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Elevator – 4

Director – Stig Svendsen

Cast – Christopher Backus, Joey Slotnick, Anita Briem, John Getz, Shirley Knight, Michael Mercurio, Amanda Pace, Rachel Pace, Devin Ratray, Tehmina Sunny, Waleed Zuaiter

Release Year – 2012

Reviewed by John of the Dead

Elevator is a film I came across randomly while searching Netflix for a quick flick to watch. If you know me then you know that I absolutely love films/stories where the characters are stuck in a nowhere to run scenario, and with my childhood fear of elevators getting stuck I figured this would be an engaging watch for me. The film starts well (most of them do), and it brings an interesting premise that I had yet to see in such a film. Sadly, by the time the end credits roll I was left with a bland effort that could have been more if the story had allowed for it.

When nine people find themselves trapped in a Wall Street elevator, the already high tension flares when they learn that one of them is carrying a bomb set to detonate.

You may be thinking to yourself, “Why would he review this? It doesn’t sound like horror”, and there is some merit to such thought. This is by no means a “scary” movie, and is nothing like Devil, which employed people stuck in an elevator but with a supernatural twist. Sometimes people put in high stress situations and facing life and death can result in horror, and seeing that this experience would come with such elements I felt that it warranted a watch, and subsequently it warranted this review.

The film starts off with the protagonists being introduced as they enter the elevator en route to a Wall Street party – from the security guard, to the hired comedian, to the usual brokers, and the owner of the building along with his spoiled granddaughter. This assortment of characters made for a nice mix of faces to see and personalities to clash, which was the case when the elevator become stuck and tension began to strike. It does not take long before the elevator gets stuck, which occurred very early into the first act, and despite the first act being interesting and consisting of good development it did seem to drag a bit. The horror begins to set when we learn that one of the characters is carrying a bomb rigged to explode, and that is when the second act begins. I will not say exactly what caused the person to bring the bomb, but as a whole the reason is revenge, and I love revenge. From then on out you would expect some good tension and decent horror given they are trapped in an elevator with very little time before the bomb goes off, but despite the film “trying” I never really cared for what was going on in the film. The rest of the film was quite dull and never provided any good tension. The piece simply “went through the motions” and managed to throw in a few creative ideas to make this a little different from similar films, but sadly the end result was nothing to marvel at. There were some attempted scenes of horror, scenes that technically consisted of some gruesome acts, but as with most poor efforts these scenes occurred offscreen and did nothing to move me.

Director Stig Svendsen did a decent job executing this piece, making good use of the one main location used for the film – the elevator. We get a “cramped” feeling once things begin to become awry for the characters, and he managed to get mediocre acting performances from all involved. His execution could have been much better, and despite the story doing little to help him out I feel that he could have improved the film a bit with better direction. This was especially the case with the attempted horror I just mentioned, with the offscreen brutality not doing anything to improve the film thanks to some possible goofs or just plain poor execution on one of the film’s most important elements.

Overall, Elevator is a bland watch that I would not recommend to anyone seeking an ounce of enjoyable horror or decent thrills. It’s not overly bad, but it isn’t worth watching over the many other positive films out there deserving a view.

Rating: 5/10

  1. October 8, 2012 at 12:30 am

    It sounds like it really could be a good story. I too am afraid of elevators-getting stuck or having it crash and explode lol. Devil was a good elevator horror movie, but I can’t think of any others…

    • October 10, 2012 at 7:24 pm

      There is this movie called “Blackout” from a few years ago that played on the stuck elevator concept. It wasn’t very good though.

  2. November 16, 2012 at 8:02 am

    An elevator story gets a real twist if there is paranomal element in it. Otherwise some bomb explosion, hotel fire or terrorist attack will be worth watching. Elevators can be a point of transition for crime, horror and action scenes. Shaun Kwong, Home Elevator.

    • November 16, 2012 at 2:20 pm

      I really like that elevators leave the characters with nowhere to run.

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