she is finished. They shouldn't go anywhere. With her right hand still holding the file, the hand also holds the righthand side of the panel while the left hand helps spin the panel around where she can get a better look at what is going on. Behind each button on the opposite side of the panel is connected a small electrical box which more than likely feeds into a central wire. It doesn't appear to be attached, although Gail moves the panel in positions to make it less obvious. Either that or she ripped it loose when she pulled the panel away.
The camera is now inside of the compartment, facing outward, towards Gail, who is looking in upon a tangled mess of wires. She produces the file and brings it in towards the wires within the compartment. She carefully seeks out a certain spot to press upon, and as soon as the metal file comes in contact with the spot beneath the wires, there is a loud zap and the wires produce a giant yellow and blue spark which set out a blast of smoke towards the young engineer's face.
The arcing of the wiring could have started a small fire, and Gail was worried about it flying out and catching her hair on fire. She jerks her head, and the side to side movement is just enough to send her eyeglasses flying square off of her face, and right down into the compartment she was just working in.
Gail's eyeglasses disappear completely out of view, disappearing behind the maze of wiring. It is likely the compartment is hollow, and by opening up, her glasses may have fallen all the way to the bottom. In that scenario, she would more than likely never be able to retrieve them. At least not without some kind of wild explaination as to what she was doing tampering with the wiring in the elevator's control panel.
Gail: My glasses... damn.
|Censorship rules for cable television shows are a lot more lax now, than they were in the 1990s. During that time period, profanity was definitely a no-go. "Damn", being less profane than it's other curse word counterparts, was acceptable, and it appears twice within the movie. Mr. Rogas used the word first, back on Page 21, and now our young engineer, also uses it.|
Gail Myers is attractive, with or without glasses. Unfortunately enough, without them, she can't see anything but blurriness. In fact, there is no way now that she can reattach the screws, and cover the tracks of her tampering, now that she cannot see... Not waiting for Elaine was the first of Gail's mistakes but accidentally losing her glasses will prove to be deadly.
|According to our Interview with Dr. Kerry Noonan, Gail Myers actress Dr. Kerry Noonan states,|
"I also remember it was hard to shake my head so that my glasses fell off precisely right into the slot in the elevator wall on cue. We had to do several takes, and it was difficult ..."
- Gail Myers actress Dr. Kerry Noonan
|As soon as the wires spark, and the elevator begins to rise, the music comes to an end.|
|Whatever Gail Myers did... did something. The elevator roars to life and a shot taken from up above shows the elevator ascending. Notice the use of the German tilt as the camera faces down upon the top of the elevator. While the top of the elevator is usually shown square with the camera, the tilting implies that something isn't right.|
The camera is now back inside of the elevator compartment, facing back at the lovely Ms. Myers. She inserts her right hand into the slot and trys to feel around for her glasses. She is careful, as she doesn't want to accidentally electrocute herself. The compartment doesn't go into the wall very far, and the panel Gail removed isn't very tall, and so her hand can't reach very far down into the compartment. The anglature prevents her, and so her glasses are gone for good.
|Gail may still be able to salvage her glasses, by removing the lowest panel, however she never gets the chance to try.|
|The elevator comes to its normal crashing stop. It bangs and clangs and sounds very creepy in itself, but this time notice that the camera angle is now facing square with the elevator again. No German tilt.|
The stopping surprises Gail, who, in a state of trying to dig her glasses out of the 7" wide cavity, hasn't realized that she has been going up. She stops looking, and, right hand still in the cavity, she stares up at the elevator's floor number indicator above the elevator's door. Her left hand is supporting the panel she had removed earlier. Notice that we can now see the wires that the buttons connect into. The four buttons on the left of the panel run into one wire, while the remaining buttons connect into a secondary wire. The wires are to the left of her right hand.
|Gail's expression tells that she definitely has to squint, in order to see. The camera techiques used throughout this scene are incredible, in terms of creating an image of what poor half-blind Gail is experiencing.|
We see the elevator's floor number indicator through Gail's eyes. It goes from blurry to blurrier, yet one thing is obvious - no lights are lit up.
Gail is confused. She pulls her arm out of the compartment, and lets go of the panel, where it dangles by the wires connecting to it. Gail stares hard, desperately trying to adjust her eyes in order to see, but everything still comes out blurry.
|The elevator doors, both the main door and the retractable metal gate, appear to open in unison, without any help from Gail. Usually the main door will only open and shut when the retractable metal gate is physically closed. But it seems to open by itself. Gail's expression seems to say Whoa, where am I? as she stares ahead. She temporarily clinches her eys, trying to help to regain temporary sight, however, it still doesn't help. We see the 13th Floor's service hall, through Gail's blurry perspective. It looks even more ominous than before. In fact, the contrast of colors in the room appear to be creating a straight-faced stare, which ominously seem to be greeting each "visitor".|
|The music rises in and truly helps to add creepy ambiance to the scene. |
Gail: Uh. Oh...
|The audience is extremely worried about Gail as of now, because the viewer realizes at this moment, that this will probably be the young engineer's day on Earth. We are already worried for Gail knowing that she can't see anything but blurriness, and the creepy score and ominous color scheme of the floor, definitely doesn't help to ease any of our fears.|
Gail steps out of the elevator, and looks around, yet still, all she can see is blurriness.
|As Gail steps out of the elevator, "Ragtime Piano", the Wessex Hotel's signature death theme is heard playing in all it's glory. |
|The brown rimmed, glass fronted case containing the 13th Floor's fire axe, creeks as it is yet again opened, and yet again, the white shirted, black robed, arm, removes the axe from it's position in the box. Now the viewer know for sure that something horrible is about to happen to this sweet young engineer. Fear for the engineer's safety, anger at the hotel and definitely rage for it's mysterious killer, keep the viewer in suspense and on the edge of their seats.|
Gail Louise Myers
Gail - Old English varient meaning lively. Derived from Gala, meaning "festive party". While Gail may seem a little reserved, don't let that fool you. Gail could hang with the best of them.
Louise - In Teutonic, American, German and French, it's all the same - Louise means "Famous in war" or "Renowned warrior or fighter". And Gail is a fighter. Not only has she discovered the 13th Floor on her own, she will also fight the ability not to see.
Myers - Patronymic occupational term meaning "son of the mayor". This relates to a profession of prominence and dignity, which, working as an engineer for the City of Los Angeles, California's City Engineer's Office, would definitely qualify Gail as possessing both attributes.
Gail takes each step cautiously, and it's a good thing. Otherwise she may have tripped and fallen down the four steps leading down from the service hall platform into the small hallway that corners into the main hallway. Instead she handles it like a pro, taking her time and feeling her way around. Unfortunately enough, not being able to see, she accidentally brushes her right hand across a giant cobweb that has been forming atop one of the columns. It startles Gail, as not being able to see, she thinks it could have been a spiderweb, instead of a 90 year old cobweb.
Gail: Uh! Ew.
Gail pulls her hand back in front of her midsection and uses her left hand to rub the web off of her right hand.
Gail looks down the main hallway. The camera again shows what Gail is looking at. The wall sconces provide a small yellowish orb, fuzzily luminescing against a blacked background.
Gail: Is anybody there?
|We see a silhouette of the killer's shoulder, right hand, and the axe that the hand is holding. He is just leaving the axe case, and as soon as he appears, the music rises ominously, providing a feeling of creepiness that overpowers "Ragtime Piano", the already creepy music coming from the gramophone down the hallway. This music will end as Gail approaches the gas light.|
Gail stares inauxpiciously at the fuzzy yellow orb. She knows it's a kind of light, but she's unsure.
In an effort to see what is making the strange yellowish illumination, she reaches her right hand up to feel one of the antique sconces, protruding from the wall. The light is very hot, as it is being produced by a flame, burning natural gas. Because of this she immediately jerks her hand away.
Gail: Uh! Gaslights! What is this?
Gail turns to her left to look at the sconce on the opposite wall, symmetric to this one. She looks back. Something is wrong. She has no clue where she is, yet she tries to keep her calm.
|The music rises in, creepily and ominous as ever. It comes just in time to show a shot of the killer...|
The camera is on the killer's back side, and we can vaguely see his shoulder. The axe, however, can be seen in all it's glory. The pickaxe point juxtaposing the axe blade on the axe's head looks just as brutal as the axe blade itself. The shadow of the killer follows as the figure of him and the axe move along the wall. The killer is approaching a corner, where two hallways run perpendicular. As it seems all unused hallways are unlit, he is more than likely turning to the left, down the gaslit hallway. He is getting closer to Gail by the second. Poor Gail! |
We see Gail again, maneuvering down the hallway. She calls out:
There is a picture of the goateed dragon statue, that resides in the room with the gramaphone. It's mouth is open, and four sharp teeth, two on top, two on bottom, and each in a corner of the mouth show that he is ready to attack. He is shown in a growling state, with tongue pointing up due to extreme usage of the jaw muscles.
Gail approaches the end of the hallway, where it turns to it's left. Left hand on the corner column, Gail cautiously rounds the corner.
The camera again shows what Gail is seeing. Nothing but blurriness, although the wall sconces in the distance, as well as the small lights coming through the doorway from the killer's room at the end of the hallway resemble blurry yellow triangles with concaved edges.
|So how were the cameramen able to pull off getting the camera blur so perfectly? They filmed these scenes through thick artificial layers of fog.|
According to our Interview with Dr. Kerry Noonan, Gail Myers actress Dr. Kerry Noonan states,
"I do remember that the fog machine they used for the fog
in the hallway made me feel queasy..."
- Gail Myers actress Dr. Kerry Noonan
|On Closer Inspection...:|
|The hallway behind Gail, looks like it continues beyond the point in which she rounded the corner. This means that when she reached the last intersection, she could have taken a right, instead of a left. It would make sense for a hallway to run that way, in regards to the layout of all of the other floors. However it appears that none of the gaslit sconces going down that way are on or working. That is why we earlier suggested that perhaps the lights in all unused hallways are turned of, thus leaving a well-lit path - right into the killer's hands.|
Gail continues hesitantly down the hallway, concentrating her sights on the only thing she can see - the three small, triangular shaped orbs, seen glowing in the room at the end of the hallway. She is also following the sound of the music, whose sound is growing larger.
Gail: Excuse me? I've had a little accident.
|On Closer Inspection...:|
|Gail stops. For the past 22 seconds, she has been listening, and trying to follow, the sound of footsteps approaching.|
Gail: Is anybody there?
Gail is a little nervous and her heart is probably racing, yet she keeps her composure. She is unsure of where the footsteps are coming from, and begin to turn around, possibly heading back towards the elevator.
Gail only makes it one step. As she starts to step again, she stops. The footsteps have been growing increasingly louder, and she can now tell that they are coming from back behind her, in the direction in which she was first heading. She rotates back around.
Gail smiles as she peers down to the end of the hallway. The blurry image of what appears to be a man with a white shirt and black jacket zipped halfway - enough to leave a V suspending from beneath his chin, and enough to reveal the white of the shirt beneath it, rounds the corner at the end of this hallway. He must have been walking down the hallway offscreen to the left, and now makes a right, entering onscreen, directly into Gail's path.
Gail is ecstatic that another person is on this strange but creepy floor. Maybe this kind gentleman can give her a hand in finding her way. This gives validity to what was stated earlier, about Elaine possibly not giving Gail any kind of warning of what evil forces at work, the 13th Floor possesses. Perhaps if Elaine would have warned Gail, she might still be alive...
|As the gentleman steps from around the corner, the score fades away, leaving only the gramaphone tune playing.|
Gail: Can you help me?
|On Closer Inspection...:|
|She gestures to her face. We can see a cream colored ring on the index finger of her right hand.|
Gail: I've lost my glasses.
The white protruding from underneath the black "jacket" clearly outlines the gentleman's arms, and the blurry image of the man appears to be holding something. Something doesn't seem to be right. About this time, the image of the man appears to be forcefully coming to swing down upon our sweet young engineer, using whatever it was that he was holding. Poor Gail can't see that it is an axe...
|Psychologically, the killer, getting a sadistic thrill out of the whole ordeal, is probably twice as happy, knowing he can hack away at the young woman, without her ever being able to see what's going on. This definitely explains why she wasn't startled to see him standing in front of her holding an axe...|
Gail: What are you doing!? Ahhhh!
|Poor, poor Gail! The young engineer marks the sixth death (Death #6) at the
hotel since Elaine has arrived, and marks (Death #14) on the hotel's current count... So much empathy has been built up for Gail throughout the film, and knowing that she is completely unable to see what is going on around her, it makes it even more horrific knowing that she didn't know she was going to die until she was being hacked to death by a sharp and deadly axe. This death ties only with Mrs. Beecher as a winner of the "Most Undeserved Death Award". It makes us despise the hotel even more.|
|The score crescendos in, in a bone chilling manner, as soon as the axe is being brought down on poor Ms. Myers. Gail's scream comes to an end, as it is being replaced by the ringing of three chimes, coming from a decorative and ornate church. |
CONTINUE TO PAGE #27